Frank Janmaat, group general manager of Amata Resort & Spa, said: “A number of foreign tour operators have taken Myanmar out of their programmes because of the continuously rising prices for hotel rooms and transportation. It is difficult to sell your client (when) for the same price. you can either get two nights in a five-star hotel in Bangkok or one night in a three-star hotel in Yangon.”
The ministry introduced the US$150 per room per night cap in 2012 following complaints from travel companies, but rates for a five-star hotel now hover around US$250.
The ministry will not recommend visa extensions for general managers of hotels found flouting the price cap, while lease extensions could also be threatened.
However, Aye Kyaw, managing director of Rubyland Travel and Tour Yangon, said hotels were still ignoring the ruling. “If we compare hotel prices here with neighbouring countries, obviously Myanmar is very expensive. So my concern is if prices continue to increase like this, we might lose some of our potential markets or customers.”
Commented Janmaat: “As long as hotel owners do not take responsibility for the future of tourism in Myanmar, we will be back to our 2008 number of arrivals very soon.”
source: TTG Asia