Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Myanmar's tourist arrivals up 24 per cent (July 2011)

Jul 10, 2011, 5:13 GMT DPA
Yangon - Myanmar's tourist arrivals jumped 24.3 per cent in the first five months of this year, with the increase attributed to recent political developments, news reports said Sunday.
Myanmar, also called Burma, held a general election on November 7, and released democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on November 13.
'The election brought a lot of relatively positive news in the foreign media and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi even more so,' Frank Janmaat, country director of KMA Hotels Group, told the weekly Myanmar Times newspaper.
'Thanks to this, people started to see Myanmar through different eyes and felt more confident to consider a holiday or a business trip,' he said.
Tourism officials recorded 151,084 arrivals through May.
Most Yangon-based hotels enjoyed high occupancy rates in the six months following the election, Janmaat said.
Susie Moe Aung, director of sales at Park Royal Hotel in Yangon, said much of the growth this year was driven by business travellers, particularly from Asian countries.
Industry sources also noted that the city has insufficient hotels to keep pace with tourism potential.
'We would like to see some European airlines operating directly to Yangon,' said Phyoe Wai Yar Zar, marketing secretary of the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board.
'But to match the growth in air capacity, we will need more hotels and newer vehicles for transportation services,' he said.


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