As the 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum kicks off in Singapore this week, Myanmar stands ready at the forefront of regional effort to rethink travel by promoting a list of its best kept secrets.
Visitors to the Myanmar Booth at E1, Level 1, Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, will get a glimpse of the wide variety of attractions in the Golden Land, inspiring them to engage in immersive and authentic travel experiences to new exciting beach destinations like Ngapali, as well as Myeik and Dawei in the Mergui Archipelago.
Mergui Archipelago, located in the southernmost part of Myanmar, is also home to the Lampi Marine National Park, which protects a rich biodiversity with more than 50 terrestrial and marine endangered species.
Myanmar also boasts of various natural and cultural attractions in less-traveled places in Kayin, Chin, Mon and Kayah states; in addition to well-known destinations such as Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay and Yangon.
“We invite travelers, from all around the world and especially our close neighbours here in Southeast Asia, to unravel the magic and mystery of Myanmar, experience our traditions and festivals, and the heartfelt hospitality of our people,” said Myanmar Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism U Ohn Maung.
“Especially the coming summer period from March till May, that would be the perfect season to relax on one of our excellent beaches,” added Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Director General U Tint Thwin.
In keeping with the 50th anniversary of the formation of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the forum this year takes on the theme ‘Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebrations’. Myanmar participates annually at the ATF, which aims to cooperatively promote the ASEAN region as one tourist destination as well as boost intra-ASEAN travel.
According to data from Myanmar Tourism Marketing, despite a two-percent drop in overall number of visitors on tourist visa, there has been a surge in the number of visitors from North America and Western Europe in 2016.
Asia remains the largest source market for Myanmar, representing well more than 65 percent of incoming visitors in 2016. Neighbouring Thailand tops off the list with 17.25 percent of visitors, while other fellow ASEAN members Singapore (4.21 percent) and Malaysia (3.51 percent) also rank relatively high.
The week-long forum provides opportunities for tour operators, hotels and other industry players to connect and share valuable knowledge, making it a suitable platform for tourism marketing and development of new business channels.
In addition to the representatives from the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, members of the tourism industry are playing an active role in promoting Myanmar at the ATF. Delegates to the event include Vintage Luxury Yacht Hotel, Royal Nadi Resort, Unique Asia Travel & Tours Co., Ltd., Accor Hotels (Novotel Yangon Max), Tourism Myanmar Co-Op. Ltd., Grand Andaman Co. Ltd., TZK Hotel & Tours, as well as Tint Tint Travels and Tours. Also present are representatives from the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) and Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM).
“Myanmar offers travelers excellent value for money. It’s a magical place of authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, as well as warm hospitality. It’s captivating, safe and beautiful. It’s the one place I’m proud to call my home,” said Myanmar Tourism Marketing Chairperson Daw May Myat Mon Win.
A part of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, MTM aims to promote Myanmar as a sustainable tourism destination that’s safe and readily accessible any time of the year.