Thai hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try of­fers ad­vice as Myan­mar ho­tels eye boost in stan­dards

The Myanmar Times - - Business - EI EI THU eiei­thu@mm­times.com

A JOINT sem­i­nar on hos­pi­tal­ity man­age­ment devel­op­ment will be held on Oc­to­ber 22, in a co­op­er­a­tive ef­fort be­tween the Myan­mar Hote­lier As­so­ci­a­tion and Thai in­dus­try fig­ures. The con­fer­ence is to be held by Krung Thai Bank at Taw Win Gar­den Ho­tel, Hote­lier As­so­ci­a­tion joint sec­re­tary U Nay Zaw Aung has con­firmed.

“Many in­ter­na­tional brands have al­ready en­tered into the Myan­mar ho­tel in­dus­try, so we will com­pete with them and pre­pare to de­velop tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and knowl­edge to an in­ter­na­tional stan­dard,” U Nay Zaw Aung said.

“That’s why ho­tel man­age­ment ex­perts with over 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence will share at this sem­i­nar, in order to ben­e­fit lo­cal en­trepreneurs.”

A sim­i­lar sem­i­nar was held in Man­dalay last June, with around 250 ho­tel del­e­gates in at­ten­dance.

“It is bet­ter if the lo­cal in­dus­try learns more about hos­pi­tal­ity man­age­ment,” U Nay Zaw Aung said, con­firm­ing that ho­tel in­dus­try busi­ness own­ers who are not mem­bers of the Hote­liers As­so­ci­a­tion are also welcome to at­tend this week­end’s event. Myan­mar’s tourism in­dus­try is boom­ing with vis­i­tor num­bers in­creas­ing by 50 per­cent each year over the past five years, he said.

“The lo­cal en­trepreneurs are com­pet­ing in the ho­tel in­dus­try with in­ter­na­tional ho­tel brands en­ter­ing with good man­age­ment abil­ity and tech­ni­cal skills,” U Nay Zaw Aung said. “That is why we will need to pre­pare for this with the help of ex­pert’s ad­vice.”

Myan­mar’s tourism in­dus­try is likened to that of Thai­land 30 years ago, chair and CEO of Unique Lux­ury Ho­tels of Asia Dham­maras B Kasem told The Myan­mar Times.

He said this is a unique op­por­tu­nity to learn from Thai­land’s ex­pe­ri­ence, where hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism has been a ma­jor eco­nomic driver with of­fi­cial vis­i­tor ar­rival fig­ures hit­ting the 30 mil­lion mark in re­cent years.

“I will tell them the in­dus­try se­crets they need to know be­fore they make huge in­vest­ments into ho­tels,” Mr Dham­maras said. “Other busi­nesses can make prof­its within one year, but the ho­tel busi­ness is not like that. It is a longterm in­vest­ment.”

Hote­liers in Myan­mar should de­velop strate­gic plans for the next five to 10 years, he said, adding that it was cru­cial to up­date man­age­ment sys­tems and try to learn from the suc­cesses - and fail­ings - of in­dus­try fig­ures in other coun­tries.

Mr Dham­maras said now is the time for Myan­mar to em­brace mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, in order to keep apace with hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor op­er­a­tors around the world.

“In Thai­land, the smart­phone can do ev­ery­thing we want it too, such as tick­et­ing and money trans­fers,” he said, adding that build­ing Myan­mar’s hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor will re­quire co­op­er­a­tion from reg­u­la­tors and op­er­a­tors alike.

“I think the most im­por­tant body is the govern­ment. The Myan­mar Hote­lier As­so­ci­a­tion and the pri­vate sec­tor must hold each other’s hand to build up the Myan­mar brand.”

‘I will tell them the in­dus­try se­crets they need to know.’

Dham­maras B Kasem Unique Lux­ury Ho­tels

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