Peak tourism season is nearing, and insiders are cautiously watching current events for effects on foreign arrivals.
There has been extensive flooding through much of the country and a high-profile pair of bombing attacks in Bangkok that may hurt arrivals to Thailand, the largest gateway to Myanmar. Still, insiders say that even if foreign tourists are wary, there is plenty of time for in-bound tourism to improve ahead of the peak season.
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism set a lofty target of 4.5 to 5 million arrivals this year, from 3 million arrivals in 2014. While insiders say the arrival figures are problematic, for instance also counting border day trips and business travel, the targeted increase in 2015 indicates general optimism over the travel and tourism sector’s potential.
The domestic tourism industry is largely geared toward the roughly October to March high season, when tourism numbers peak.
The twin concerns of the August 17 Bangkok bomb and the recent floods devastating much of the country may keep away foreigners, though it is too early to tell definitively, said Daw Sabei Aung, an official with Nature Dream travel and tourism.
Bangkok is the main route for tourists traveling to Myanmar from far destinations, such as Europe. As of the end of last week there were 10 different daily Yangon-Bangkok flights, more than the six daily Yangon-Singapore flights, which is the closest competitor.
“We can’t say we won’t be directly affected,” said Daw Sabei Aung. “Bangkok is the main gateway for tourists to come and visit.”
Thai media is reporting dropping numbers following the attack, though it had previously been a strong year for Thai tourism.
Thai Airways has seen about one in five passengers change travel plans in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, according to an August 19 Bangkok Post report.
By Ei Ei Thu | Tuesday, 25 August 2015
Credit : Myanmar Times
Companies that won onshore and offshore oil and gas concessions during tenders in 2013 and 2014 will start exploration and drilling in late 2015 and early 2016, according to seminar on the outlook of Myanmar’s oil and gas sector development.
“The government has allowed 16 inland concessions and 20 offshore concessions in 2013 and 2014. Operations will start in these blocks either at the end of 2015 or at the start of 2016,” said Dr Aung Kyaw Htu, managing director from DARE Co Ltd, an oil and gas exploration firm.
With the operations set to gain momentum after 2015, local companies in the industry will have greater opportunities, while the entrance of major multinationals like Shell and Chevron will create a lot of job opportunities for local engineers and technicians, he said.
Companies that have won tenders for inland blocks in 2013 and 2014 are from India, Italy, Pakistan, Brunei, Malaysia, Canada, Luxembourg, Russia, Thailand and the UK.
Companies that won offshore concessions include Chevron, Shell Energy, Statoil, Eni, Total E&P, BG, Woodside Energy.
Currently major offshore oil and gas fields named Yadanar, Yetagun, Shwe and Zawtika are being operated by local and international companies.
In Yadanar gas field, the most productive among the four, Total is producing 830 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, of which 711 million goes to Thailand with the rest used for local consumption. The field was discovered in 1982 and gas production started in 1988.
Production in Shwe gas field located off the Rakhine coast started in 2014 with current production capacity of 399 million cubic feet of natural gas, of which 379 million is exported to China.
Myanmar produced an average daily amount of 1,200 million cubic feet of natural gas during 2004 to 2012 and the daily average was increased to 1,400 million cubic feet since 2013. The average has further increased to over 1,800 in 2015.
At present, Myanmar exports 1.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per month earning $170 million, with exports going primarily to Thailand and China. Proceedings from tax and export of the natural gas sector contribute up to 40 percent of Myanmar’s income, according to the Ministry of Energy.
Emirates to Start Daily Flights to Yangon from Dubai
Dubai-based airline Emirates will launch a daily service from Dubai to Yangon starting August 3 in a bid to boost its presence in Southeast Asia.
Besides Myanmar, the airline will also expand its wings to Vietnam, where it will fly to Hanoi.
Utilising a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration the new routes are expected to strengthen Emirates’ presence in Southeast Asia, offering a new flight option to passengers travelling between Hanoi and Yangon.
Flights to Yangon and Hanoi will depart daily from Dubai as EK388 at 02:50hrs arriving at Yangon International Airport at 11:05hrs. The service will then depart from Yangon at 12:35hrs and arrive at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport at 14:50hrs.
The return flight, EK389 will depart Hanoi at 22:50hrs, arriving at Yangon at 00:20hrs the next day. The service will then depart from Yangon at 01:50hrs and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 05:05hrs.
The new service will expand the airline’s network in Southeast Asia to 12 cities – including Cebu and Clark in the Philippines which start on March 30 – in seven countries when it comes online in August.
Since the opening up of tourism in the country, Myanmar has continued to witness an increase in foreign tourist arrivals. Yangon received 1.1 million tourists in 2014, an increase of 25 percent compared to the previous year.
“With the opening of this service, Emirates will enhance its Southeast Asia offering and offer more choices for travellers in Myanmar and Vietnam to conveniently connect to 39 cities in Europe, 16 in the Middle East as well as a number of destinations across our extensive network in Africa and the Americas,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation & Aeropolitical Affairs.
“Emirates’ first air service to Myanmar supports the country’s Tourism Master Plan to target 7.5 million tourist arrivals by 2020 and for Hanoi, the service will provide additional options for Vietnamese to travel to Dubai and Emirates’ global network of destinations, while also making it easier for overseas Vietnamese and the growing number of tourists to travel to Vietnam.”
The three-class configured Boeing 777-300ER which Emirates will operate on the route offers eight seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class and 310 seats in Economy Class. In terms of cargo, up to 20 tonnes of capacity will be offered in the bellyhold on this service. This is in addition to the 260 tonnes of cargo capacity each way on Emirates’ existing weekly cargo-only service between Dubai and Hanoi.
Popular exports on this route are expected to be manufactured garments and seafood from Myanmar, and marine products and electronics from Hanoi.
Timings of the new service have been scheduled to allow connections to many European and GCC routes, via a stopover in Dubai, Emirates said.
Passengers travelling on the Yangon and Hanoi service will have a baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, and 40kg in Business Class, and 50kg in First Class.
Dubai-Yangon-Hanoi route to start from August 3
Author: Aye Myat | 26 February, 2016 10:40 am | Vol 4 Issue 9
Credit : Myanmar Business Today