First China-Myan­mar tourism in­dus­try train­ing course opens to­day in Yan­gon

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

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.

Photo: Aung Myin Ye Zaw

The China-Myan­mar Ho­tels and Tourism Vo­ca­tional Train­ing Course is launched at Myan­mar Sports Ho­tel on Septem­ber 13.

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