Ngapali set for further expansion as tourism demand increases
Yangon City, 4, July, 2017 | While there was a 30% increase in visitor arrivals to Ngapali in 2016 compared to 2015, domestic travellers recorded a doubling in their number during the same period.
According to Karlo Pobre, Associate Director for Research & Advisory at Colliers International, the domestic traveller market is helping to support the resort city during the low season from May to October.
“Many hotels offer monsoon discounts during this period and also more hotels remain open during this time due to recent connectivity to the electricity grid”, said Mr. Pobre. “Domestic market demand is very important to any resort location and is less prone to external shocks and also should spur the market for the residential second-home market.”
In 2016, the low season occupancy rate hovered between 30% and 40%, while the high season reached 83%; with some hotels recording full occupancy. Overall, the average occupancy rate in 2016 grew by 4% year on year to end at 53%. Meanwhile, the average daily rate grew by 1.5% and 3.4% year on year for the upper-scale and mid-tier hotel categories, respectively.
While no new supply was added in 2015 and 2016 to the 720 rooms currently on offer in the mid-tier and upper-scale categories, many hotels are undergoing room expansion plus with eight new projects in the pipeline representing more than 500 rooms, the resort is set to move beyond its current frontier status to that of a more mainstream tourist centre especially as infrastructure develops according to The Htet Oo, Assistant Manager. “There are limited options for expansion along the current main Ngapali beach zone, so developers are looking further north and south as well as the nearby islands and coasts where land prices are considerably cheaper, for now”, Ms. The Htet Oo added.
Further growth is expected due to the increasing number of flights, including that of Mandalay, opening the market from Chinese travellers mostly from Yunnan Province. Mr. Pobre noted that the government is looking to upgrade and expand Thandwe airport to cater to larger planes and international arrivals. “This would be a major gear shift and the whole area would be more comparable to Samui than the deserted beach it once was, Mr. Pobre added.