Foreign hotels and travel enterprises have invested more than $700 million in Myanmar’s tourism sector, Dr Tin Shwe, deputy minister for hotels and tourism said during the annual meeting of the Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association in Yangon.
This is a direct response to the booming Myanmar tourism industry, which according to the deputy minister has made inroads in the international market thanks to successful promotion campaigns for the industry.
As of July, foreign firms have invested $690.88 million in 22 hotel projects and $39.2 million in joint-venture developments of four hotels in Myanmar, according to government statistics.
The Myanmar tourism sector is expected to earn more than $1 billion this year, U Thet Naing Toe, vice president of Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) said.
The sector gained $534 million in 2012 and $926 million in 2013, according to the statistics released by the ministry.
Last year saw the entry of more than 1.05 million tourists to Myanmar while the number is expected to nearly triple to 3 million in 2014, according to Ko Tin Tun Aung from UMTA.
The year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals will receive a further boost, said Dr Tin Shwe, from the accession of three Pyu ancient city-states of Beikthano, ThayayKhittara and Han Lin into UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list. This is expected to attract many foreign tourists to central Myanmar where these sites are located.
Tourists from Thailand make up most of the tourists entering Myanmar this year, followed by the Chinese and Japanese, while French, Spanish and English tourists form the bulk of the European tourists so far.