Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Infrastructure and accessibility Myanmar's stumbling blocks

TOURISM is one of the seven priority areas for infrastructure development in Myanmar as the surge of arrivals in recent times threatens to overwhelm the country's existing capacity.

Speaking at Myanmar Infrastructure Summit 2014 in Traders Hotel, Yangon last week, Hlaing Maw Oo, project director of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, said: “Accessibility is the most important for the tourism sector and thus investors need to look at (putting their money there). Since the last two years, the number of international airlines flying directly to Myanmar is increasing rapidly but when we say accessibility, we also need to think about better road conditions. Our current road conditions are not favourable for tourism and infrastructure development needs to be upgraded."

Infrastructure such as hotels, electricity, telecommunications and water supply were other areas Myanmar urgently needs to improve, he added.

“As the huge number of tourists flocking to Myanmar, we need to improve our hotels services and increase the number of hotels in our country… In terms of product development, we need to make sure attractions are easy to access and tourist-friendly,” Hlaing Maw Oo said.

Currently, three major airports are slated to undergo renovation and construction works – Yangon International Airport, Mandalay International Airport and Hanthawaddy International Airport.

In order to solve the hotel shortages in the country, the ministry aims to issue more hotel licences in different destinations, though mostly in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle.

Figures from the ministry as of December 2013 shows that Myanmar has 923 licenced hotels and approximately 34,834 rooms throughout the country.

source: TTG Asia
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