The Irrawaddy

Shwedagon Pagoda Suspends Ticket Price Hike

Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Shwedagon Pagoda’s board of trustees has suspended its plan to increase entrance fees for foreigners from 8,000 kyats to 10,000 kyats.

The board planned to increase the fees from the beginning of June, but the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) told the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture that the new rate would impact package tour operators, as packages had been sold a year in advance.

The ministry told the board that proposals regarding admission fees in cultural heritage zones must be made to the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library six months in advance and approval to such proposals must be sought from the ministry.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UMTA urged member companies to prepare calculations for the new prices for their future packages.

From Jan. 1 to April 30 this year, 40,789 foreign tourists—mostly from Thailand, China, Germany, France and Japan—visited the pagoda, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Burma, which receives 1,360 visitors and US$182 in donations from foreigners on average per day.

The pagoda is ranked seventh out of 15 attractions on TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Landmarks for 2017.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.