Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ecotourism zone, hotel zone and religious zone to build in Mon State, Lower Myanmar

Ecotourism zone, heritage zone and hotel zone will be established in the Mottama mountain ranges in Mon State, according to Dr. Min Nwe Soe of the Mon State Minister on June 11.

“The ancient city, Mottamawari, has beautiful scenery and unique attractions for tourists,” experts told a ecotourism workshop in Mottama.

There are many things to study out of the city’s wall. Moreover, Mottama mountain range is not too high and therefore, it is suitable place to develop hotels.

Maesot-Mawlamyine direct flight will be launched in this September. Mottama will be the key route for Mawlamyine-Kyaikhteeyoe.

“History says it was a place where a Thai princess settled down with a Mon merchant. So it could attract visitors from Thailand. Plus, historic sites like Dhammaadei and temples could bring more historians for their interest,” Dr.Min Nwe Soe continued.

Mottama hotel zone is making preparation works on building hotels on the mountain range, and inscribing in Myanmar and English languages on billboards about the history of the places of interest. Respective departments such as Hotels and Tourism, City Development Committee, Health and Fire Brigade are helping business men who want to construct hotels, motels and inns in carrying out their work.

Moreover, there are holding of workshops and seminars on booming of tourism industry and implementing the outcome, planning on drawing of Tourism master plan in Mon state and arrangements on legislation for the Mon State coordinating with the Union Department of Hotels and Tourism is undertaking at present.

Source : elevenmyanmar.com

Tourism industry will play an important role

If the implementation of reform process continues, tourism industry will play the major role of the country’s furture economy, creating job opportunities for Myanmar people, according to the experts. 

The tourists’ arrival to Myanmar has increased yearly according to the statistics.

Changes in the political arena called the attentions of the international tourists since 2011. Tourists’ arrival to Myanmar reached over a million for the first time in 2012. And now in 2013, the tourists’ arrival is up compared with that in 2012.

Addressing the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw on June 6, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung said that the Tourism Master Plan as the roadmap for sustainable tourism development in Myanmar aims the arrival of tourists will reach about 7.5 million in 2020. About 1.4 million job opportunities will be created if the country continues to implement economic, political and social reforms, he said.

Tourism will be the main pillar for Myanmar’s economy and it will create job opportunities for the people, including for those living in underprivileged areas of the country, said Stephen Groff, vice-chairman of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Asian Development Bank (ABD) and Norway will provide Myanmar US$500 million to upgrade its tourism industry, said Htay Aung, Minister for Hotels and Tourism on Thursday at the World Economic Forum on East Asia.

“The ADB and Norway will help implementation of the plan. The master plan includes both short-term and long-term plans. Among the projects, 21 are the crucial,” said Minister Htay Aung.

In 2012, tourist arrivals have remarkably increased leading to the need for the number of tourist guides, hotel staff and other hotel related jobs’ vacancy. Now the tourism industry becomes a popular job for the youth.

Investors from Asia and Europe to in Myanmar tourism industry has also risen. Some projects for tourism sector did not go ahead in the past due to various reasons. But, the tourism businesses are now getting back on the track.

Our project will create thousands of job opportunities for the locals, helping to fulfill millions of dollars to the Yangon’s annual budget, said Dong Nguyen Duc of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group of Vietnam who made investment in hotels and economic infrastructure.

The tourism industry saw difficulties in 2007 and at that time the youths working in the hotels and tourism fields left Myanmar and went abroad to see jobs, it is reported.

Source : elevenmyanmar.com

$500m to help Myanmar tourism plan

The Asian Development Bank (ABD) and Norway are to help Myanmar implement a US$500 million plan to upgrade its tourism industry the Minister for Hotels and Tourism announced on Thursday at the World Economic Forum on East Asia.
“ADB and Norway will help implementation of the plan. The master plan includes both short-term and long-term plans. Among the projects, 21 are the crucial,” said Minister Htay Aung.
The master plan includes projects such as upgrading Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports to receive international flights, upgrading jetties at Bagan for improved water transport there, and building roads in Ngapali and Inle regions. However, the benefits and drawbacks of the tourism development must be balanced.
“We have completed a master plan which includes 38 projects. While trying to develop the tourism industry, the possible consequences must also be taken into consideration,” said Htay Aung.
Myanmar has witnessed an influx of foreign tourists after it initiated a series of political and economic reforms in 2011. The number of tourists to Myanmar significantly rose to 1.06 million in 2012. By 2020, some 7.5 million tourists are expected to visit Myanmar, earning $10.1 billion from the industry and creating 1.4 million jobs.
“Tourism will become an essential economic pillar of Myanmar, providing jobs for the Myanmar people as well as for those who live in poor areas,” said Stephen Groff, Vice Chairperson of the Asian Development Bank.

Source : elevenmyanmar.com

Myanmar joins move for common Asean visa

Ministers and tourism authorities of Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Secretary of Tourism of the Philippines have expressed their intention to collaborate with relevant government agencies and other stakeholders to facilitate travel in the region by developing a common smart visa system.

Together, they signed the “Statement of Intent on SMART Visa” today at the 22nd World Economic Forum on East Asia.

“By signing this letter of intent, ministers and tourism authorities agree to work hand-in-hand for the implementation of this system, whose objective will be that of eliminating those barriers to the movement of tourists which are currently creating disincentives to travel. Such objectives will be achieved in close coordination with the governmental entities in each of their respective countries,” said U Htay Aung, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar. The statement of intent forms a part of joint efforts to improve growth of the national and regional travel and tourism sectors along with social integration.

More specifically, ministers of tourism have agreed to collaborate on working towards the Asean Common Visa initiative as called upon by leaders at the Asean Summit, which took place in Jakarta in November 2011. It also builds on the single visa scheme for tourism travel between Cambodia and Thailand, which was implemented on 1 January 2013. Progressive relaxation and an Asean common visa would also benefit non-ASEAN nationals who intend to visit the Asean countries.

According to Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, “Considering that tourism is a priority sector under the Asean Economic Community and that it constitutes a significant contribution to the integration of Asean countries, it is important to be ‘smart’ about visa facilitation for travel.” Given the experience of other countries and regions, it is expected that Asean countries will also experience the positive impact of implementing a smart visa on the growth of the tourism sector, increased investments in the travel and tourism industry, and job creation.

“By recognising the importance of the connectivity in tourism activities, the statement of intent expresses our desire to give a boost to the tourism sector by facilitating the movement of tourists across borders; by going towards a smart visa through adopting best practices; and maximising the use of technology to reduce the inefficiencies of the traditional visa application process,” stated Ramon R. Jimenez Jr, Secretary of Tourism of the Philippines.

The statement of intent was signed during the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism High-Level meeting held today under the theme “Building Myanmar’s Travel & Tourism Industry: Driving Growth and Job Creation”. “Facilitating travel to stimulate economic growth and job creation is one of the pillars of the summit, and is a core activity of the Forum’s Industry Partners and Members of the Global Agenda Council on New Models for Travel & Tourism,” said Thea Chiesa, Director, World Economic Forum.

Over 900 participants from 55 countries are taking part in the World Economic Forum on East Asia, which is being held for the first time in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The meeting welcomes over 100 public figures representing 15 countries, including heads of state or government of Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam. More than 550 business leaders, over 60 Global Growth Companies and nearly 300 young leaders from Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers communities, together with other members of civil society, academia and media are convening to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Myanmar and East Asia today.

Source : elevenmyanmar.com

Myanmar launches branding campaign

Myanmar on Wednesday inaugurates the first global nation-branding campaign to promote its tourism industry.

The inauguration takes place on the sideline of the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2013, taking place in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw.

At the press conference at 3pm, Soe Thane, minister for President’s Office, will give journalists the opportunity to view the 30-second TV commercial before it is rolled out on June 7 on peak-time BBC World News and Channel News Asia.

The campaign is supported by a consortium of hoteliers in Myanmar. It is aimed at raising the profile of Myanmar abroad by creating a brand image for the country. A number of different elements make up the initiative.

Source : elevenmyanmar.com

Myanmar hosts World Economic Forum

Hundreds of global leaders and business delegates gather in the capital Nay Pyi Taw today as Myanmar hosts the 22nd World Economic Forum for East Asia from the 5th to the 7th of June.

More than 550 business leaders, over 60 Global Growth Companies, nearly 300 leaders from Young Global Leaders initiative, together with members of civil society, academia and the media will be convening to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Myanmar and East Asia today.

“The Forum offers a platform to forge new partnerships among governments, business and civil society. Together, they will leverage their collective creativity, capacity and capital to address the most pressing economic and societal challenges in new ways,” said Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Senior Director of Asia at the World Economic Forum.

President Thein Sein as well as opposition leader, Aung San Su Kyi, alongside other prominent heads of state from across the region will be taking part in the gathering.

“Only by coming together and having frank discussions is it possible to build trust and understanding of how to address key development challenges – such as creating jobs, improving education, ensuring better healthcare and enhancing regional connectivity,” added Mr. Palakurthi Rao.

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) has provided aircraft rental services for the convenience of international delegates, according to reports. Myanmar is hosting the Forum to gain business opportunities and share knowledge and experiences of leading economists, according to a press release from the President’s Office.

Ministers Soe Thein and Tin Naing Thein will lead the World Economic Forum on East Asia-2013 Observance Committee, which is comprised of ministers and representatives from various bodies. These include the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Myanmar Tourism Industry Federation, the Tourism Entrepreneurs Association and the Myanmar Market Promoting Committee.

Source : elevenmyanmar.com

German tourism foundation to provide assistance for Myanmar

Hanns Seidel Foundation, a Germany-based foundation will provide technical and financial assistance to Myanmar for the development of its tourism sector, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism said.

The foundation has signed an MoU with the ministry on May 30 on the assistance which is expected to be a long-term process.

Hanns Seidel is one of the leading non-profit political organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany, founded in 1966.

And the government is also working on a special tourism plan named “Tourism Master Plan” with financial assistance from Norway’s government and technical assistance from Asia Development Bank.

The country’s tourism sector is clearly on its way up, with more and more foreign tourists expected to visit in coming years.

And it is currently experiencing rapid growth as a result of recent political and economic reforms.

The official data showed over 250,000 foreign tourists visited the country from January to April this year, 44 per cent up from the previous year.

Source : www.elevenmyanmar.com