Myanmar’s hotel and tourism sector has attracted a record $2.56 billion in foreign investment in 2014, according to the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.
Last year has been the fourth record year for foreign investments in the tourism sector with $1.91 billion investment in 2013, $1.41 billion in 2012 and $1.14 billion in 2011, ministry statistics show.
Among the local investments in the sector, Mandalay region received the highest portion with K669 billion ($660 million) in investment, while Yangon region received K438 billion, Shan state K177 billion, Bago region K86 billion and Ayeyarwaddy region K77 billion.
Singapore ranked highest in the list of foreign investors with $1.53 billion in investments, followed by Vietnam with $440 million, Thailand $339 million, Hong Kong $150 million and Japan with $62 million.
A total of nine foreign countries have invested in 46 hotel development projects in Myanmar, the ministry says.
Local investment in the sector has also increased year on year reaching K1.62 trillion in 2014 after K1.45 trillion 2013, K1.27 trillion in 2012 and K1.16 trillion in 2011.
The local and foreign investments are expected to rise as the tourist entries increase further in 2015.
Myanmar received 0.82 million foreign tourists in 2011, 1.05 million in 2012 and 2.04 million in 2013, while the number is expected to have reached 3.05 million in 2014, the ministry said.
Accommodation and infrastructure shortages along with a capacity shortfall to develop new tourist destinations and capitalise on the existing ones are curbing the surge in visitors, analysts say.
To be able to better tap the windfall in the sector, the ministry is working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Norway to implement a Tourism Master Plan, which is planned to span from 2013 to 2020.