Myanmar calls for investment in new tourism destinations

The Mergui Archipelago is one destination that needs international investment
The Mergui Archipelago is one destination that needs international investment

The Myanmar government has called on international companies to invest in its up-and-coming tourism industry.

Speaking at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Singapore, Myanmar’s Minister of Hotels & Tourism, U Ohn Maung, said that off-the-beaten track destinations, including the Mergui Archipelago, are ripe for development.

“The timing couldn’t be more perfect to invest in Myanmar as it opens up to the world. We have fantastic tourism destinations that need to be served with world-class hotels and resorts, unique travel experiences, and better infrastructure,” U Ohn Maung said at the trade show in Singapore.

“Discovering Myanmar is more than visiting the archaeological sites in Bagan or our golden pagodas. We have excellent beaches, too. We invite travellers to make a trip down south and see the beautiful landscape, pristine beach and natural park in Mergui Archipelago, and enjoy festivals and the unique culture in Kayin, Chin, Mon and Kayah states,” the minister added.

According to figures from Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, foreign direct investment in tourism projects reached almost US$3 billion in 2016. Singapore (US$1.6bn) is Myanmar’s biggest investor, followed by Thailand (US$445 million) and Vietnam (US$440m).

And new investment regulations set to take effect this year will see the Myanmar government offered preferential treatment of investors in the tourism sector.

“Our new investment law offers flexibility to meet the needs of local and overseas investors as well as ease of doing business in Myanmar. We’d like for the number of visitors to Myanmar to steadily rise in line with the current upward trend of investment. That’s why we highly encourage investors to come to Myanmar,” said the director general of the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, U Tint Thwin.

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