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Myanmar struggling to handle new surge in visitors

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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Now that Myanmar is opening to the outside world, good luck getting a hotel room.

Travelers and eager investors are pouring in to explore one of Asia's most untouched countries, filling hotels to capacity, doubling room rates and spilling flight reservations onto wait lists.

As the country sheds its past as an isolated military dictatorship and taboo travel destination it is becoming a new global hotspot — topping tourism lists as the must-see place to visit in 2012.

Myanmar is eager for the hard currency that foreigners bring, but is struggling to handle the influx. At the same time, it is wondering how widely to throw open the doors — should it become another well-trodden tourist haven like Thailand or should it aim for fewer, less-transformative numbers of visitors to keep its ancient cultural sights and charm intact?

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