Italians invest US$3.2million in Kawthoung hotel

An Italian company has been granted permission to develop a hotel project worth US$3.2million in Tanintharyi Region’s Kawthoung district, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

The move will be carried out under a joint venture – Myanmar Green Century – with a local company, DICA’s director U Kyaw Win Tun told The Myanmar Times.

Myanmar Green Century will build a hotel across 6.8 hectares of land on Kyun Mei Gyi island in Bokepyin township in Kawthoung, he said.

“There have been no investments from Italy for a long time. Now, Italy is preparing to re-enter Myanmar’s tourism industry so it is a good sign for tourism businesses,” said U Aung Tun Lin, chair of the Myanmar Tourist Guides Association, adding that Kawthoung has not been a popular tourist spot for Italians in the past.

But the Italians appear to be showing more interest in Myanmar tourism. Last year, Milan-based Neos Spa, an Italian airline, began Boeing 767 flights to Myanmar, becoming the first airline to fly from Europe to the country. The flight, which operates once a week, stops over in Phu Quoc, Vietnam before landing at Yangon International Airport.

Some 9690 travellers from Italy visited Myanmar during the seven months between January and July, up 22 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Although the joint venture has received permission from the Myanmar Investment Commission to operate hotels in Kawthoung, it has yet to submit details on the development said U Arkar Tun, assistant director of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism in Kawthoung.

Kawthoung, which was known in the past as Victoria Point, is Myanmar’s southernmost town. Kawthoung is also the starting point for all Myanmar-based cruises and daytrips to the Myeik Archipelago, which is a popular diving destination and sees more than 300,000 tourists per year, mostly from neighbouring Thailand.

The islands most popular with tourists are Nacleod Island (Jhayin Khwa Island), Tha Ye Island, Cock Comb Island, Lampi Island, Nyaung Oo Phee Island, Hlaing Gu Island, Done Waterfall and Bo Cho Island, according to tourism entrepreneurs.

“The travelling cost to Myeik is so high due to the lack of tourism infrastructure. It is a good thing for the hotel industry to develop,” one local entrepreneur said.

Currently, there are more than 10 travel agencies running in Kawthoung district and about nine hotels with a total of 500 rooms permitted, according to the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.

Source: Myanmar Times

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