First China-Myanmar tourism industry training course opens today in Yangon
THE first China-Myanmar hotel and tourism vocational one-month course will open Thursday in Yangon, thanks to the cooperation between the embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.
Teachers from Dehong Vocational College of Yunnan will instruct 30 young waiters and waitress in restaurant services. From this initial training, they will continue their apprenticeship in the hotel and tourism industry.
“This is our first step. We hope to open more tourism-related courses for Myanmar’s youth, after this first batch. Human resource development is important in the tourism industry. We should also focus on other sectors, such as airline cooperation between countries,” Mr Chen, deputy chief of mission and minister-counselor told The Myanmar Times on September 13.
There is a China-Myanmar tourism working committee in charge of developing Myanmar’s tourism. It hopes to form skilled workers to operate in the Myanmar tourism industry, U Yan Win, chair of Myanmar tourism federation, an organisation supporting the traineeship, said at the press conference in Yangon.
“Currently we already received 2.2 million tourists and we hope to get over 4 million international visitors by the end of the year. That is why such programs for our people are so important,” said U Yee Mon, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.
Aircrafts operating between China and Myanmar can only transport 100 passengers at a time. The Chinese embassy will lobby to increase the number of airlines with better capacities, he added.
“Recent airlines and aircraft capacity is small in comparison with China-Myanmar’s strong friendship. Embassies will mobilise both governments and related ministries on the issue. Furthermore, the hotel industry still needs to develop as Chinese tourists are interested in Myanmar, but the hotel capacity is not enough to accommodate all travelers; and it comes at a higher price” Mr Chen said.
China has a population of 1.3 billion of which 122 million visited foreign destinations in 2016. They spent US$110 billion during their trip - an average of $900 per person. One fourth of Thailand’s foreign visitors come from China. Last year, close to 9 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, according to Mr Chen. However, only a few Chinese tourists come to Myanmar, which is why they want to develop Chinese tourism in Myanmar, he added.
“It is more expensive for a Chinese tourist to stay a week in Myanmar, due to hotel prices, than to visit Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore. Even if we are a bigger contributor to Myanmar through foreign investment, only a few investments reach the hotel sector, because it is not a priority for China’s investment in Myanmar. We’re trying to persuade the government’s owned company and private company to invest in Myanmar’s hotel industry,” Mr Chen said.
The China-Myanmar Hotels and Tourism Vocational Training Course is launched at Myanmar Sports Hotel on September 13.