Myanmar Tourism Numbers Fall Short; Bank Opening Postponed

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The Myanmar Times reports that Myanmar’s tourism industry is falling well below its goal of 5.5 million visitors by the end of 2016.

By the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism’s count, 4.68 million tourists visited the country in 2015, falling short of the 5 million visitor goal, and this year, through September, there have been 300,000 fewer visitors than by the same time last year.

Additionally, some have been critical of the country’s tourism data because a large majority of the visitors are day-trippers, crossing by land from China or Thailand and doing little to boost the economy outside of the border towns.

Some who work in the industry say that the questionable data and frequent policy changes are affecting their bottom lines … Full story.

The Myanmar Times also reports that the opening of the Myanmar Tourism Federation’s bank has been postponed, with the intended October launch date not met.

The Myanmar Tourism Federation says it now hopes to open its bank by May next year, with chair U Yan Win attributing the delay to a hold-up over legal background checks by the Attorney General’s Office.

The bank is designed to promote Myanmar’s tourism industry by helping small and medium travel agencies compete internationally.

As an initial contribution, 26 members of the federation are to put up K20 billion, with others to contribute a further K100 billion in due course, said U Yan Win.

The 26 members are from 11 separate associations that make up the federation … Full story.

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