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Myanmar’s new bank to give tourism SMEs a leg up

THE Myanmar Tourism Federation (MTF) is establishing Tourism Bank Public Company to provide small- and medium-size businesses with financial assistance to operate in the travel and tourism industry.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the HILTON HOTEL Nay Pyi Taw recently, minister for hotels and tourism Htay Aung, said that the bank will be used to improve the business prospects of companies.

A representative from MTF told TTG Asia e-Daily that detailed plans of the bank have not yet been established.

According to local reports, the privately owned bank will comprise about two dozen members of the federation – which includes hotel owners and businessmen in the tourism industry – and has been granted permission to operate by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), which appraises proposed investments in Myanmar.

It is now awaiting a licence from DICA.

Thet Zin, director of travel agency Living Irrawaddy Travel Services, said that she was sceptical that the loans would help.

“I don’t think that financial help is the main issue that we need (as a travel company),” she said.

“After all, our main product is offering a service, so we only need a small investment to start a company. The main challenges are human resources, training and education. Maybe loans will be useful for starting up restaurants or souvenir shops,” she added.

Source: TTG Asia

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