Myanmar Tourist DestinationBurma Tourist Destination
Myanmar's tourist destination dreams fade in empty hotels
The Esperado Lake Violet Hotell, with its wide views of the Shwedagon Pagoda, a sparkling gold Stupa and Myanmar's greatest natural spectacle, should be in an envious location. But only two years after construction, the four-star resort is half empty for many month, says Nero Kyaw Wai, the company's director.
"He said we don't see the inquiry in Myanmar. In 2011, when the land opened to the outside following many years of armed conflict, the former UK settlement was one of the hot spots in the rest of the globe, a final limit for adventures. Featuring luxuriant scenery and old sanctuaries, governments were hoping that the tourist industry would become a major part of the evolutionary formula, just like for neighbouring Thailand.
Myanmar has been swamped with unoccupied rooms and poorly managed buildings have destroyed local gems such as the Bagan archeological site and the picturesque Inle Lake, which is blocked with mud and dump. "It is a great challange for the development of such a highly diversified industry in which it has no experience," said Paul Rogers, a Myanmar tourist advisor and advisor to the Myanmar authorities.
Since Myanmar emerged from solitary confinement, there has been a rapid transformation. Last year, a democratic governing body under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi - the former Nobel Peace Prize winner and former imprisoned politician - established a new administration to end racial conflicts and open the business community. According to the International Monetary Fund, the year 2016 saw one of the highest Asian expansions.
Nevertheless, the countrys economy is still one of the worlds impoverished, the army still has a strong influence and racial power continues. In January, a counselor who had appealed for worship was gunned down outside Myanmar's internat. "Thet Lwin Toh, President of the Union of Myanmar Travellers Association said, "There is no such thing as traveling safely in the north of the United States.
In 2013, the Department of Hotels and Tourism drew up an industrial master plan that aims to attract 7.5 million people by 2020, almost 10 times more than last year under warlordship. Those targets now seem like a fancy, especially after the Department in February trimmed its visit counter under censure it had filled in the stats by enclosing hundreds thousand days travelers in the numbers.
Recent dates showed that the number of Myanmar visitors actually dipped 38 per cent in 2016, dropping to 2. 9 million from 4. 7 million the year before. The World Bank questioned the accuracy of Myanmar's bank records in December. There were no phone inquiries from the Department of Tourism during office opening times and no e-mail inquiries.
"It was an open mystery that the numbers were deliberately inflated," said Alexander Scheible, CEO of the Rose Garden in Yangon, the country's largest town. According to Rogers, the state advisor, a golden fever promoted too much construction. In the five years to 2015, the number of establishments has almost doubled to 1,300, with international companies having agreed to a total of 2.7 billion dollars in investment in establishments, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Commerce.
Accor SA, the leading hospitality company in France, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. in the USA are among the country's most westerly chain operators. The two Hilton Myanmar real estate facilities have seen double-digit annual growth in capacity utilization and profits since opening in 2014, Hilton Asia-Pacific President Martin Rinck said in an e-mail without comment.
He said the firm has three more properties scheduled for the state. Constructed almost over night in the 2000', when the former army rule relocated the Yangon empire capitol, the old settlement is now a haunted place with empty 14-lane motorways, enclosed stores and, according to the Union of Myanmar Travel Association, 5,000 mostly unoccupied rooms.
One TripAdvisor report from a tenant in one of the city's luxurious properties last autumn said: "The only visitors are lonesome advisors working for humanitarian organisations. Outside the capitol the hotels are also empty. According to the Union of Myanmar Travel Association, capacity utilization was below 40 per cent in the humid winter and the humid south.
The Department of Commerce said in September that it would limit new hotels in several important tourist resorts, up to and includ-ing Yangon. Nevertheless, the Department of Civil Aviation is pressing ahead with the development of Yangon International Airport, which can carry 20 million travellers per year until next year, roughly as many as those at the airport in heavily frequented locations such as Bali.
In the meantime, the construction of a second intercontinental aerodrome is planned only 37 nautical mile away, with an original passenger carrying an additional 12 million people. However, an uncontrolled trend can harm Myanmar's environment and reduce the country's appeal even before tourists have a real opportunity to develop, says Oliver Esser Soe Thet.
He is the proprietor of a fashion shop on Ngapali Beaches, a pedestrian western shore of palms, and says that for years now, designers have been transporting lorry loads of the sands of the beaches to produce concrete for construction sites in the vicinity. In the Inle Lake, a favourite tourist resort where traditionally fishermen's communities lie on footbridges above the sea, a large part of the waterside woodland for new streets and structures was cleared in 2012, and now the escalation is choking parts of the waterways.
Myanmar's former army regime constructed an 18-hole course and tens of hostels amidst the vast archaeological site of Bagan, a set of tens of thousands of tenth-century temples. In 2016, an earthquake further increased the losses and there are still buildings in the area.