Myanmar Strikes While Visa-Free Iron is Hot

With visa exemption between Myanmar and Singapore coming into effect from December 1, Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM) held the destination’s first B2B roadshow in Singapore last Friday, intent on casting a wider net in the city-state.

Myanmar’s minister of hotel and tourism Ohn Maung said: “I expect a 35 per cent increase in Singaporeans travelling to Myanmar, if we successfully promote the variety of tourist attractions the country has to offer.”

Part of MTM’s strategy to make this a reality is to drive demand for the traditional low season (June to September), promote attractions beyond its temples and culture and highlight lesser-known areas easily accessible from core destinations such as Bagan and Yangon.

“We have witnessed a surge of Singaporean travellers and look forward to this growing,” said MTM chairperson May Myat Mon Win. “We’d like to dispel some myths about the country. It’s not true that you can only visit Myanmar during the dry season. In fact, Myanmar’s best-kept secret is the green season from June till September.”

Added Edwin Briels, managing director of Khiri Travel Myanmar and executive committee member of MTM: “Singaporeans still have an image of Myanmar as maybe a little too cultural and boring, but it has something for everybody. It’s not only about temples, but also about food, fun, trekking, golfing and going around the whole country.”

Also capitalising on the visa waiver is Myanmar National Airlines, which launched additional services on its Singapore-Yangon route on December 1. Patrick Chia, sales manager of its Singapore GSA, Discover the World, said demand for the route has been “very good” and expects this to continue through the year-end into the Chinese Lunar New Year period.

The roadshow, which brought to Singapore a delegation of 12 hospitality and tourism organisations, coincided with Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Singapore.

MTM will also organise its first Myanmar Tourism Festival, a B2C event and roadshow featuring folk games, food and cultural activities in Singapore next month in conjunction with ATF 2017.

As of August 2016, more than 32,000 Singaporeans visited Myanmar, an increase of 18 per cent from the same period last year, according to figures from MTM. In 2015, 43,000 Singaporeans visited Myanmar.


Source: TTG Asia

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