The Myanmar Tourism Federation (MTF) has applied to the Ministry of Finance to establish a tourism bank in a bid to develop Myanmar’s burgeoning tourism sector, an MTF official said.
“Even though tourism belongs to the service industry it still needs financial assistance including loans like other industries,” U Naung Naung Han, general secretary of MTF, told Myanmar Business Today.
“Tourism businesses can be seen as small and medium enterprises. There are banks for livestock, agriculture but no financial institution for the [tourism] sector. So, we aim to develop a bank for tourism,” he added.
Dr Aung Myat Kyaw, chairman of the federation, said, “Tourism business is an extensive sector, it’s not only about foreign tourists. There are a lot of tourism-related businesses that need to be developed.”
With Myanmar’s opening up in-country tourism has also boomed along with the surge in foreign tourist arrivals and the federation said it gradually aims to focus more on local travellers.
MTF said once the ministry grants the permit for the bank it will start giving financial assistance to improve hotel and guesthouse businesses, transportation and other sectors that are related to the tourism sector.
Myanmar’s tourism master plan for 2014-2020, which was drafted jointly by the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism and tourism organisations, suggests the ministry and civil society provide assistance for the development of the tourism industry.