Myanmar beaches surge in popularity

Thandwe Hotel Zone to expand southwards
Myanmar’s four key beach destinations – Ngapali, Kawthaung, Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha – are emerging as up-and-coming tropical getaway spots in Asia, each with its own characteristics.
The impact of more airlift to Ngapali’s main gateway of Thandwe last year pushed growth up 28%, leading to a total of 71,603 passengers arriving in Ngapali via domestic flights from Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Heho and Sittwe, according to C9 Hotelworks’ new Ngapali Beach Tourism Market Review.
The top five international source markets are all European – Germany, the UK, France, Switzerland and Italy. Although almost 70% of hotel demand in Ngapali comes from overseas travellers, domestic tourism is also rising fast.
With Thandwe Hotel Zone recording a 31% increase in visitors to 72,353 in 2016, the local government now plans to extend the zone and is in advanced discussions to add direct international flights, the review says.
Hotel occupancy on an annualised basis now exceeds 60%. Average room rates in upscale accommodation is in the range of US$150-200. One key recent addition to the market is the Hilton brand.
The Thandwe Hotel Zone is expanding to the south by seven kilometres, adding roadways, electricity and other public services to the area.
Due to limited land with beach access, new hotels are moving inland and south of Ngapali. Overall, there are only 26 hotel establishments in Ngapali hosting a total of 878 keys; 516 keys are currently under development.
C9 foresees Myanmar’s big four beach destinations attracting a significant amount of attention from both domestic and international hospitality players. Kawthaung is evolving as a tourism hub for the Mergui Archipelago and connections to the nearby Thai market of Greater Phuket via Phang Nga and Ranong. Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha, with driving access from Yangon, are more attractive to the surging domestic numbers.
TTG Asia