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Tourism Development: Operators Call For More Assistance

7 July 2017

With an efforts to improve small and medium enterprises in tourism industry, SMEs tourism forum to address the difficulties and challenges that encountered in grass root level kicks off in Yangon on Friday.

Tourism sector take 6.5% contribution to GDP, while employment from tourism will rise by 66% between 2015 and 2026 in Myanmar, officials said.

According to the industry players, over 90% of business in tourism industry are SMEs.

Group Leader, MSME Development Working Group, Phyo Zaw Wai: Due to the 2015 SMEs law, tourism industry now also marks as SMEs business. So I hope, under the new law, we will received many assistance that we need for the future development.

Tour operators stressed the many challenges that need to be addressed, and urged more assistance for further growth.

Director, Joyful Land Travels & Tours Company, Swe Mar Aye: We organized many out-bound and in-bound tour packages. There are many challenges that hinder us to be more competitive in international market. It would be great, if the concerned officials and industry leaders assist us to grow further.

Managing Director, Ayeindamar Travels & Tours Company, Aye Thidar Moe: We need to create more innovative tour ideas to attract more visitors. It would be great if the government officials, as well as tourism organizations help us to grow further.

Most of the challenges include current taxation system, licensing process, access to global market, financial difficulties and technology assistance.

The officials assured that the actions will be address in cooperative ways.

Deputy Director, SMEs Development Dept. (Ministry of Industry), Mu Mu Aye: For the difficulties of taxation issues, we will work closely with concerned ministries to negotiate about the issues and try to find out effective solutions. Together with international partner organizations, we already provided technical assistances to some of the tourism SMEs business operators in rural areas. Although we didn't have specific programs, we now talk together with organizations from Denmark, to assist start up SMEs in tourism industry.

According to the Ministry’s master plan, tourist arrivals are estimated to hit 7.49 million in 2020, and official and industry players put more efforts to reach this target. UMTA is also preparing to organize National level tourism summit around October this year, to strengthen the tourism development.