Yangon Region Tourism Committee issues four hotel business licences

Yangon Region Tourism Committee granted licences for four hotels and one hotel construction permit at the meeting 1/2024 held at the meeting hall 4 of the Yangon Region government office on 29 March.
The committee issued four hotel licences and one hotel construction permit, having a total of 452 rooms, with an estimated capital of K20.7 billion and US$4.6 million, on 24 October at the meeting.
Additionally, the committee endorsed 64 tour licences (inbound and outbound), 42 tour agency licences, 21 tour guide licences and 22 domestic pilgrimage tour certificates. Those businesses are investment projects made by Myanmar citizens, creating over 437 jobs for locals.
After the endorsement of the projects, tourism development activities were addressed at the meeting.
At the meeting 2/2023, the committee also granted licences for six hotels, one hotel construction permit, one motel licence and one motel construction permit, having 474 rooms, with an estimated capital of over K23 billion and creating 189 jobs. The committee issued six hotel licences and one motel construction permit having 217 rooms at the last meeting 1/2023, with an estimated capital of over K10 billion, creating 120 jobs for locals. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

1.5M visitors, including 60,000 foreign tourists, enter Shan State in 2023

According to the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, a total of 1.5 million travellers, including more than 60,000 foreigners, entered Shan State in 2023.
Most of the tourist arrivals in Shan State are in eastern Shan, southern Shan, and northern Shan areas. In 2023, a total of 1,413,015 domestic tourists and 68,317 overseas travellers, a total of nearly 1.5 million domestic and international tourists, arrived in Shan State.
Shan State has many places that can be visited all year round, besides the 12-month festivals and the plantations and natural scenery in the highland areas such as Pindaya and Ywangan, and the ethnic dress and lifestyle are attracting tourists.
Out of the 457 hotels and guesthouses licensed by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism for the convenience of domestic and foreign tourists, 337 hotels and guesthouses are currently open and providing services.
In addition, Shan State’s famous Inlay Lake will host rowing competitions on Saturday and Sunday, according to the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (Shan State). 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

MAI to expand Chiang Mai, Vientiane, Dhaka flights in April

MAI’S acting chief executive officer and chief commercial officer, Mr Tanes Kumar, said during the MAI Flight Forward ceremony that Myanmar Airways International will expand its flights to Chiang Mai, Vientiane and Dhaka beginning in April. According to the MAI Flight Forward ceremony held at Lotte Hotel on 8 March 2024, a total of 21 international flights will be operated, and new flights will be expanded to Chiang Mai, Vientiane, and Dhaka.

MAI’s new routes to Chiang Mai, Thailand, will operate weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays starting 3 April 2024. MAI will also operate weekly flights to Vientiane, Laos, on Tuesdays and Thursdays commencing 4 May 2024, and Doha, the UAE, on Wednesdays and Sundays, starting 8 May 2024 and Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning on 1 June 2024. MAI will also increase the number of flights to Dubai, Guangzhou and Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport in Thailand.

Similarly, MAI cargo-only flights run from Yangon to Kunming daily, Bangkok six times a week, and Phuket every Monday. MAI will resume domestic flights to Lashio and Loikaw, Nay Pyi Taw, and Kalay and Khamti and will also operate new routes to Homalin and Mawlamyine. Thus, it will operate 20 domestic flights.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Mandalay Region welcomes 2.4 million tourists in 2023

More than 2.4 million domestic travellers and foreign tourists visited the destinations in Mandalay Region in 2023, according to U Min Maung Soe, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (Mandalay Region).
In 2023, the number of tourists visiting destinations in Mandalay Region exceeded 2.4 million, comprising over 2.1 million domestic visitors and more than 310,000 foreign tourists.
“In 2022, 1.2 million domestic travellers and 120,000 foreign tourists entered the region. In Mandalay Region, Mandalay, Bagan, Popa, and PyinOo- Lwin areas are tourist destinations that are constantly visited throughout the year,” U Min Maung Soe said.
Mandalay Region Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar Hoteliers Association-Mandalay Zone and Myanmar Tourism Federation are cooperating to ensure continuous tourist visits and improve tourism services during this year.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Tourist rescue service launched in Yangon for safety, convenience

Coordination has been made among related departments and associations to provide rescue services for the safety of the tourists in Yangon Region, according to an official from the Myanmar Travel Association (MTA).
While the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT) is making necessary arrangements to ensure safe destinations that can attract more tourists for the systematic development of the tourism sector, coordination has been made among related departments and associations to provide rescue services for the safety of tourists in Yangon Region and the ministry has also informed the contact persons and phone numbers for assistance.
“This is for the safety of travellers. If something happens, it includes the contacts list with phone numbers. It is an arrangement by the Tourism Services Committee. Most tour companies are based in Yangon Region, while most tourists come through Yangon Airport. So, the information is published for the security of arriving and departing guests,” an MTA official said.
Currently, tourists from Thailand, Russia and China are the top visitors to Myanmar.
Foreign tourist arrivals in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 (up to November) are 0.9 million, over 0.1 million, over 0.2 million and over one million respectively, according to the MOHT.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Surge in tourist numbers at Taungthaman Lake underscores emerging tourism trend

According to U Soe Win, secretary of the U Bein Bridge maintenance team, approximately 2,000 domestic and foreign travellers visit Taungthaman Lake and U Bein Bridge daily, with around 150 boats operating each day.

The report highlights Taungthaman as a popular destination for both domestic and foreign travellers, experiencing a surge in visitors starting from 1 February 2024.
“Since February began, we’ve seen a significant increase in visitors to Taungthaman Lake. In January, we had around 150 visitors per day, but this number has now risen to 2,000 daily. Many visitors come specifically to witness the sunset over Taungthaman Lake. Approximately 150 boats are available for visitors’ use to accommodate the growing numbers.

Domestic travellers from Mandalay, PyinOoLwin, Taunggyi, and Yangon, and international tourists from Thailand, Viet Nam, and South Korea are among the most frequent U Bein Bridge and Taungthaman Lake visitors. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Local and foreign tourist arrivals in Myanmar increase again in 2023, with further improvements expected

U Hla Myint, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, said that the number of local and foreign tourists had increased back in 2023 and was expected to rise further.

As of November 2023, there were 8.85 million local travellers and over one million foreign tourists.

“Foreign tourist arrivals in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 are 0.9 million, over 0.1 million, over 0.2 million and over 1 million respectively. Most tourists came from China and Thailand. Many Thais visited Myanmar for pilgrimage. We can say that the prospect looks better. The number of local travellers reached 8.85 million by November 2023. That number is larger now. We expect more to travel in 2024,” he said.

For tourism sector development, union-level responsible persons have visited the destination areas and met with operators and respective local governments to promote tourism while also communicating with private organizations to develop foreign tourism industry, said U Hla Myint.

“The ministry alone cannot do for tourism development. We need the cooperation from various departments. Myanmar Travel Association and Myanmar Hoteliers Association, including Myanmar Tourism Federation, also need to participate in the cooperation. Especially, the private sector needs to make more efforts. From the government side, we are doing coordination, relaxation and measures for easy visa. We need to continue our efforts to maintain the momentum,” he said.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Bagan welcomes 450,000+ domestic tourists

MORE than 450,000 visitors across Myanmar travelled the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone last year, according to Assistant Director U Myo Min Aung of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism (Bagan Branch).

The assistant director stated: “From 1 January to 25 December 2023, we received 457,956 domestic tourists. Lawkananda, Shwezigon and Ananda pagodas were among the most visited.”

He noted that even the Sinbyushin Temple, typically drawing limited interest from travellers, had experienced a surge in visitors.

“The temple could be called a Sangha University during the Bagan era, accommodating nearly 4,000 monks in its heyday. U Kyipwe Pond near Culamani Pagoda became popular among visitors, too,” he added.

Bagan is one of Myanmar’s major tourist destinations and remains bustling with visitors across the country year-round, especially during public holidays.

Renowned for its intact ancient religious buildings, Bagan continues to attract both domestic and international travellers. The Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone has 89 hotels, motels and guesthouses, and 24 municipal guesthouses.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Historic Konbaung era Kway Chaung fort needs base camp for visitors

A base camp at the historic Kway Chaung fort of the Konbaung era kings is necessary for tourist recreation and business opportunities, U Kyaw Myo Win, director at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture (Bagan Division) suggested.

Kway Chaung fort was built in 1860. It took three years to build it and it was a historic site as the British naval vessels had to overcome it difficultly due to its strategic location.

Built a year earlier than near-by Minhla fort, Kway Chaung fort was systematically constructed with a specific location for fighting elephants.

“It is a big Konbaung era fort with a very good architect. It needs a base camp for visitors to rest at a distance from the fort without disturbing the view. From this camp, business opportunities for locals such as gift shops, cold drinks, a rest hall or toilets can be arranged. This will reduce the need for public to eat and relieve oneself inside the fort,” he said.

A fort like Kway Chaung, if it were in Europe, could seek world heritage status and there are many forts that have been designated as world heritage sites.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon-Pyay special trains to run in Thadingyut

The Myanma Railways (MR) said they will run Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon-Pyay special trains for the convenience of passengers starting on 27 October during the Thadingyut holidays.
The train services of Nay Pyi Taw-Yangon Down Express Train and Yangon-Pyay Up Express Train will operate on 27 October and the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw Up Express Train and Pyay-Yangon Down Express Train will run on 30 October.
Moreover, plans are underway to prepare special trains for other routes if necessary. The passengers can make enquiries for train schedules and tickets at the respective railway stations, the MR said.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar