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‘Heads on Burma’s Beds’– the changing scope of Burma’s accommodation sector

April 3, 2014 Wholesaler No Comments Email Email

Australia’s Asia travel specialist Travel Indochina advises travel agents and travellers alike that while Burma’s accommodation sector is expanding rapidly, a considerable level of discernment should be employed when choosing new properties. 

Myanmar Andaman Resort

Myanmar Andaman Resort

According to Jackie Firmstone, Product Manager China and Burma, while the increase in new properties to reach Burma’s publicised target of 35,000 rooms for 2014 may be a boon for its budding tourism industry and addressing the issue of short supply, it is vitally important to continue to make sure that the new stock meets safety and service criteria, while simultaneously ensuring tourism as a whole remains sustainable.

“On the one hand, the pace of new development in Burma could be seen as quite exciting as it will permit more travellers to experience this beautiful and delightful destination,” said Firmstone.

“However it must be countered by a level of pragmatism to make sure that the properties meet requisite health and safety standards and service levels, and that the development supports the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage.”

Bagan temples, image credit Ian Richards, Travel Indochina

Bagan temples, image credit Ian Richards, Travel Indochina

“We’re aware of almost 45 new hotels, lodges, resorts and guesthouses in the destinations we travel to which meet the basic minimum levels that we would consider using. There are some beautiful new properties, such as the Viewpoint Lodge in Inle Lake, that have opened recently and the Hsipaw Resort in Northern Shan State that is just in the process of opening that are able to provide our clients quality experiences.

“Upon closer inspection, however, we have found that many of the other new properties don’t meet the grade to be included within our portfolio. We have introduced only a handful of new properties in our most recent brochure – ones that we knew would meet the needs of our travellers – and we’ll continue to remain equally selective in the future.”

“It’s important to point out that our approach to travel in Burma is to support and promote sustainability in all forms, including the preservation of cultural heritage. We operate at a grass-roots level, working directly with private local businesses wherever possible, and ensure our journeys go beyond sightseeing to give travellers an insight into the many aspects of life in Burma. We seek to provide opportunities for interaction with the local people they meet along the way.”

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