MMRDRS
MMRD BULLETIN
July 7, 2020

NEWS
HOTEL & TOURISM

Singapore’s Banyan Tree, Htoo Group sign hotel management JV

U Tay Za (L) and Ho Kwon Ping sign their JV agreement in Yangon. Photo - Supplied

Myanmar Treasure Hotel & Resort Group Co Ltd and Singapore-listed Banyan Tree Holdings signed a joint venture agreement to carry out a hotel management business in Myanmar.

The firms will incorporate a new company in Singapore under an S$100,000 initial capital, 50:50 shareholding structure, which, in turn, will set up a subsidiary in Myanmar. By leveraging on Banyan Tree’s expertise, the Myanmar subsidiary will run 17 of Myanmar Treasure’s hotel properties located across the country.

Myanmar Treasure is the largest hotel and resort network in Myanmar and  the hospitality arm of the Htoo Group of Companies, a Myanmar conglomerate run by tycoon Tay Zar.

Myanmar Treasure has 15 existing hotel properties, which include the iconic brand Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort located in Bagan, Ngapali and Inle Lake and Malikha Lodge There are also two properties in the pipeline, including Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in Yangon as well as a new destination in the Mergui Archipelago. In 2017, a massive fire destroyed the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel but it is now under redevelopment.

The joint venture will also run Myanmar Treasure’s Hotel & Tourism Training Centre in Yangon.

Banyan Tree is an international operator and developer of premium resorts, hotels, spas and residences with an industry track record since 1994. It also manages and/or has ownership interests in niche resorts masterra.com and hotels.

As of 2019, Banyan Tree was operating 47 hotels and resorts, 64 spas, 72 retail galleries and 3 golf courses in 24 countries.

Source: Myanmar Times

Thai-Myanmar joint venture to build $250,000 hotel in Kawthoung

The government has approved a proposal by Thai-Myanmar joint venture to build a US$250,000 (K346.3 million) hotel project on Hlaing Gu Island off Kawthoung in Tanintharyi Region.

KMOT Company intends to build the project with 20 bungalows under the build-operate-transfer system.

Currently, there are more than 10 travel agencies operating in Kawthoung and about nine hotels with a total of 500 rooms. Most people visit the islands off Kawthoung by motor yachts, which are owned by a Thai national. It’s popular for diving tours, and about 350,000 tourists visit every year, most of them are from Thailand.

At present, the travelling cost to the Myeik Archipelago is still high. Besides, the area is still in need of tourism infrastructure such as boats, and accommodations for visitor.

In August 2019, an Italian company was also granted approval to invest in a US$3.2 million joint-venture hotel project in Kawthoung. It is the first Italian company to invest in Myanmar. Fork Island, Tha Ye Island, Kyet Mauk Island, Lampi Island, Nyaung Oo Phee Island, Hlaing Gu Island, Done Waterfall, Bocho Island are among the more popular destinations off Kawthoung, according to tour agencies.

In 2017, more than 330,000 tourists visited Kawthoung, and the number rose to 350,000 in 2018. Last year, the number of visitors dropped to 320,000, according to the statistics from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.

Source: Myanmar Times

Mon State a sweet spot for maritime trade, tourism

Image result for Mon State a sweet spot for tradingMaritime trade and tourism in Mon State can level up with better transport and power supply, according to a property market report.Yangon-based Picon-Deed Property Consultants released its study this month on Myanmar’s southern state highlighting how its mineral and natural resources, booming tourism industry and geographical location can capture investments and regional trade.

Mawlamyine, the state capital, and Kyaikhtiyo, commonly known as the Golden Rock, are popular tourist destinations, attracting a growing number of local and foreign visitors. Kyaikhtiyo is the star attraction but Mawlamyine, with its striking riverfront boulevard and diverse downtown area, was not far behind.The fourth most populous city in Myanmar, Mawlamyine is home to the 72-room Hotel Suggati. The waterfront five-storey hotel is owned by Singapore-listed Memories Group, and provides conference rooms, working spaces, a fitness centre and a restaurant

Mawlamyine needs to establish a reliable electricity supply in order to become a hub for value-adding activities to a wide variety of commodities. The state has large plantations of rubber along the Yangon-Mawlamyine Highway but gas-fired power stations have potential for scale up. A number of retail centres can already be found in Mawlamyine compared to other second tier cities. The state government held an investment fair last December to attract foreign and local businesses to invest in agriculture, fisheries, tourism, trade and logistics, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.The location of Mon State means there is strong potential to leverage on the trade channels with Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Source: Myanmar Times

Myanmar govt mulls one island, one hotel rule in Myeik

Image result for One hotel rule in MyeikThe Ministry of Hotels and Tourism said there is an ongoing discussion among relevant offices on imposing a one hotel, one island rule in Myeik Archipelago in Tanintharyi Region.

Policy is not set yet. It is still in the process. Feasibility has been submitted to the higher authority. A meeting will be called back if necessary.The Myeik Archipelago is a famous destination for foreign investments and there are many applications to build resorts on the islands.At present, in addition to natural resource discovery, conservation and security issues, there are difficulties in on-ground situations to allow one hotel on big islands.The costs are still high for visitors to get to Myeik Archipelago and the area still needs more boats, accommodations and other basic infrastructure.

Currently, the government permitted 10 companies to operate in 13 islands in Tanintharyi and there are hotel developments as well. Myeik Archipelago is famous among tourists for being among the virgin destinations and attracted interest from foreign visitors, most of whom sail in yachts from neighbouring Thailand. Among the more famous destinations in Myeik are the Trident Island, Tayel Island, Kyat Mauk Island, Lan Pi Island, Nyauk Oo Phi Island, Cave Done Island and Bo Cho Island.

Source: Myanmar Times

Yangon Region plans second tourism village

Image result for War Thin Kha Village kawhmuThe Yangon Region government plans to open a second community-based tourism village that would give local and foreign visitors a glimpse of village life, regional tourism officials said. Daw Naw Pan Thinzar Myo, Yangon Region Tourism minister, said they are looking at War Thin Kha village in Kawhmu township as the second community-based tourism area after Kyaikthale village in Twante township was opened two years ago.

“A survey has been completed for Kawhmu to become a new community-based tourism destination,” she said. “We will consult with the villagers about the programme.”Visitors to War Thin Kha village, which is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Kayin, can see the villagers’ lifestyle and livelihoods, and go fishing or trekking.The regional government will provide training to villagers to prepare them to host foreigners.

This year the region issued 32 hotel permits, 20 hotel construction permits, and 14 guesthouse construction permits. Once completed, the projects will add 2600 rooms for visitors.According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, over 1.5 million tourists visited Myanmar between January and October this year, an increase of 430,000 over the same period of last year.

Source: Myanmar Times

Myanmar eases visa rules for five countries

Related imageThe government will relax its visa regulations for five more countries from January 1 as part of its effort to attract more foreign visitors to the country, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Travelers from the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Hungary and Austria will be given visas on arrival upon entering the country for the next three years.

The easing of visa regulations is aimed at reviving the tourism industry, which has been affected by international outrage over the humanitarian crisis in northern Rakhine State.Only about 2000 tourists came from New Zealand and Austria from as of October this year, and the number from New Zealand actually declined by 9pc compared to the same period of last year.In October, Myanmar extended its visa-on-arrival programme to Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Australia.Myanmar has waived visa requirements for visitors from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Macao and granted visas-on-arrival to Chinese travellers who arrive by air.

Myanmar now grants visas-on-arrival to over 50 countries at its international airports in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, and allows foreign visitors a 28-day stay.Tour operators said visitors from Western countries stay an average of 14 days and spend a lot.As of October, over 1.5 million tourists had visited Myanmar this year, 430,000 more than in the same period last year.

Source: Myanmar Times

Government readies Bagan’s airport for international flights

Image result for baganThe government is preparing Bagan’s Nyaung-U airport to handle international flights, as the authorities hope to welcome tourists from Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism said.Facilities at the airport are being improved, including the runway, to handle foreign visitors on foreign charter planes, the ministry said.

Entries and exits, and toilets will be upgraded to international standards, while X-ray machines are being installed to enable customs, immigration and quarantine to handle international charter flights, said the ministry.Negotiations have been made for direct charter flights between Bagan and Siem Reap, with Vice President U Henry Van Thio leading the Myanmar team as chair of the National Tourism Development Central Committee.

The Bagan-Siem Reap flight is likely to be a part of a Northern Buddhism Package tour that links ASEAN countries.In November 2017, Myanmar and Cambodia signed an agreement to promote travel by granting visitors visas on arrival.On average, three million tourists visit Angkor Wat and some 300,000 visitors come to Bagan every year.Tourism executives expect more visitors to come to Bagan if there is a direct flight between the two countries.Dubai-based Emirates Airline began a Yangon-Phnom Penh flight in 2017 but discontinued it last year due to low traffic.

Source: Myanmar Times 

 

Tanintharyi offers good potential for investors: officials

Image result for tanintharyi point of viewThe Tanintharyi Region government is focusing on promoting investment in hotels and tourism, agriculture and livestock, fisheries, power, mining, and real estate to help boost its economy.This was revealed during the Region Investment Forum on December 7. The event organised by the region’s government and the Myanmar Investment Commission comes on the heels of similar events held in Kachin and Mon over the last several weeks. Tanintharyi located in the south of Myanmar bordering the Andaman Sea to the west and Thailand, to the east is famous for the many islands off its coast.

U Myint Maung said highlighted ecotourism as a sector with strong potential for growth in Tanintharyi. He added that the region also has many opportunities to produce value-added products for the world’s markets and could serve as a gateway to the Greater Mekong sub-region due to its strategic location in the Southern Economic Corridor that encompasses Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.The Dawei Special Economic Zone in Tanintharyi will become one of the contributors to enhancing regional coastal development. The hotels and tourism sector is ripe for development and several parties spoke with government officials about investing in the sector.

The Myeik Archipelago (also known as the Mergui Archipelago) in the Andaman Sea is a famous destination and has the potential for further development.The government of Myanmar has made many significant and positive changes in the country’s investment landscape. The reforms have resulted in the country climbing in theWorld Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking to 165th from 171st previously, making it one of the 20 most improved in the report.The regional government is focusing on attracting investors with tax incentives and investment facilitation. The Tanintharyi government says among the strong points of the region for investors are its good infrastructure and roads, tax exemptions of five and seven years for investments in the Dawei SEZ and Dawei Deep Sea Port.

Source: Myanmar Times

Local company proposes eco beach resort project in Gwa, Rakhine

Image result for gwa rakhine state Local company Sea Lion Group has announced its intention to build an eco-resort at a site located along Ma Kyay Ngu Beach, near Gwa Township, Rakhine State.The company is proposing to build a hotel, shopping centre, and organic farm on a 20 hectare site across the Gwa River from Gwa Township.The project, which will be the first of its kind in Gwa, will include swimming pools, an 80-room hotel, arrival jetty, and areas specifically for shallow swimming, water sports, and children.Upon receiving approval for the project, construction will begin in phases.

U Aung Kyaw Zan, Rakhine State Minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation, said: “It is good if this project comes to fruition. It will help the tourism sector develop and also create job opportunities for the locals.The region has a beautiful natural environment and beach areas suitable for tourism-based businesses.The resort will also be built near Gwa Bridge, which is currently under construction. The 1300-foot long bridge is expected to link Rakhine to Ayeyarwady region when complete next year.

“After the bridge is finished, more hotels may emerge to the benefit of the region’s development,” said U Aung Kyaw Zan.The government is also developing a project dubbed The Orbit along Nga Thine Chaung-Gwa Beach. The Orbit, which spans from Nga Yote Kaung in Ayeyarwaddy Region to Gwa in Rakhine State, is being developed with government support.For a total investment of K300 billion, the project will bring coastal development, tourism opportunities and access to electricity to the region, it will also enable agriculture products from Ayeyarwady to reach Rakhine and be exported via Sittwe Port and Maungdaw Trade Zone.

Source: Myanmar Times

Thai Investors Look to Bring Mass Tourism to Myanmar’s Myeik Archipelago

Image result for myeik archipelago myanmarYangon – Business owners from Thailand have expressed interest to invest in tourism in Kawthaung and the Myeik archipelago, in Tanintharyi Region in southern Myanmar, according to Director-General U Thant Sin Lwin of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

A Thai businessman has held talks with DICA and enquired about the potential for operating tours to the Myeik archipelago by plane.“The businessman has asked about how many islands, hotels and hospitals there are and what planes could land,” said U Thant Sin Lwin.The investment would be sizable with proposals to welcome cruise ships and seaplanes across Tanintharyi Region, he added.Myeik is becoming increasingly popular among domestic visitors and is tipped by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism as the next major tourist attraction.

The archipelago attracted more than 45,000 visitors in 2018 with the ministry expecting numbers to grow for this year.“Domestic firms can’t operate tour packages that require heavy investment. It is good that Thai businesses will fly to the islands. But it would be better if Myanmar’s businesses could do it,” U Thet Khaing, managing director of MT & K Tourism Co, told The Irrawaddy.

He, however, said he welcomed foreign investment because technological improvements were needed.“But one potential problem is that those islands were sold to individuals under previous governments. So new investors will have to negotiate with the owners for partnerships. This will be a challenge,” said U Thet Khaing.DICA said Tanintharyi Region had only received 3.3 billion kyats (US$2.2 million) in foreign investment in saltwater-prawn production since 2017.

Source: The Irrawaddy 

HOME PAGE

NEWS BY SECTOR

If you prefer to read previous version with PDF format, click here to go to our bulletin library .

MMRD BUSINESS INSIGHT

MMRD helping clients unlock growth opportunities and shape tomorrow’s Myanmar.

Thae Oo Myintzu
MMRD Insight—Editor
[email protected]