In Myanmar, Singaporean company, Memories Group Ltd recently launched three hotels, one in Mawlamyaing, Yangon and Mergui, respectively. This development occurred even in spite of the declining tourist numbers and occupancy rates that’s striking the country.
The 72-room , 3-star Hotel Suggati will be the newest hotel in Mawlamyaing, and is being marketed as a business hotel. The city’s the fourth largest in the country, 300km southeast of Yangon, near the mouth of the Thanlwin River.
Hotel Suggati General Manager Leila Nortier says that the city doesn’t really have that many options in the hospitality sector, and they hope to fill a niche in the market.
Meanwhile, there’s a new addition for Yangon hotels, as Memories opened the Awei Metta, a 46-room hotel aimed at both business and leisure travellers. The property also shares its space with the Pun Hlaing Golf Course, which has played host to the Asian Tour Myanmar Open for two years in a row.
These hotels are entering Myanmar’s market at a time when tourist arrivals and occupancy rates are dropping.
According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar welcomed 2.5 million international visitors from January to September in 2018, which is about the same compared to the same time in 2017. Whilst tourist arrivals from Europe did drop sharply, tourist arrivals from Thailand, China, India and Malaysia went up between 5% and 33% year-on-year, offsetting the losses.
Notably, foreign investments in Myanmar’s hotel industry are still going up, possibly in anticipation of growth in the future, say U MyoMyint, the Director of Planning in the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. He adds that foreign investment in the sectors have been going up since 2016, with most of the investors coming from Singapore.
In 2016, Myanmar saw 57 new hotel projects worth US$3.1 billion/K4.9 trillion launched. As of the end of October 2018, the number went up to 67 projects, amounting to a total value of $4.4 billion. The highest number of projects were Yangon hotels, with 47, followed by Mandalay and Myeik, each with four, Kawtaung and Tachileik, each with three, and followed by Bagan, Dawei, Kalaw, Mawlamyaing, Nay Pyi Taw and Pathein, each with one.