Myanmar goes for a bigger slice of SE Asia’s MICE pie

Stakeholders in Myanmar are keen to attract more incentive groups and exhibitions as the destination betters its tourist infrastructure and meeting facilities.

Su Su Tin, managing director of EXO Myanmar, noted interest in incentive travel is on the rise as destinations around the country open up and alternative activities away from the temples are developed.

Su: unique incentive itineraries away from the usual temples are attracting corporate interest

She said: “We can create very original itineraries and Myanmar is a good destination for incentive travel, which more clients are realising.”

The top performing longhaul markets for incentive events are the UK, France and Germany, with Singapore and Vietnam shining regionally. “This (incentive travel sector) is a huge potential market and we need to promote this more,” Tin added.

Phyoe Wai Yar Zar, managing director of Diethelm Travel Myanmar, added: “New products are being created in new areas, which, combined with the diverse landscapes, cultures and foods across Myanmar, make it an increasingly attractive destination for incentive travel.”

While there are several conference centres in the capital of Naypyitaw, the more vibrant Yangon is currently home to only two – Myanmar Convention Centre (MCC) and Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall – which are unsuitable for international exhibitions due to lack of facilities and space.

However, this looks set to change with the government announcing plans to demolish MCC and replace it with a modern centre that meets international standards by 2019.

An artist’s impression of Yangon Conference Centre which will open in September

Meanwhile, the 9,600m2 Yangon Conference Centre is slated to open in September at Inya Lake Hotel as the city’s first flexible and modern event space. It will be capable of hosting large-scale conferences, exhibitions and banquets.

May Myat Mon Win, Myanmar Marketing Tourism’s (MTM) chairperson, said: “With the opening of YCC, it means we can invite international conventions and exhibitions to take place here.”

MTM will carry out promotional campaigns targeting the exhibitions segment as well as attending tradeshows focused on business events.

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