New management for Mercure Mandalay Hill hotels

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Staff welcoming guests at Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel. Phyo Wai Kyaw / The Myanmar Times

LP Holding Co., Ltd has signed a management agreement which will see French multinational hotel group AccorHotels take over the management of Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay Hill MGallery by Sofitel and Pullman Yangon Centrepoint at the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel.

Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel, situated at the foot of Mandalay Hill, is one of the leading hotels in Mandalay and will return to the AccorHotels fold as Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel. In addition, a new hotel, the Mandalay Hill MGallery by Sofitel, will be built to adjoin to the Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort, while Centrepoint Grand Hotel Yangon will be rebranded as Pullman Yangon Centrepoint.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant partnership with AccorHotels and combines the expertise of a truly global hospitality company with strong local market expertise.

“Myanmar is one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia since lifting of sanctions,” said Lertsak Nopburanand, director of LP Holding Co.,Ltd.

The Mandalay Hill Resort opened in 1995 under Accor’s global brand Novotel. After EU sanctions were imposed in 2002, Accor relinquished both Novotel Mandalay and Sofitel Project Yangon.

The Novotel Mandalay hotel then came under the management of its owners, LP Holding Co.,Ltd, as the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel.

The Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort is set in 11 acres of garden and boasts some 206 rooms with restaurants and bars, conference room, banquet centre, spa and fitness centre.

The hotel offers a spectacular view of Mandalay Hill, the Royal Palace, the famous Ayeyarwady River and the city of Mandalay, once the Royal Capital of Myanmar.

The new development, Mandalay Hill MGallery by Sofitel, will be located in the grounds of this hotel and will comprise 120 guest rooms and villas with a restaurant and bar. Additionally a 1000-seat banquet centre will be built to accommodate the growing market of corporate conventions, meetings and wedding events in Mandalay.

The Pullman Yangon Centrepoint is part of Centrepoint Towers, a mixed-use development which includes high-end retail boutiques and a premium office tower. The hotel is located near Yangon’s Supreme Court building and the famous Independence Monument Park.

“Given the lack of internationally-branded, quality rooms in the market, particularly in Mandalay, Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort, Mandalay Hill MGallery by Sofitel and Pullman Yangon Centrepoint are in a great position to take advantage of this undersupplied yet growing market and ride the economic development of Myanmar”, said Lertsak Nopburanand.

Source : Myanmar Times

Mrauk-U airport to be built by tender: minister

The Rakhine State government will invite tenders for the construction of an airport in Mrauk-U, U Kyaw Aye Thein, state Planning and Finance Minister said.

He told The Myanmar Times that the decision to put the airport project out to tender was due to insufficient funds in the state’s budget which allocated K2 billion a year for the project.

Work on the airport started in 2015 but it would take another 10 more years if the government relied solely on state funds to build it, he said.

“We can only spend K2 billion a year on the airport construction. Actually we need K26 billion to complete the whole project, that’s why we decided to tender it out to companies that want to undertake the project,” said U Kyaw Aye Thein.

“The airport can be completed in three years if it is undertaken by the tender winner. It will boost tourism and the economy in Mrauk-U region,” he added.

Mrauk-U is currently accessible by river and road via Sittwe.

U Kyaw Aye Thein also said the location of airport will be away from the ancient archaeological zone.

The airport site is about 10 kilometres from Mrauk-U, between the town and Minbya beside the Sittwe-Yangon highway.
“It is out of ancient archaeological zone,” he said.

There are more than 1500 historical pagodas, some more than 800 years old, in the ancient city of Mrauk-U and the government is bidding for UNESCO world heritage status for the temple zone.

Hoteliers, meanwhile, support the move to build an airport soon in Mrauk-U, and said it would develop the tourism industry and improve the lives of the local population.

“Transportation is very important to attract visitors. Experts say it will take only 18 minutes to Mrauk-U by air from Bagan,” U Hla Myint, founder of Mrauk-U Princess Hotel, told The Myanmar Times.

“The potential for tourism development in Mrauk-U is tremendous, and an airport will help greatly,” he said.

There are six hotels and 13 guest houses in Mrauk-U township.

More than 4000 international tourists visit Mrauk-U every year.

Source : Myanmar Times

Residents and social organisations want to build new jetty in Inle Lake

Visitors take a boat trip in Inle Lake, Nyaungshwe Township.

Inle Lake residents and social organisations want to implement a new jetty project in Inle Lake, Nyaungshwe Township, according to an official from the Save The Inle Lake organisation.

Inle Lake has attracted more tourists, both domestically and internationally, but problems have been reported in the use of motorboats because of the declining water level.

Although most visitors use motorboats to travel to floating villages, the water level has decreased too much in Inle Lake. Vessel walls are being built for the water channels, but construction of the walls has affected the transportation of lake dwellers and visitors by motorboats.

Construction of a new jetty could be built on the west bank of Inle Lake about three miles away from Nyaung Shwe Township. After the jetty is completed, visitors’ travelling would not only be more convenient, but export of agricultural goods from the lake such as tomatoes would also be easier.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

New Nyaung Chaung Thar beach open

File photo shows the sunset over the Ayeyawady river.

New Nyaung Chaung Thar Beach, which does not allow the beach-goers to stay overnight, was opened in Nyaungdon township, Ayeyawaday region on Wednesday, it is learnt.
“Nyaung Chuang Thar Beach, which was opened in 2012, was moved to a place near Bo Myat Tun and Ayeyawady (Nyaungdon) bridges because there was a high risk of death from drowning,” said a Hluttaw representative form Nyaungdon township, Ayeyawady region.
“The old Nyaung Chaung Thar Beach is very deep. It is dangerous for the visitors. We have chosen the sand flat where the visitors can bathe in the water safely and where visitors from Yangon and Pathein can make a day’s trip,” said Daw Ni Ni Moe, Ayeyawady region Hluttaw representative.
“Nyaung Chuang Thar Beach is open from 5 January to 31 May. We have allowed 60 shops to open around the beach,” said an employee from Nyaungdon township development affairs department.
“The new Nyaung Chaugn Thar Beach is under the control of the Nyaungdon township development affairs department.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Martyrs’ Mausoleum gets an upgrade

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Martyrs’ Mausoleum is under renovation in Yangon on June 16. ( Kaung Htet / The Myanmar Times)

Amid hopes that President U Htin Kyaw himself might attend, ambitious preparations are going forward to mark the 69th anniversary of Martyrs’ Day on July 19, including plans to renovate Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon before the ceremony. The mausoleum was built to honour the national heroes assassinated in 1947, including Bogyoke Aung San, Mahn Ba Khaing and U Razak.

U Nay Win, deputy head of the Department of Engineering (Building) of Yangon City Development Committee, told The Myanmar Times yesterday that the large-scale renovation was being carried out on the instructions of the Union government.

“We usually renovate the mausoleum before Martyrs’ Day, but this year we will undertake large-scale repairs. Architects are drawing up new designs, which we will implement pending a decision from the Union level,” he said, adding that the proposed design entailed decorating the rocks with images of the nation’s martyrs.

On June 6, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein met with YCDC committee members and chief engineers at the mausoleum to discuss the renovation plans. The government will soon set up an organising committee to decide who should be invited to the event.

U Zaw Htay, the spokesperson for the President’s Office, said no decision had been taken yet to invite the nationwide ceasefire agreement signatory groups, and it was not known whether the president himself would appear. It would be the first such appearance by a Union president.

However, the spokesperson was quoted in The Voice Daily on June 15 saying that the government intended to invite ethnic armed groups to attend the Martyrs’ Day ceremony.

The ethnic armed groups could not be reached for comment on the matter.

Last year, vice president Sai Mauk Kham attended the ceremony in Yangon, the highest-ranking official to have attended the ceremony.

Source : Myanmar Times

TRANSITION COMPLETE

 

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Outgoing President U Thein Sein hands over insignia of the presidency to incoming President U Htin Kyaw at the ceremony to hand over the duties of presidency. Photo: MNA

President U Htin Kyaw took his oath of office at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw yesterday. Afterward, he delivered the inaugural speech in which he said his government will strive to amend the current constitution, which was passed in the referendum in 2008.
“I am responsible for the emergence of a constitution that will be in accord with the democratic norms suited to our country. I am also aware that I need to be patient in realising this political objective, for which the people have long aspired,” said the president.
He said his government will seek to implement four policies: national reconciliation; internal peace; the emergence of a constitution that will produce a democratic, federal union; and the improvement of the quality of life of the majority of the people.
Following the swearing-in ceremony at the parliament, a ceremony marking the handover of presidential duties from outgoing President U Thein Sein to incoming President U Htin Kyaw was held at the Credentials Hall of the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw.
During the ceremony, President U Thein Sein presented his successor with official documents, a gold sash and a presidential insignia. After the ceremony, outgoing President U Thein Sein cordially greeted incoming President U Htin Kyaw. The two vice presidents, U Myint Swe and U Henry Van Thio, were also sworn in at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw yesterday.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the ruling National League for Democracy, was also sworn in yesterday together with other Union ministers and officials.
Suu Kyi will lead four ministries: foreign affairs, education, electric & energy and the President’s Office.
Mahn Jonny, the new chief minister of Ayeyawady Region, told reporters that the NLD-led government is ready to work in the interests of the people. He added that he will work to strengthen the rule of law as a priority.—GNLM

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

AccorHotels plans six new properties in Myanmar

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A car leaves Accor’s Yangon Novotel hotel. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar TimesA car leaves Accor’s Yangon Novotel hotel. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar Times

This would take its Myanmar portfolio to nine hotels, demonstrating considerable confidence in the future of the country’s nascent tourism industry.

The Ministry of Tourism targets 6 million international visitors to Myanmar this year, including day-trippers and traders crossing the country’s land borders.

“We anticipate strong demand for midscale and upscale accommodation with international service standards given the country’s fast growth and its continued increase in international visitors,” Victor Pang, vice president of development for AccorHotels in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, told The Myanmar Times on March 24.

“Additionally, Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake and Muse are key destinations for both domestic and international travellers.”

Muse – which borders Ruili in Yunnan province – is Myanmar’s biggest border post for trade with China.

First to be built will be the 160-room Ibis Styles Yangon Stadium hotel later this year, followed next year by the Pullman Mandalay Mingalar with 356 rooms and the 100-room MGallery Inle Lake Myat Min.

In 2018 the Ibis Styles Mandalay Centre will open with 268 rooms, and the Ibis Styles Muse will open with 200 rooms. The 300-room Pullman Yangon Myat Min will open in 2019.

AccorHotels operates and manages hotels under various brands, including Sofitel Legend, Sofitel, SO Sofitel, MGallery and others in 92 countries, said Mr Pang.

Since returning to Myanmar in 2013, the company has opened the Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw, Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min and Novotel Yangon Max.

Source : Myanmar Times

Viet Nam’s Viettel becomes 4th JV telecom operator in Myanmar

Viet Nam-based Viettel was chosen as fourth telecom operator with joint venture system with 11 local public companies and Star Height Public Co Ltd, announced today by Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Viettal owns 49 per cent of the stakes while a group of local public companies shares make a total of 51 per cent.

With an initial investment of US$300 million,  the fourth telecom operator would operate 2G and 3GNetworks.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

U Pein bridge repair set to begin soon

DSC_1405-copy-1U Pein Bridge in Mandalay.

RENOVATIONS of the U Pein Bridge, a more than 160-year-old tourist attraction in Mandalay, will begin soon, said an official from the Department of Archaeology and National Museum.
The bridge will be renovated by the Myanmar Teak Wood Company under the supervision of the Mandalay Region government and the Department of Archaeology and National Museum, said Director U Nyo Myint Tun of the department.
“Renovation works will be carried out in accord with suggestions by historians, experts and local people,” added the director.
The renovation works include replacement of decayed teak pillars with new ones and installing wooden bridge guardrail in original form and minor repairs.  The bridge with 1,086 pillars is 3,967 feet long.
According to sources, the regional government spent K13.4 million on bridge repairs over the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Aung Thant Khaing

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Top priority given to Mt. Khakaborazi for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

AMONG Myanmar’s bid for seven places to be inscribed on the list of World Heritage Site, Mount Khakaborazi is given top priority to win UNESCO’s recognition, according to the UNESCO’s national project coordinator.
The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry is conducting surveys on the biodiversity of Mt. Khakaborazi and its adjacent areas in cooperation with UNESCO, said Daw Ohnmar Myo, national project coordinator of UNESCO.
Located in Putao of Kachin State in northern Myanmar, Mt. Khakaborazi is the highest peak in Southeast Asia with estimated 19,296 feet in height.
The mountain was first ascended in 1996 by Takashi Ozaki, a Japanese mountaineer, and Nyama Gyaltsen, a local.
A team of mountaineers from Nature’s Call Foundation, University Hiking and Mountaineering Association scaled the mountain and the two climbers conquered Mt. Khakaborazi.
Six others in the world heritage tentative list are Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary, Ayeyawady Dolphin, Nat Ma Taung (Mt. Victoria), Taninthayi nature reserve, Inndawgyi Lake and Myeik Archipelago.
The national project coordinator stressed the need for cooperation between officials concerned and local people to ensure the seven nominations qualified for inclusion on the list of world heritage.
In Myanmar, three ancient cities—Thayekhittaya near Pyay, Beikthano near Taungdwingyi and Hanlin near Shwebo— had been designated as world heritage sites.
The Ministry of Culture and organisations concerned are trying to get the Bagan archaeological area and monuments to be listed as a World Heritage site.

Ko Moe
Source : Global New Light of Myanmar