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Traveling to Myanmar right now, Good idea or Bad

Date: 26/08/2013
Source: Round News
Traveling to Myanmar right now, Good idea or Bad

Myanmar has left its olden days. With sanctions are being lifted, the Myanmar currency ‘Kyat’ going up to 818 for one US dollar along with the recent opening to the hitherto hermetic country is showing great potential to become the next hot spot in the book of travel.

With investors flying in, local people will get an easier environment for business. Also moral reservations harbored in the minds of international visitors will soon dissipate.

Last few months, Myanmar’s name has grabbed the no.1 spot in the ‘must go now’ lists; similar to the world’s powers, all stumbled over the newly reformed nation.

The ministry of ‘Hotels and Tourism’ said that at least 391,176 tourists entered the country over last year alone. This year, a 30 percent increase to 50,000 is predicted testing Myanmar’s infrastructure.

Nevertheless, government has welcomed the boost in tourism. Tourism ministry opened up its e-visa website. Right now, the site is functioning in text format and soon to go live. The complete site will confirm electronic visa by 5 working days.

At first, the visa will be available only to a few Southeast Asia nations and later will be available to visitors from the rest of the world, said Tin Nwe Wynt, one of the marketing managers working for the ‘Myanmar Marketing Committee’.

But a disappointing fact is the scarcity of accommodation. The traveling experience can easily get ruined if one can’t get a place to sleep.

Most notable fact is that there are only 25,000 rooms for at least 500,000 visitors. It doesn’t add up. Officials fear that, tourist influx at the peak travel period covering November to March is most likely to overwhelm the country’s thin infrastructure and services.

Of all the 25,358 rooms available nationwide, 7,934 belong to the hotels and other facilities in Yangon. Popular destinations like ‘Bagan’ and ‘Nyaung Shwe township’ has 2,008 and 937 rooms respectively.

To worsen the situation cost in Myanmar has gone up by 3-4 times. Rooms pricing $80, has jumped to more than $200. Right now, traveling costs in Myanmar is more than 30%, comparing to other neighbor countries.

Service and quality is also bad. Tourists can’t get a decent room with necessary commodities after paying excessive price.

The new ‘Centrepoint Hotel’ in Yangon is set to open in 2013 and will add about 200 to 300 rooms. 4 new hotels are under construction.

Topic: Business
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