But lack of quality accommodation remains a serious drawback
Travel agents across Europe are reporting a surge in demand among travellers wanting to explore Myanmar. Arrivals in the newly emerging country totalled 1.1 million in 2012, a 30% increase over 2011, and similar growth is expected in 2013. At Asia’s TRAVEX 2013 trade show and workshop last week, European buyers agreed the country is a rising star, but are calling for improvements in service and room rates.
Kerstin Streich, senior product manager Asia of Tischler Reisen, based in Germany: “We have sent many FITs to Myanmar over the last three years. Tourist inflow has increased 25% every year over the last two years.”
Jose Henrique Goncalves, general manager at France-based tour operator Abako: “We sent five small incentive groups of 20-25 pax each to Myanmar last year and got good feedback. This year we expect business to Myanmar to grow by 50%.”
Goncalves thinks Myanmar will become a “single destination focus” for leisure clients drawn to culture and history. However, Streich said: “Hotel rates are very high but the quality of service and guides are still very basic,” adding that 5-star hotels ask for US$250 a night.
[pictured: Kandawgyi Lake, Yangon]