Inaugural Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference attracts 300 delegates from 13 countries

Yangon, 27 February 2013 – Under the patronage of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Sphere Conferences and Myanmar Tourism Federation today launched the country’s first hospitality and tourism conference – the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013. This two-day conference is held at the Traders Hotel in Yangon from 27 to 28 February 2013.

Sphere Conferences is the conference arm of Singapore Press Holdings, the country’s leading multimedia group which publishes newspapers such as The Straits Times, its flagship English-language newspaper and one of the region’s oldest and most established newspapers.

The Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013 is positioned as the gateway for property developers, operators and owners of hospitality properties, financiers and investors to explore, evaluate and expand Myanmar’s potential as a travel destination. The Myanmar government shared its tourism master plan, detailing a suite of proposals to boost the tourism sector and showcase the country’s potential projects and investment opportunities to position itself as a major tourist destination in Asia.

There were 300 delegates present at the conference to learn about the opportunities available in Asia’s last frontier, providing the stage for domestic and international hotels and tourism investors to convene and map the future of the Myanmar’s tourism industry. Companies represented include Air Kanbawza, Hotel Ace, CB Bank, Centara International Management, Hilton Worldwide, Keppel Land, Meritus Hotels & Resorts, MasterCard Worldwide, Myanmar Hotels International, Orient Express, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and Starwood Asia Pacific.

His Excellency U Htay Aung, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, was the event’s Guest-of-Honour.

Following the official opening ceremony, the conference started with Dr Paul Rogers, Team Leader of the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan Project, giving a keynote presentation on the country’s developments of its tourism masterplan.

Delegates at this two-day conference also gained first-hand information from the Myanmar Tourism Federation on the hotel investment zones in Myanmar. Ms Daw Cho Cho Win, Deputy Director General of the Myanmar Investment Commission, explained the key laws and regulations governing the hospitality and tourism investments. There was also a destination-focused discussion group to identify different issues and challenges as well as solutions and opportunities that will aid keen investors in entering into Myanmar.

His Excellency U Htay Aung, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, said: “With diverse cultures and history, Myanmar definitely has a lot to offer to the international visitors. We have reached a milestone of 1 million visitors in 2012 and expected to attract a further 30% more in the coming year. As of 2012, of the 787 hotels in Myanmar, 23 of them are of five and four stars status. . To meet the demand of increasing tourist arrivals, we are developing and upgrading our infrastructure and tourism facilities.”

U Yan Win, Chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, said: “Myanmar has become one of the “must-go” travel destinations of choice. As such, there is a crucial need for the country to welcome foreign investment to help fill the gap in tourism products and hospitality resources. At this year event, we will unveil appropriate investment and partnership models to foreign investors who can add more financial and technological resources to boost Myanmar’s hospitality and tourism landscape.”

Mr Chua Wee Phong, Chairman of Sphere Conferences, said: “Myanmar is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing destinations and attracted its one millionth visitor in 2012. Comparing with 2011, tourist arrivals have jumped 30% in 2012. From 2009 to 2012, tourism income has almost tripled from US$196 million to US$539 million. With such favourable numbers, it is only natural that Sphere Conferences engages this sector to support Myanmar in fulfilling its potential. We are proud that the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference has drawn tremendous interest from international participants.”

For the complete list of speakers, visit the event website at www.mhtc.sphereconferences.com

For more information on the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013, please contact Ms Nann Thi Thi Tun at telephone: (65) 6848-5371 or email: thithi@sphereconferences.com.

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