Yangon hotel rates remain a bargain

YANGON, 8 November 2019: Yangon will close 2019 with at least 400 new rooms in the city’s highly competitive upper-scale hotel segment, according to the latest Colliers International Myanmar report.

That pushes the room total from 5,300  in the four and five-star categories at the close of the second quarter of this year to 5,700 by year-end.

Colliers International Myanmar assistant manager research, Hpone Myint Thu, told TTR Weekly the hotel count reached 5,500 rooms at the close of the third quarter of this year.

“The citywide average occupancy rate reached 44%. In Q3 2019, the average daily rate (ADR) corrected further downwards to USD80,” he explained.

Looking forward, he added: “As far as we have monitored, we still have another 1,700 rooms in the pipeline to be launched in the next three years.”

For travellers searching for hotel bargains, this is all good news. It’s a welcome incentive to visit a city that has for decades been under the radar.

Travel planners will discover online booking sites are posting bargain room rates in high-quality hotels that are unrivalled in Southeast Asia with perhaps the exception of Kuala Lumpur. Back in 2015, market studies showed the average daily rate peaked at USD158.

Despite the slowdown in hotel performance, last month Westin Hotels & Resorts, a five-star hotel brand owned by US-listed Mariott International confirmed it signed a management contract for its first hotel in Myanmar due to open in  2021.

Mariott International will partner with property developer Yoma Land to bring the Westin brand to a USD400 million Yoma Central mixed development project in downtown Yangon. When completed in 2021, Westin Yangon will bring an additional 281 rooms.

More high-end hotels are on the way during the next three years including, Peninsula Yangon, a five-star luxury hotel which will also be a part of Yoma Central a project developed at the site of the former Myanmar Railways headquarters.

But it is not all gloom and doom as  Hpone Myint Thu points out in the Colliers International research.

“We expect the total visitor arrivals to reach 4 million by the end of the year (The total visitor arrival in 2018 was 3.55 million). At present, 40% of tourist arrivals are from China.”

He notes that as Yangon enters its wedding season  (October to February), “a lot of upscale hotels are anticipating they will benefit from MICE related activities.

“One notable completion in Q3 2019 will be the Rosewood Yangon Hotel that has the largest ballroom in Yangon at 1,400 square metres. Housed in a colonial heritage building, Rosewood Yangon’s Grand Ballroom offers a stunning venue for couples seeking a great space for their wedding reception.

“With the sustained GDP growth coupled with further easing in visa requirements as well as an expansion of new flight routes, we hope to see the demand for hotel rooms to pick up again,” he concluded.

There are also other positive signs that hotel performance will improve as the country adds countries to its visa-on-arrival list and possibly extends the scope of its visa-free stay programme.

Colliers International Myanmar’s earlier analysis noted that in October Yangon International Airport saw airlines adding more flights to  Chinese cities such as Ningbo in Zhejiang and Dehong in Yunnan.

Of the 35 international destinations served by airlines from Yangon, 18 are cities in China served by 13 Chinese airlines.

Effective 1 November, Myanmar introduced a visa-on-arrival at gateway airports (Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw) for citizens from Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Russia.

Last year, tourists from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Macau became eligible for visa-free entry into Myanmar.

Travellers from India and China are eligible for a visas-on-arrival.

As for pending openings, Rosewood by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton Yangon should welcome their first guests by the end of the year.

(Source: Colliers International Myanmar)

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