Some of the country’s most prized state-run hotel properties have quietly been tendered to private Myanmar firms by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
These include Thiri Myaing Hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin, which was formerly known as Candacraig and is set on 7 acres of gardens. Built in 1904, it was a chummery house for the Bombay Burmah Trading Company during the colonial period and hosted Eric Blair, who would later find fame as the writer George Orwell.
Two other colonial-era hotels in Pyin Oo Lwin, Gandamar Myaing Hotel – formerly known as Croxton – and Nan Myaing Hotel – formerly Craddock Court – were also included in the tender, which was announced in the state-run Kyemon (Mirror) newspaper on May 30 and closed on June 25.
Other properties included Chaungtha New Beach Hotel, Mrauk Oo Hotel and New Kengtung Hotel. No bids above the floor price were received for two hotels in the tender – Pyin Oo Lwin Guesthouse and Kyaukse Guesthouse – owned by the Ministry of Construction.
The tender attracted little attention and a number of industry sources contacted were unaware it had even taken place.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism provided the names of the winning bidders but not the names of their companies, the price paid, length of the contracts or tender conditions. The spokesperson also declined to say how many companies participated in the tender, whether foreign companies were eligible to take part and, if so, whether any submitted bids.
The winners of the tender were: U Than Zaw Htay (Thiri Myaing Hotel); Daw Ban Moe (Nan Myaing Hotel); U Tun Tun Win (Gandamar Myaing Hotel); U Zar Ni Aung (Chaungtha New Beach Hotel); U Ye Tun Kyaw (Mrauk Oo Hotel); and U Nandar Hla Myint (New Kengtung Hotel).
An official from the Myanmar Investment Commission said it had no information on the tender.
The Myanmar Times contacted the six tendered hotels and senior staff at five of them said they were also unaware of the tender.
However, the hotel manager at Mrauk Oo Hotel said the tender had been won by Natural Force Company, which agreed to pay the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism K166.5 million (about US$170,000) a year for 15 years.
The manager said the ministry conducted the tender because the state-run hotels were losing money. He said that the hotel’s 17 staff will leave when the property is handed over to Natural Force Company, with seven to retire and 10 to be transferred to Nay Pyi Taw.
Source: Myanmar Times