Yangon starts year with strong growth, raises trade expectations

MYANMAR’S tourism growth looks set to continue as arrivals through Yangon for the first two months of 2015 saw further increase from the record performance achieved during the same period last year.

According to figures from the Myanmar Tourism Federation, the city welcomed 193,891 tourists in January and February this year, a hike of 7.2 per cent year-on-year.

More than 63 per cent of the visitors in January and February this year were from Asia, the majority of which came from Thailand, China, Japan and South Korea.

Josep Niubo, director of Lotus Bonita, said: “We have seen a year-on-year increase in arrivals to Yangon for the first two months, as well as growth in hotel bookings and flights out of Yangon to destinations in Myanmar.

“We can expect to see continued growth in the future, as more people talk about their positive experiences here. Word-of-mouth will be key to growth.”

Despite the negative headlines Myanmar has attracted in recent weeks regarding the police crackdown on student protestors in March and the ongoing conflicts between rebels and the Myanmar army in the Kokang Region, trade players are confident that tourist arrivals will not be affected.

Lee Sheridan, general manager, Journeys Adventure Travel, said: “Without a strong independent traveller market, tourists tend to plan and book their holidays longer in advance and short-term disturbances tend to have less immediate impact.”

Source: TTG Asia

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