Hotels welcome back guests in Yangon

Hotels in Yangon that were among the first to suspend operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic have welcomed travellers back. Many small hotels in the Yangon hotel zone have reopened since domestic tourism has been boosted.

Though there is not much profit from the hotel business at present, reopening at least will cover employees’ salaries and maintain the electricity and utility cost of the hotel. According to the Yangon Hotelier Association chairman, prolonged closure makes them difficult maintain in the long run.

Due to the suspension of international travellers to Myanmar, foreign-invested hotels have not yet reopened. Yangon, which has been hard-hit by the global pandemic, has 359 small hotels related to domestic tourism and about 20 foreign-direct-invested hotels that target international travellers.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Hotel operation gets green light for tourism in Magway Region

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has given the hotels, motels and guest houses in Magway Region permission to welcome back customers starting from May, 2021. A total of 50 hotels and motels have been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared last year and 20 of them were reopened in accordance with the COVID-19 rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Health and Sports since April and now all of 50 are reopened.

The hotels and tourism sector in the region is reportedly relying on the domestic travellers and resumption of the business will yield income and eventually profit, an official from the ministry said. The hotels, motels and guest houses are fully booked during the university graduation period and the “Shwesettaw pagoda Buddha Pujaniya festival” which lasts about five months. The hotels and tourism sector in Magway Region generates money from the domestic and international tourists who come to the pagoda Buddha Pujaniya festivals.

The tourist sites including Myathalun pagoda, Gangaw Tahtaung pagoda and Kwechaung fortress in Magway Township, Malun emerald alms-bowl pagoda and Minhla fortress in Minhla Township, Sekkeinte pagoda, Nagapwet mountain, Shwesettaw pagoda, Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary and the elephant camp in Minbu Township, Yokesone monastery and ancient pagodas in Sagu, and Sandagu Natha Kyaungtawya pagoda and Lekaing Yokesone monastery in Pwintbyu township are famous tourist sites in Magway Region. It is reported that plans are underway to develop new tourist destinations for the changing tourism industry in the post-COVID-19 era so as to attract homegrown and international tourists in addition to preservation of ancient cultural heritages and conservation of natural beauties.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


The $ 130 million Peninsula Yangon Hotel project in Yangon is halted for a year

Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Holdings, which operates high-end luxury Peninsula hotels, announced on May 21 that they would suspend a $ 130 million construction project in Yangon for a year, the Nikkei Asia reported. They have reached an agreement with their partners to suspend the Peninsula Yangon hotel project for 12 months due to the current situation in Myanmar , Clement Cox, chief executive of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting on May 21.

It is mentioned that they would continue to monitor the situation in Myanmar and hoped to restart the project as soon as the situation stabilized. The project also includes the renovation of the former colonial-style Myanmar Railways headquarters in downtown Yangon into an 88-room Peninsula Hotel. Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels own 70 percent of the project, with the remaining 30 percent owned by two listed companies, Serge Pun & Associates, one of Myanmar’s leading private conglomerates, and Yoma Strategic Investments and First Myanmar Investment.

Among the projects of the well-known company named the Yoma Central, Peninsula project is included. A company spokesman said on May 21 that the Yoma Central project had been suspended and that all parties concerned were still determined to restart the project. Linn Mu-Holland, director of Group Corporate Affairs at the Hong Kong company, said the project was suspended last April. It is also mentioned that it was too early to say in detail what conditions needed to restart the project and that safety is a top priority. Until August last year, the company was expected to complete the project by 2022. The company’s annual report, released in March, said it was “extremely concerned” about the current violence and instability and would continue to assess the need for immediate response to long-term decisions on the project.

Source: Daily Eleven

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All domestic passengers will no longer need the COVID-19 test but will have to comply with other health standards

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Sports, all domestic passengers will no longer need the COVID-19 test and will have to comply with other health standards. According to the statement, passengers on domestic flights can apply for tickets at local ticket offices or at local ticket offices. You will be able to purchase regular flights without having to endorse online or in accordance with the health standards. Passengers may be exposed to suspected COVID-19 fever.

Whooping cough, sudden loss of odor, only those who are free of all symptoms and conditions, such as contact with an infected person within two weeks, will be allowed to go on a scheduled trip. Passengers are required to abide by local orders when the aircraft arrives in their respective cities. The COVID-19 medical check-up for passengers on rescue trips and domestic flights of state-owned Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) and International Myanmar Airlines (MAI) will be available at Yangon Airport Cargo Warehouse and N Health Laboratory, according to the airline.

Rescue flights operated by Myanmar National Airlines such as Bangkok. The COVID-19 medical examination for passengers on Singapore and domestic flights will start on 10 February in Yangon, Myanmar, near Sule Pagoda N Health Laboratory and Yangon International Airport; Inspections will be held at Cargo Warehouse on Pyay Road from 9 am to 11 am. For international passengers on domestic and international rescue flights of Myanmar International Airlines MAI and Air KBZ, Airport Cargo Warehouse on Pyay Road will be opened from 10 February. The RDT test for domestic trips will be available at N Health Laboratory and Tourist Burma Building.

Source: Daily Eleven

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State-owned Myanmar National Airlines and Air KBZ resume domestic flights from March 23

State-owned Myanmar National Airlines and Air KBZ will resume domestic flights from March 23. Starting from March 23, Myanmar National Airlines will fly to Mandalay, Sittwe, Thandwe, Kyaukphyu to Ann cities and also Myeik, Dawei, Nay Pyi Taw. It has flown flights to cities such as Myitkyina and announced flights on its Facebook page until March 31. Air KBZ Airlines announced Heho, Myitkyina, Dawei, Myeik, Lashio Flights to domestic cities including Sittwe and Thandwe will start on March 26, according to a statement from the airline. Air KBZ has announced flights from March 26 to March 31. The Yangon-Mandalay-Heho flight will be operated daily from March 26, according to a statement from the airline.

Air KBZ operates Yangon-Sittwe-Yangon flights twice a week. Yangon-Myeik-Yangon flight scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays; Yangon-Mandalay-Kengtung-Mandalay-Yangon flight will be canceled on Wednesday. It will also fly on Fridays and Saturdays, and other domestic flights will be announced on the airline’s Facebook page. Tickets can also be purchased in person through Air KBZ’s website, mobile app and K7 Chatboot, including ticket agents. According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Sports, all passengers on domestic flights will no longer need the COVID-19 test and will have to comply with other health standards.

According to the statement, passengers on domestic flights can apply for a ticket at a local ticket office or at a local ticket office. People will be able to purchase regular flights without any recommendation, either online or in accordance with the health standards. Passengers may be exposed to suspected COVID-19 fever; Whooping cough Sudden loss of odor. Only those who are free of all symptoms and conditions, such as contact with an infected person within two weeks, will be allowed to go on a scheduled trip. Passengers are required to abide by local orders when the aircraft arrives in their respective cities.

Source: Daily Eleven


Natural cave in Kayah State to be developed as tourist attraction

A natural cave, locally named as Mei Htauk Noon, in Nan Kit village of Pasawng Township, Kayah State, to be developed into an ecotourism site. The Directorate of Hotels and Tourism of the state is working together with the members of the local tourism development committee, the Destination Management Organization and local hotelier association for a tourist attraction in the post-COVID-19.

A local official of the department said that Mei Htauk Noon cave still has natural beauties such as stalactites and drop of water slowly trickles through cracks in the cave roof. It is still an unspoiled natural cave that can attract both local and foreign visitors. The cave is located within around 2 to 3-hour drive from Loikaw Township.

The road to this cave is being developed by the local people led by the senior monk of township Sangha committee. The development works also include the construction of road and electrification inside the cave with about 600-ft in length and 60-ft to 100-ft in width inside it. Other interesting places near the cave are a 100-year-old monastery with the displays of two huge ivories and ancient Buddha images, Woha waterfall and scenic views of Thanlwin River.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


SMEs to apply for tourism loans from MTB

Tourism-related small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now apply for loans at Myanmar Tourism Bank (MTB) through the 11 associations under the Myanmar Tourism Federation (MTF) as collateral and insurance, according to the MTB Head Office. There are 11 associations in Myanmar tourism industry in the pandemic period. The Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed between the team in each sector. The working processes are being taken step by step to provide the loans to SMEs under these associations.

The MTB Head Office has a loan department. SME businesses can directly contact the MTB’s loan department. Now, the department is also providing loans to the team’s small businesses. However, it is more convenient to reach MTB through the relevant associations. The department again postponed the interest payment period and deferred the repayment dates during the pandemic period. When the tourism businesses resume in the aftermath of COVID-19, the department will provide more loans to the SME businesses, said the MTB deputy managing director.

MTF has 11 associations related to the tourism sector, including souvenir sale shops, hotel associations, and restaurant shops. MTB is providing loans to SME businesses under these 11 associations starting from last year. MTB firstly offered K 20 million loans to SMEs without the collaterals. The loans will be provided depending upon the collateral application. Under the Central Bank of Myanmar, the interest claiming period will be postponed in the pandemic period. At present, the loan interest rate of MTB is 10 per cent. MTB Head Office was opened on Pyay Road, Kamayut Township, Yangon. According to MTB Head Office, the bank has already been opened up to six branches across the country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myeik Smart Island open for new CBT destination

THE Community Based Tourism (CBT) in Donenyaunghmai Village in Myeik Town and floating jetty in Smart Island in Myeik Archipelago has become the new tourism destination in Taninthayi Region. The CBT site created in Donenyaunghmai village is located at Done Island in Kyunsu Township, which is 48 nautical miles away from Myeik Town. The visitors often flock to the famous Smart Island near Donenyaunghmai Village. Additionally, a floating jetty was also arranged for the visitors on Smart Island, which has the natural pebble beach and sandy beach.

The visitors can study the culture, tradition, customs and living styles of Salon people and Kayin ethnic people in Donenyaunghmai village CBT site. Furthermore, they can ride a bicycle on the island, row the boats, study mangrove forest, go fishing and go on a study tour in fishing boats. Additionally, the visitors can go to Smart Island with speedboats.
The opening of the CBT site and floating jetty will attract more local travellers and tourists. It will also help create job opportunities for
residents. On 10 January, the opening of the floating jetty in Smart Islands was held near the jetty.

Moreover, the CBT site opening ceremony took place at Donenyaunghmai village on the same day. Taninthayi Region Chief Minister U Myint Maung and the regional ministers, officials concerned and residents marked the opening events. First, the regional Chief Minister and ministers formally inaugurated the floating jetty by cutting the ribbon and sprinkling scented water on the signboard. Afterwards, the regional Chief Minister Myeik Smart Island open for new CBT destination and party inspected the infrastructure in Smart Island and looked around the sandy beach and pebble beach. Then, they left for Donenyaunghmai village with speed boats from Smart Islands and formally opened the CBT site in the village.

The regional Chief Minister delivered the opening remark that the Taninthayi Region has rich natural resources to create tourism
destinations. The region is boasted with its realistic scenic view and aquatic
resources. The CBT site in Donenyaunghmai village is aimed at assisting in the government’s poverty alleviation project. I hope it will become the most successful CBT site in the region. The regional government is endeavouring to become a significant tourism spot like Yangon, Mandalay, Inle and Bagan.
Now, it has marked a milestone for the efforts. Regional Chief Minister handed over the honour certificates to the donors and chair of village CBT presented commemorative presents to regional Chief Minister and ministers at the event.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Visitors flock to Loimonemain Hill to enjoy cloud sea scenery

Many people have been visiting the magnificent cloud sea site in Mongpan Township, Langkho District, southern Shan State this cold winter. The site is located on Loimonemain Hill, at the right side of the Mongpan-Kengtung Road, northwest of Mongpan. It is located at an altitude of 2,222 feet. It is a mountain town with a cold climate. Rice paddy, garlic, pineapple and orange are the most widely grown crops in the area. At the entrance of Mongpan Town, there is a pagoda, which is a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Since many years ago, the magnificent cloud sea can be seen in winter at that place, but the cloud sea was not very popular because it is located in a mountainous area with difficult access. In early November 2020, many people started to become interested in the cloud sea in Mongpan. The residents in Mongpan said that when COVID-19 related restrictions are lifted, more and more visitors will visit Loimonemain Hill, on which the beautiful cloud sea scenery appears in winter.

To make the site become a landmark of the town; Buddhist monks, MPs, local officials, town elders, the residents and donors are making collective efforts. A Buddha image was built at the site. Towers were also built to help people enjoy the view of the cloud sea. Now, because of the attraction of the magnificent cloud sea, not only the residents but also visitors from far away are flocking to the Loimonemain Hill in the winter. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Second aviation facility for development of Chin State

NOW is time of beefing up development tasks in all parts of Myanmar including hilly areas and remote sites. Despite facing impacts of pandemic Covid-19 similar to other global countries, Myanmar is undertaking development tasks in line with the health guidelines as much as it can. Especially, infrastructures are being built in hilly areas which lagged development behind other regions and states. Currently, one more new
aviation infrastructure is under construction in Chin State with 75 per cent completion with the aim of ensuring smooth transportation and contributing much to tourism sector and other businesses in the state. Such kind of new aviation facility takes a position in Lailenpi Town of Matupi Township in Matupi District of Chin State. It will be a small airstrip only. Construction of the airstrip started in May 2019. Implementation of the airstrip project was approved by Union Government meeting 12/2017, according to Chin State government. Lailenpi airstrip is located at an altitude of 4,918 feet. The runway of the airstrip will be 2,500 feet long and 50 feet wide.

The airstrip will have facilitated with a 150 feet long and 200 feet wide apron for landing of the aircraft. It was learnt that construction of Lailenpi airstrip is being undertaken in southern Chin State with assistance of Mission Aviation Fellowship-MAF. Hence, it will be the first ever airstrip built in Myanmar with cent per cent monetary and technological assistance given by an international aviation organization. In fact, Chin State having plentiful of natural beauties is an origin of natural resources which can help develop the tourism industry with momentum. Smooth transport
is of great importance in creating chances for bringing about the improvement of customs and traditions of ethnic people and their daily lifestyle, and the creation of new destinations for tourists. As such, the government is rendering assistance for fulfilling needs of people as much as it can. Consequently, a new airstrip is scheduled to emerge in Chin State. In the future, Lailenpi airstrip will render more support to health care services to be given to local ethnic people residing in southern Chin State.

Thanks to the airstrip, local ethnic people will have to enjoy health care services and emergency transportation for rescue in natural disasters. In reviewing construction of the airports in Chin State, Lailenpi airstrip will
be the second facility of its kind. The first one was Surbung Airport built at 7,175 feet higher than the sea level, which is located 8.5 miles from Falam of Chin State as well as about 40 miles from Haka. Moreover, the airport takes a position, about 50 miles from Reed border trade camp at Myanmar-India border area. In addition, the airport was built on 6,000 feet high Surbung mountain near Lonpi Hill in Chin State, it is the highest airport in Myanmar. The runway of Surbung Airport can withstand 50,000 lbs of load. So, it can admit landing and takeoff of ATR-72 aircraft. The airport is facilitated with a 6,000 feet long and 100 feet wide runway. The lounge of the airport can give services to about 250 passengers. The first landing test of ATR-72 was conducted on the runway of Surbung Airport on the morning of 27 October 2019. The ground surveys and creation of designs for Surbung Airport, the first-ever airport of Chin State, were conducted in 2015-16 financial year. The airport was built depending on allotment of budgets in respective financial years.

Surbung Airport will be a focal point in Chin State to have direct aviation access for local people to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw so as to contribute much to development of Chin State. So also, the stake driving ceremony to build the second one Lailenpi airstrip took place on 4 May 2020. The airstrip is purposed to admit landing and takeoff of aircraft which can carry 20 passengers each. Thanks to the new airstrip, local and foreign travellers will have convenience in their visits to Chin State. Enjoying fruitful results of aviation infrastructures such as airports in Chin State, travellers and businesspersons from Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay will have chance to make a day trip to Chin State in a short time. Moreover, local ethnic people will have better facilities of emergency health care services by transferring the patients to major cities such as Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay if necessary. The authorities decided to spend US$2 million on construction of Lailenpi airstrip in Matupi Township of southern Chin State. As the construction will complete soon, it will be the facility to help develop Chin State.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar