Mizzima reports that Htay Aung, the Minister for Hotels and Tourism, has said that Myanmar cannot grow its tourism industry alone and needs international investors. The announcement came at the opening ceremony of the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013 at Yangon’s Traders Hotel on February 27.
- Growth would be full of difficulties and that transportation, creation of human resources, building of infrastructure, and the preservation and creation of destinations would all need to be addressed.
- “We need the assistance of investors, organizers, business partners and practitioners to come and see the opportunities that we have, so that we can start working together for our mutual benefit,”
- Ownership is currently not permitted for foreign investors, but they can hold long-term leases of up to 70 years or partner with a local company, according to Myanmar’s new foreign investment law of December 2012.
- A master plan for Myanmar’s tourism industry is currently being compiled by the government and global experts. The strategy, which will attempt to align growth with responsible tourism, is expected to be released in mid-April.
- The country’s tourism industry is growing at 30% per year.
- The tourism minister announced that he expects 1.3 million tourists to visit by the end of 2013, while Paul Rogers, the team leader of Myanmar’s Tourism Master Plan Project, predicted up to 2 million tourists yearly by the end of the decade.
- The development of several hotels zones around the country is presently underway, while a new airport in Yangon and expansion of the capacity of airports at destinations such as Mandalay and Bagan are being discussed.