Sagaing December 5
Ecotourism plan will be developed at Natpauk Elephant Camp in the timber extraction area of Myanma Timber Enterprise located in western Katha, a town in Indaw Township, Sagaing Region.
The Natpauk Elephant Camp has opened since 2005. The well-trained calves started offering tourism services to visitors beginning in 2009. The programme attracts international tourists who are keen to observe the nature of elephants, said Dr Aung Thura Soe, manager of the camp.
The natural-based tourism will also benefit the country’s environment conservation programme.The camp received its first foreign visitors of 126 in 2009. The number of visitors increased to 240 in 2010-2011 fiscal year, 315 in 2011-2012 FY and 516 in 2012-2013 FY.
The camp currently provides ecotourism services to visitors through 27 skilled elephants, which welcome them to a polite manner. The organizing body grants foreigners to feed the baby elephants and to take photographs with them.
A foreigner needs to pay K20,000 as entrance fees while authorities collect K3,000 per local visitor. It also collects the same amount of fees from the visitors for an elephant ride trip.
To promote the country’s tourism industry, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism expands new destinations for implementing of naturalbased tourism. The ministry predicts that the number of international visitors will grow from last year’s 4.68 million to 6 million in 2016.