Hoteliers in Myanmar to invest more in tourism this year

Hoteliers in Myanmar are making efforts to make more investment in the hotels and tourism sector this new year in the light of revival of the sector after a decline in the number of tourist arrivals in the previous years.

“Despite drop in tourist arrivals in 2007 and 2008, it rose apparently in 2009,” hoteliers said on Friday.

With the picking up of the number of tourist arrivals in 2009 and its probable increase over 2010, the available number of big hotels in the country may be far from meeting the travelers’ demand, the hoteliers doubted.

Yangon received a high number of over 7,000 world tourists monthly in some of the months last year.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the number of tourists arrivals in Myanmar through the Yangon International Airport increased by over 20,000 in the first half (April- September) of the fiscal year 2009-10, registering 111,044 as compared with the same period of 2008-09’s 83,047.

Travellers mostly came from Asian countries, North America and East European countries.

The tourist arrivals once fell in 2008 especially in the months after deadly cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in early May of the year.

Myanmar has been striving for the revival of tourism industry amid hard time when the country was in a process of rehabilitation after storm and the global economy was experiencing a downturn over the past two years.

To reach a target of bringing in 1 million foreign tourists in the present 2009-10, the ministry is making efforts to promote its international tourism market in cooperation with international and domestic airlines, tour operators and some travel agencies.

Besides, domestic travel agencies, airlines and hotels are urged to play their active role in the move for attracting more tourists to the country.

According to the ministry, of a total of 652 hotels in the country, 35 are being operated under foreign investment, mostly from Singapore, Thailand, Japan and China’s Hong Kong.

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