Market potential for boutique hotels in Yangon

YANGON: According to industry players, Myanmar’s commercial city, Yangon, should consider repurposing or refurbishing existing buildings into hotels.

Many said it will provide the accommodation which is badly needed throughout the city.

Frederic Goubet, chairman of The Loft Hotel, said: “We provide a certain answer to the deficit (in accommodation) but we did it with our own way, our own charm, so we will bring some light to this city.”

The Loft Hotel, transformed from a dilapidated guest house, is believed to be the first of its kind in Yangon. Such a concept could prove the way forward.

Brett Miller, managing director at Scipio Services, said: “A refurbishment or a repurposing might take 3-6 months and it brings the hotel rooms to market quicker. Boutique hotels would be more attractive for the foreign visitors that are tourists or perhaps the initial missions of multi-nationals or independent business travellers, looking to come into the country and do their reconnaissance without spending a lot of money on high-ticket rooms. I think there’s a lot of demand here for the boutique hotel operators.”

Boutique hotels have reasonable rates and offer quality accommodation. These add to the attractiveness of such accommodation.

Although boutique hotels may prove popular, larger hotels are unfazed by the competition.

Htay Aung, managing director of Orchid Hotel, said: “Business travellers are coming in groups, meaning 100-200 people. Therefore they’re looking for big hotels. They don’t want to stay separately. For boutique hotels, they can get the market for FITs (foreign individual travellers), where there is also a big market here, and they can get the smaller groups of business travellers.”

Yangon now has about 230 hotels and guest houses, offering about 10,000 rooms.

With a target of three million visitors in 2015, many say the demand will continue to outstrip supply for many years to come.

Source: Channel News Asia

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