Positive signs for Myanmar tourism

YANGON, 22 March 2019: Against the backdrop of a challenging 2018, Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association says 2019 opened on a positive note with January travel arrivals up 19%.

The country’s hotels and tourism ministry reported international tourist arrivals reached 160,000 and domestic trips also improved to Bagan, Kalaw and Inle Lake with the later claiming double-digit growth that saw hotels heavily booked during January.

The association in its review said more international hotel brands are entering the market. The new players are Courtyard by Marriott and Sheraton Hotel due to open in Yangon.  

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Prime Residence to manage Rosewood Yangon, as the brand’s first property in Myanmar and seventh in Asia. A firm opening date has yet to be confirmed.

In January, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) opened its newest chapter in Myanmar, which will help Myanmar to organise a pavilion at the ASTA Global Convention this August and support a Myanmar Road Show to reach out to US travel advisors.

The first Rakhine Investment Fair was held in late February in Ngapali, supported by the Myanmar Investment Commission, Rakhine state government and co-organised by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Rakhine Investment Fair engaged with investors to present opportunities to develop the hotel and tourism sector. 

“As the last frontier of Southeast Asia – Myanmar presents immense potential for foreign investment.  And we continue to believe that tourism is a good way to connect people and to bring development and peace all over the country for any race or religion,” said Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairperson May Myat Mon Win.

The country has reviewed some of its foreign investment laws that now make it possible for foreigners to buy 35% of the registered capital of a local company. This would be valid for companies owning local guesthouses, restaurants, bars or hotels.