Growing up in Myanmar in the 70s, May Myat Mon Win dreamed of a day “when our country could be like our neighbours” in Southeast Asia. “We just didn’t know how long it would take,” she said.
Today, as the chairperson of the Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee (MTMC), she sees that the dream is within sight but “the journey has just begun, we have to work hard”; work in terms of building up tourism arrivals to the country that once housed Southeast Asia’s busiest airport in the 60s; and in terms of developing the infrastructure to cater to growing tourism demand.
“We were like the sleeping beauty of Asia, waiting for the prince to wake us up,” laughed May, who became Myanmar’s first female general manager of a five-star hotel.
May was heading the first Myanmar B2B roadshow in Singapore to mark the 30-day visa free exemption for Singaporeans as well as the launch of new flights to Singapore by state-owned Myanmar National Airways.
“This will help stimulate last-minute travel,” she said. “Today, people like to make last minute plans and it’s about instant decisions, instant booking – you have to be there at the point of where the customer is.”