The Myanmar government will not allow the construction of any new hotels in Bagan in Mandalay region.
The government will stop all new development in the ancient city as it moves forward with plans to list the ancient city as a UNESCO World Heritage site, according to a DPA news agency report.
Work on existing projects however, will be allowed to continue.
“We will not allow new hotel constructions there,” Soe Thein, minister for the president’s office, was quoted saying. “We must keep Bagan as an ancient city, but we can’t cancel the hotel deals that the former government allowed.”
There are currently 17 hotels under construction in four zones adjacent to temple city, but none are situated in the site itself.
Over the past two decades, several hotels and other buildings were granted permission to be constructed in the heart of ancient Bagan, such as the Aureum Palace Hotel and the 61-metre Royal Watchtower.
The Kingdom of Bagan existed from the 9th to the 13th centuries and was once home to more than 10,000 temples. At least 2,200 of these survive today, although poor restoration techniques have previously been cited as a reason why Bagan is not already on the UNESCO list. It is one of Myanmar’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 400,000tourists last year.
Any new nomination process is likely to take several years to complete.
Myanmar first proposed Bagan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in themid-1990s, when the country was still under military rule, but withdrew the nomination after the UN agency requested more details on preservation and management plans.