Tourism Industry in MyanmarMyanmar's tourism industry
Myanmar's tourism industry will grow rapidly
Increasing market recognition, coupled with investment in the country's infrastructures, will boost Myanmar's tourism industry this year and beyond, with a peak prediction for 2016. By the end of March, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism foresaw 6 million arriving visitors for 2016, up 25 per cent on the 4. 68 million arrivals last year and well above the 2010 figure of 800,000.
Although last year's arrival figures lagged behind the Ministry's 5 million forecasts, industry leaders and lobbyists have led a higher rate of expansion for 2016 on the basis of enhanced policy and macroeconomic stabilization. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently published a report on Myanmar that tourism has become an important engine of the country's economies.
According only to the bank's reports, tourism receipts rose by 19 per cent last year, while incoming trade rose and amounted to $2. 1 billion or more than 4 per cent of GDP. 3. This year, the EIB anticipates that tourism, commodity export and building will be the main drivers of economic development in Myanmar. Expanding in these industries will help to increase the forecast 8.4 per cent increase in the year 2016 and 8.
3% in 2017. For the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the outlook for the industry is even more optimistic in the near to midterm. In the next 10 years, Myanmar's tourism industry will be ranked second out of 184 nations for long-term economic development and fifteenth in the world.
The WTTC forecasts in its 2016 guidance that the sector's overall contributions to Myanmar's gross domestic product - which include direct input - will grow by 5.9 per cent and a further 7 per cent this year. 8% per year until 2026. Over the next few years, the sector's contributions to GNP should reach 6. 5 per cent, while tourism will grow by 66 per cent between 2015 and 2026 to 2. 1 million.
As Myanmar's opening up to global market places and the country's many tourism opportunities have spurred the arrival rate, the fast pace of expansion could outstrip the aid infrastructures, says U Aung Myo Min Din, president of the tourism services company Adventure Myanmar Group. Increasing demands have led to a strong rise in the number of airline companies operating internationally. 24 non-German companies are now serving domestic flights, up from 13 in 2012.
Additional capacities will be added by the end of this year as more flights are planned and airlines such as HK Express and Thai Lion Air are preparing to start flights to Myanmar in the next few of these. This inflow should also place a greater burden on the current state of the airport-infrastructure.
Public agencies are already agitating to upgrade airports service to meet growing demands, with on-going works to increase the Yangon International Airport's capacities from 2. 7 million to 8 million by 2019. During the first phase of this program, a new USD 660 million arrival and departure terminals were opened in mid-March, increasing passenger traffic to 6 million.
Yangon International is not the only one working on finding room for extensions. The tourism sector has to contend with the housing, business and industry sector for soil assets, which has driven up costs, while in some areas zone legislation also restricts inroads. By expanding the international airports, which are generally seen as a medium-term answer to the growing number of tourists in Myanmar, the Chinese authorities are following further trends.
At the end of January, a master contract was concluded between the Department of Civil Aviation and a syndicate of the Japanese JGC Corporation, Yongnam Holdings and Changi Airports International for the development of Hanthawaddy International airport, which will be 80 km northeast of Yangon. By 2022, the new $1. 5 billion will have a 12 million per year check-in capability, twice that of the improved Yangon International Airfield today.
Mr. Nesbitt is Chief Editor for Myanmar at Oxford Business Group (OBG) and responsible for the creation of industry-specific research in Myanmar. Myanmar Business Today's statements and beliefs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of Myanmar Business Today.