Monthly Archives: March 2015

Green light for new airport

Department of Civil Aviation says Hanthawaddy International Airport project should open by 2020, one year after the earlier target date due to delays in bidding.

New Light of Myanmar media quoted the DCA general director, U Win Swe Tun, as saying Myanmar would borrow from Japan to pay for the project  located in Pegu district.

The ODA loan, with a low-interest rate, is estimated to be around USD700 million, which is equivalent to about 50% of the value of the project.

“Besides, loans from development banks will also be injected into the project,” the official government newspaper said.

The USD1.4 billion project will be constructed on more than 9,000 acres where the Japanese army built an air base during World War II.

Hanthawaddy International Airport is the largest of three airport projects being undertaken to serve the boom in foreign travel to Myanmar.

The contract to build Hanthawaddy International Airport in Pegu district has now been awarded to a Japanese and Singaporean consortium comprising Yongnam, Changi Airport Planners and Engineers and JGC Corporation.

Located 48 miles north-east of Yangon, the airport will be able to handle up to 12 million passengers a year.

It will take about 90 minutes for passengers to transfer from Yangon to the airport once it opens.

Source : TTR Weekly

Bagan to add night mall

Myanmar Restaurant Association says a night mall will be opened in Bagan to provide better shopping and products for visitors.

Eleven Myanmar reported the story initially and quoted the association’s chairman, Tint Swe, as saying that the night mall would offer traditional handicrafts, regional products and clothes as well as traditional food to visitors.

The night mall was an initiative of a regional minister. The association said it is also considering a similar project in Nyaung U, a township in Mandalay if the Bagan mall works.

“We have already submitted our plan to the district authority, to open a night mall at the Shwezigon Pagoda. (Mandalay). We plan to open the mall in 2016. We haven’t received the official permission yet.”

Bagan has more than 100 restaurants and about 80 are members of the association. Some will become part of the night mall.

There are concerns that commercial ventures in Bagan could hinder the proposal for UNESCO listing, if ventures are approved near the historical pagodas.

The chairman said the township needs more quality restaurants and shops.

Bagan is an ancient city located in Mandalay Region  and is now one of the main attractions for visitors.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the region is home to 144 hotels, motels and inns with nearly 6,000 rooms.

Source : TTR Weekly

Tours to Myeik islands ‘still costly’

Trips to Myeik Archipelago are too costly and also in need of infrastructure, according to local tour agencies.

“The plane ticket to Myeik is around US$200. There are no ferryboats to the isles and travellers need to spend more on hiring private boats. So the transportation charges alone cost about US$500. Together with accommodation fees, the cost goes up to US$800,” said Noun Noun Han, general secretary of the Union of Myanmar Travel Association.

Further, the hotel charges in the area are not budget-friendly. Myeik Archipelago still retains its nature which attracts foreign tourists. There are only a few tour agencies in service.

Kayinkwa Island and Zardatgyi Island are must-visit places to see the lifestyle of indigenous Salon people.

Source : Eleven Myanmar

New beach resorts planned for Myanmar

The Mon State government has approved the development of a hotel zone on an eight-mile stretch of pristine coastline.

The Irrawaddy news channel quoted the state’s Planning and Economics Minister, Min Nwe Soe, as saying  the project would be managed by the domestic firm Aurun Co Ltd.

The project will be implemented in three phases over the next two years in Kabyar Wa, just south of the capital Moulmein, the minister said.

“This area is still in its natural condition, not damaged by people, and it has beautiful bays suitable to develop the tourism industry.”

The project was officially approved in September last year, and phase one of infrastructural development will begin soon. Phases two and three are expected to be complete by the end of 2017, according to Aurun Co Ltd, which is a mining company according to the report.

The company managing director, Htay Thwin, said that his firm expects to spend on USD12 million on infrastructure and a few small initial developments, and will partner with international companies to build about 100 luxury villas, several three-star hotels and restaurants and other resort facilities.

The company is now having discussions with firms from Thailand, Singapore, Australia and Europe to be joint venture partners in individual properties under the project.

Kabyar Wa is recognised as one of Mon State’s most spectacular beaches, but lacks transport and communications infrastructure

A further obstacle to development has been the presence of government troops, as the area was designated as a “black zone” which is off-limits to foreign tourists.

The state is home to an ethnic armed resistance group, the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA), which has long been at odds with the government, though a new ceasefire deal was reached in February 2012.

Source : TTR Weekly

Myanmar approves commercial helicopters

Myanmar’s Civil Aviation Department recently granted Air Myanmar Aviation Service permission to operate the first-ever commercial helicopter service.

The Xinhua news agency reported the company would use two AS350 B3 helicopters for charters, survey flights and medical evacuation.

“Myanmar is upgrading its aviation business as tourist arrivals in the country grow year-on-year,” the report said, but omitting to mention that the helicopter service would have minimal application for the country’s tourism industry.

According to statistics, tourist arrivals increased year by year, reaching 3.05 million in 2014, up from 2.04 million in 2013.

Source : TTR Weekly