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