The ministry's director-general, Aung Zaw Win, said: “We are granting on average three new hotel licences per week. This will help us reach our target of 35,000 hotel rooms for 2014.
“The new hotels are focused around the most visited destinations of Yangon, Mandalay, Inle and Bagan. Together they provide over 7,800 rooms.”
Of the 166 hotels, 35 are international brands and the remaining local guesthouses.
Arrivals to Myanmar are growing rapidly with total visitors in 2013 at 900,161 compared to 593,381 in 2012 – of which in both years approximately 70 per cent were leisure travellers, according to PATA.
While the increase in accommodation choice is generally welcomed by agencies, not all are happy with the lack of regulations for licence granting.
Anne Cruickshanks, manager at Myanmar-based Grasshopper Adventures, highlighted: “These licenses need to be granted with some stronger stipulations regarding quality control and environmental regulations.
“Several of the larger properties developed recently or currently under construction are devastating once-lush landscapes and not adapting proper waste disposal practices which are, in the short term, harming the environment leading to long-term impacts on the tourism industry.”
source: TTG Asia