Mandalay to install fountains

Mandalay City Development Committee plans to install water fountains at points on the town’s moats that surrounded what was once a vast palace and gardens right in the heart of the city.

Global New Light of Myanmar media reported that the MCDC will turn the town into a garden city. The fountains are the first step and should be installed by mid-2016.

The water fountain will be 183 feet long and 100 feet high. Seven types of water fountains will be built controlled by a computer software that changes the character of the spray and controls volume.

The committee expects the project will make Mandalay more attractive for visitors and improve the ambience of the town from a tourism perspective.

Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar after Yangon.  The Royal Palace and gardens were destroyed by fire by British colonial forces in the last century. Gardens have been restored and there are replicas of some of the royal palace buildings.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism forecasts international tourist arrivals to Mandalay will reach 500,000 visits this year.

The city attracted 464,577 foreign tourists in 2014, an increase of 60,385 over the previous year. Most of the tourists came from China, South Korea and Japan.

Source : TTR Weekly

MNA recruits marketing gurus

Myanmar National Airlines has hired an Arizona-based firm, Discover the World, to do its marketing and sales work from Singapore.

Irrawaddy media reported that Discover the World would market the Singapore flight and offer business class passengers ground services on arrival at Yangon that would fast track them through immigration to a waiting limousine.

MNA CEO, Than Tun, was quoted saying “Singapore is the first destination where we plan to expand using new B-737-800 aircraft.”

“Since we have daily flights between Singapore and Yangon, we need a partner with experience to help us increase brand awareness. Discover the World fits the bill.”

inside no 1Discover the World has a network of 85 offices in more than 60 countries.

It conducts marketing support for 90 clients mainly in the travel industry.

Myanmar National Airlines has its roots in Union of Burma Airways founded in 1948. Initially offering only domestic routes, it later expanded to serve Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Singapore, but those routes were suspended in the early 1990s due to the airline’s poor management, safety issues and its inability to compete effectively with airlines from neighbouring countries

It reasserted itself last year with a new management and an expansion plan to serve regional destinations as the national airline of Myanmar.

The airline also expects to expand international routes to Hong Kong and Taiwan this year.

Source & Photo : TTR Weekly

MNA to Hong Kong


Myanmar tourism maintains pace

Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says tourist arrivals to the country are on the pace to reach a target of 4.5 million visitors this year.

The government’s official media outlet, Gobal New Light of Myanmar, quoted Hotels and Tourism Minister U Htay Aung saying foreign tourist arrivals, as of September, surpassed the figure of 3.08 million achieved in 2014.

However, he did not elaborate on the the specific number of visitors that Myanmar has received to date this year. According to a ministry report, released earlier, the country attracted 2.5 million visits by mid-August.

The minister noted: “If Myanmar continues to maintain this growth, the arrivals will reach 4.5 million by the end of this year.

inside no 1“Tourist arrivals to the country by plane, or through border crossings, will continue to rise as the peak tourist season has now set in,” he added.

Last year, the country attracted 3.08 million international tourist arrivals, an increase of 50.73% from 2.04 million visits in 2013.

However, industry comments that the ministry is counting day visitors would cast doubt on the accuracy of the figures supplied on so-called genuine tourists.

Technically, the ministry recognises the UNWTO definition that identifies a tourist as a person who visits a country for at least 24-hours.

Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee earlier urged the government to introduce a data collection system to ensure that data is accurate and can be used to assist the industry to focus its marketing efforts.

At the time, it was stated the Ministry was counting day trips.

Source : TTR Weekly

Sedona Yangon largest in town

Sedona Hotel Yangon, owned by Singapore’s Keppel Land, soft opened its new Inya Wing, Thursday, following a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Hotels and Tourism, U Htay Aung.

The new 29-storey Inya Wing features an additional 431 rooms and suites, along with a grand lobby with a high-end retail gallery connecting the new tower to the existing building.

The interiors of the new wing feature traditional Burmese art infused with modern Asian influences.

Speaking at the ceremony, Keppel Land president of regional investments, Ng Ooi Hoo, said: “Today, we open the doors to exciting new experiences and raising the benchmark in hospitality in Myanmar.”

Minister, Htay Aung, responded: “As Myanmar’s growth progresses on track, we are heartened that leading international developers like Keppel Land are expanding and upgrading their hospitality developments to meet the growing needs of tourists.”

He noted that tourist arrivals are estimated to reach 5 million this year and 7.5 million by 2020.

“Apart from its hospitality business, we are heartened that Keppel Land is also bringing its experience and expertise in developing prime office developments to Yangon in collaboration with the Shwe Taung Group,” the minister said. “I am confident that the new office tower in the Junction City development will be another significant landmark in downtown Yangon.”

Sedona Hotel Yangon is a 20-minute drive away from the international airport and the city centre.

It is also close p to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda and Inya Lake.

The existing hotel wing features 366 newly upgraded guest rooms and suites along with several dining options, executive club rooms and a fitness centre with a swimming pool, sauna and steam bath.

Inya Wing is linked to the existing hotel block via a new retail arcade and an elevated podium that houses a terrace featuring a swimming pool, fitness centre and an all-day restaurant.

To celebrate the opening of the new Inya Wing, the hotel offering an Inya Experience package until 31 December that includes daily breakfast, Wi-FI, return airport transfer and a buffet dinner for one. It is based on a minimum two nights’ stay.

Source : TTR Weekly

4.5m tourists expected this year

World Tourism Day Event held in MICC 2 at Nay Pyi Taw on 30th September.

Tourist arrivals are expected to exceed 4.5 million this year despite recent disasters, Vice-President Nyan Tun said in his opening address at the World Tourism Day event held at the MICC-2 in Nay Pyi Taw.

Last year, 3.08 million tourists arrived, generating US$1.5 billion or 30 per cent of the service-sector income. Travel and tourism was the world’s fourth largest industry after oil, chemical products and food, he said.

The vice-president said Myanmar should continue relaxing visa restrictions by implementing e-visas and visas on arrival. New tourism opportunities were needed for the country to maintain its position as an emerging destination, he added.

On July 28, Myanmar could sign a memorandum of understanding to establish an entry visa-exemption for tourists arriving via Thailand and international airports.

In 2014, three Pyu cities, Hanlin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra were placed on the UN cultural agency Unesco World Heritage List.

The vice-president called for tourism promotion in Mon and Kayin states and sustainable, eco-tourism in Chin and Rakhine states and Tanintharyi Region.

Source : Eleven Myanmar

Mingun entrance fee to increase for foreigners

MANDALAY—The entrance fee for foreign visitors to the Mingun area in Sagaing Region will increase from Ks 3,000 to Ks 5,000 on October 1.

“The Archeology Research Department currently collects an entrance fee of Ks 3000 from each foreign visitor. The department hands over the fees to the Sagaing Region Government Committee.  Under the new programme to begin on October 1, the staff of a tender-winning company chosen by the Region Government Committee will collect the entrance fee,” said a security officer in the Mingun area.


Photo by
“The fee increase is good because the money will be spent on regional development tasks and on the renovation of ancient archeological buildings,” said Thida Lin, a freelance tour guide.

After paying the fee, foreign tourists can explore the Mingun area for up to five days.

On September 7, the Sagaing Region Government Committee invited competitive tenders from companies vying to collect the newly increased fees.

The winning company will receive a contract to collect the fees from October 1, 2015, until March 31, 2016.

Mingun is home to an uncompleted 18th-century pagoda built by King Bodawpaya that would have been the largest in the world. The world’s largest ringing bell, originally meant to accompany the unfinished pagoda, is also one of the area’s attractions.

Source : Eleven Myanmar

MNA signs with Sabre

Myanmar National Airlines has signed a comprehensive distribution agreement with global technology provider, Sabre Corporation.It will ensure the flag carrier’s fares and inventory are available to over 100,000 travel agents across the Asia Pacific region who use Sabre.A landmark for an airline founded in 1948, the signing marks its return to international operations. Up to now its domestic fares were not bookable through a global distributionsystem.MNA is now building on recent upgrades to its extensive domestic network with an expanded fleet and a Yangon-Singapore route.“This agreement will help us to stimulate demand within the most important retail sales channel for Myanmar, supporting our ambitious expansion plans,” said MNA chief executive officer, Captain Than Tun. “Shopping for flights to our 26 corporate and leisure domestic destinations becomes easy and more transparent, while we also promote our new international routes which have just started with Singapore.”Myanmar has become a strategic growth market in Southeast Asia for both tourism and trade. This agreement with Myanmar National Airlines provides travel agents across the region with access to the full domestic network, while the flag carrier enjoys a boost in ticket sales,” said, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific vice president, supplier commerce and strategic partnerships, Hans Belle.

Source : TTR Weekly

Myanmar beefs up security

Myanmar’s national police department will deploy more tourist police in Thandwe and Mrauk U, Rakhine state, due to the steady increase in visitors to the region.

Myanmar Business Today reported security would be beefed up in Thandwe, Kyauktaw, Ngapali Junction, Mazin Airport, Mrauk U Archaeology Museum, Shiqthaung Pagoda and Mrauk U Airport.

Even with the state’s growing popularity visitors entering Mrauk U reached just 1,900 in 2012, and by 2014 doubled to 3,500. However, during the half of this year more than 2,400 tourists have visited Rakhine state.

Thandwe and Ngapali beaches are far more popular with 33,000 visits in 2013, 36,000 in 2014 and 21,000 during the first half of 2015.

Tourist Police have three units based in Mandalay, two in Yangon, and two in Shan state, while Ayeyarwady, Nay Pyi Taw, Bago, Sagaing, Mon and Kayin have one each, according to deputy minister for home affairs brigadier general Kyaw Kyaw Htun.

Situated on the western coast, Rakhine state borders Chin state in the north, Magway Region, Bago Region and Ayeyarwady Region in the east, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and Chittagong, Bangladesh, to the northwest.

Tourists mainly visit the ruins of the ancient royal town Mrauk U and the beach resorts of Ngapali, but facilities are still poor and the transportation infrastructure is very basic.

Source : TTR Weekly

Luxembourg to invest in tourism

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says it is working with Luxembourg to invest US$5.7 million in the development of human resources within the tourism industry.

A delegation from Luxembourg has conducted field trips in Bagan, Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw to develop human resource training in the private sector and at universities.

The ministry said there were more than 800,000 jobs in the tourist sector with the potential to reach about 3 million.

About US$3 billion of foreign investment has been invested in the hotel sector and by the end of May this year there were more than 1.5 million tourist arrivals.

The ministry is expecting more than 5 million visitors this year, generating about US$2 billion.

Source : Eleven Myanmar