YANGON, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Construction of a new airport is underway in Mrauk U, Myanmar's ancient city in western Rakhine state, as part of the government's efforts to develop tourism industry in the region, official media reported Friday.
The construction of the new Mrauk U airport, which started on the eastern side of the city along the Sittway-Yangon highway near Nankyar village in 2015, is scheduled for completion in 2021.
The original Mrauk U airport was located in an ancient archaeological zone, while the new one is being built away from the zone.
Upon completion of the new Mrauk U airport, tourist arrivals in the region are expected to increase.
Rakhine state, one of Myanmar's least-developed ethnic states, holds promise as a tourist haven on account of its long coastline and wilderness areas.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is striving for putting Mrauk U, the region with historical cultural evidences, on the list of world heritage sites of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
A draft nomination to include Mrauk U region on the world heritage list is said to be submitted in September 2018 and a final submission be made by January 2019.