Greater range of visitors a boon for Myanmar trade

WHILE Myanmar has already attracted notable tourist traffic, official figures now show that the country is experiencing a sustained and exponential surge in footfall.

Compared to 2012, arrival numbers have tripled to three million in 2014, and is expected to soar further to at least four and a half million tourists this year, according to official statistics.

“I would say it has long taken off,” said Thomas Carnevale, managing director of Asian Trails Myanmar.

Yangon, Myanmar. Credit: 123rf

But the biggest benefit for hoteliers there is not the greater volume, but the diversification in tourist segments, thus lessening risks.

Scheduled to open in 2017, Sheraton Yangon Hotel will mark Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide’s entry into Myanmar and is already raking up interest among the business travel segment.

“Although we are still in the pre-opening phase, we have already received enquiries on the hotel from our MICE as well as corporate clients,” said Lothar Pehl, senior vice president, operations and global initiatives at Starwood.

Meanwhile, Trafalgar Travel is expecting more well-heeled and seasoned travellers seeking localised experiences in Myanmar.

“They will be discerning, PMEBs, 35 to 50 year-olds who are looking for not just discovery, but to enjoy the best of the destination with enriched local experiences at the hands of an expert,” said Nick Lim, president of Trafalgar.

Source: TTG Asia

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