Friday, 15 September 2017

SINGAPORE: Singapore Attracts More Myanmar Tourists After Visa Exemption

Singapore has seen growth in Myanmar tourist arrivals since the visa exemption was accorded to Myanmar citizens in December 2016, said Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

We are excited about the potential market situation of Myanmar, and the liberalisation of visas in 2016 was an important factor in terms of making it easier for people to travel between the two countries,he told a news conference in Yangon on Monday.

The economy in Myanmar is showing good potential and if Myanmar’s GDP continues to growth 6 to 8 percent, many people can travel to international (destinations), he added. That is why we say 2017 and 2018 would become a kind of turning point for tourism growth between Singapore and Myanmar.

Singapore is one of the most visited international destinations by Myanmar travellers. In 2016, a total of 114,000 local tourists visited the country.

According to data from the STB, there was an increase of about 40pc among Myanmar travellers to Singapore within a month after the visa exemption was effected.

Singapore is safe and convenient, that is important for travellers who want to travel peacefully, Yeo said.

They introduced a new brand named: Passion Made Possible that articulates what they stand for as a country and supports the telling of many stories about their destination and people.

It will allow building a deeper and more personal connection between Singapore and their friends in Myanmar.

The number of Myanmar tourists visiting to Singapore continues to grow with nearly 76,000 visitors in the first half of 2017, a 28pc growth compared with the same period in 2016, STB said.

This is very encouraging and I believe tourism is win-win for both countries. People like to come which is a nice time to tourism received.

I think, traveling opens up people’s mind increasing understanding about two counties and I’m sure more people from Singapore would be coming in Myanmar to enjoy.

Myanmar people enjoy staying in our small island country which they find comfortable and the prices are reasonable,Singapore’s ambassador to Myanmar Robert Chua said.

In terms of economic relations, Singapore is the second top investor in Myanmar. Singaporean investors continue to look for opportunities to invest in Myanmar, especially in the area of infrastructure development, energy, logistics services and education, according to Chua.

They are always asking what are the investment opportunities in Myanmar. Recently they are interested in investments in pre-schools, primary and secondary schools for young people, the envoy said.

We hope that in the future we may open a Singapore campus of one of the Singapore polytechnic universities. But that will depend on the Myanmar government and the education ministry if they will welcome international private teaching services, Chua said.

Singapore companies are also interested in the hospitality industry, such as joint ventures and hotel building. For example, Pan Pacific hotel in Junction City is a joint venture project and will open in October with 250 rooms, he said.

They are always interested in hotel development, and one of the Singaporean companies will open the hotel in Kalaw in southern Shan State. Kalaw is a highland town that is very good for hiking. This is how we open up to show Myanmar to the world for tourism development, Chua added.

I think, Singapore already invested US$16 billion as a trade partner of Myanmar. We believe in Myanmar potential because we are neighbours in South East Asia, he said.

Tourism Observer
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