Published on : Thursday, January 26, 2017
Myanmar is promoting its best beach destinations and calling for more sustainable and responsible investment, riding on a rush of investments in its tourism sector. To quote U Ohn Maung, Myanmar Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, “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.”
As a result of new investment regulations set to take effect this year, Myanmar government is aiming to make ways for privileged and preferential treatment of investors in the tourism sector. As per the figures from the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Myanmar’s hotel and tourism projects reached almost USD 3 billion in 2016.
Singapore is on the top of the list as the biggest investor, followed by Thailand and Vietnam. As of November 2016, FDI in tourism sector generated 56 projects compared to 48 projects in 2015. During the ATF, which is an annual event for promoting ASEAN as one tourist destination and for boosting intra-ASEAN travel, Myanmar made a bid for more tourists to come and explore its less-traveled beach destinations like Ngapali, as well as Myeik and Dawei in the Mergui Archipelago. Mergui Archipelago, located in the southernmost part of Myanmar, is also home to the Lampi Marine National Park, which protects a rich biodiversity with more than 50 terrestrial and marine endangered species.
Myanmar also has various natural and cultural attractions in both less-traveled and well-known destinations. According to Myanmar Tourism Marketing data, in spite of a drop in overall number of visitors on tourist visa, there has been an increase in the number of visitors from North America and Western Europe in 2016. Asia remains the largest source market for Myanmar, with more than 65% of incoming visitors in 2016.