Hotel Expansions Continue In Yangon

There’s many a hotel in Myanmar currently under development, with more set to follow, despite the country’s sluggish tourism performance over the past two year due to the on-going Rohingya crisis.

In spite of this, developers at the luxury segment of the country’s hotel market don’t seem to be affected much, if at all, by the decline in European tourists, and they still believe that Myanmar’s business and luxury travel segment will continue to grow.

That being said, tour group bookings from Europe, which tend to be the ones responsible for filling up Yangon’s three to four-star properties during the November to March peak season, have seen decline. According to the latest data from the country’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, from January to September 2018 indicates that tourist arrivals from Western Europe dropped by 26.15%, whilst arrivals from Eastern Europe dropped by 14%.

In contrast, Asian markets went up by 10.65%, with China leading the increase with a jump of 33.63%, which partially compensated for the losses from Europe, though average travel expenditure from Europe is much higher.

For nine months, up until the end of September, the country welcomed 960,720 tourists, which is a marginal increase of 0.65% over the same time period in 2017, which recorded 954,491 visits.

These sluggish tourist arrivals, however, have not deterred hotel developers in Myanmar, however, who continue to develop new properties aimed primarily at the business travel segment. Many new hotels opened in Myanmar in 2017, like Lotte, GCP Hospitality, Pan Pacific and Accor Hotels.

Earlier in 2018, the 74-room Yangon Excelsior opened, a new hotel in Myanmar built around the old British colonial-era Steel Brothers company headquarters, which sits at Bo Sun Pat Street, on Yangon. The property opened for business with a rate of USD148.

There have been other major openings in the country throughout 2018, which is notable due to the fact that Yangon, on its own, is already home to three famous heritage hotels; the Strand Hotel, the Belmond Governor’s Residence, and the Savoy Hotel.

According to the Yangon City Development Committee’s data, there are at least 189 public buildings in the city listed as heritage sites, which are gradually being leased out to the private real estate developers, who usually turn them into hotels, suggesting that there might be more openings to come in the future.