Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Rakhine opens new beaches for hotel, tourism investments

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and the Rakhine State Government will open up new beaches along the Rakhine coast for new hotel projects in order to draw more tourism investments into the state, said U Ye Aung Moe, director of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

So far, the ministry has designated the Gyite Taw, Maw Yone and Maung Shwe Lay beaches as new hotel destinations. The beaches are located near Ngapali Beach and Kantharyar Beach in Gwa township, which is in southern Rakhine.

“These beaches are untouched and in their natural state. The ministry and Rakhine government will work together to invite responsible investors in the hotel development sector,” said U Ye Aung Moe.

Currently, an eco-tourism project involving a 150-room hotel is being implemented at Manaung Island, which also has a small airfield, by Manaung Public Company. The firm has been collaborating with Yangon-listed First Myanmar Investment since 2016.

On February 23, the Rakhine State Government led interested investors on a site visit of Maw Yone Maung Shwe Lay and Kantharyar beaches as well as of the Manaung Island eco-tourism project.

U Ohn Maung, Minister of Hotels and Tourism, said the prospects and investment opportunities at the newly designated beaches are good due to their proximity to Ngapali Beach, which is a popular tourist destination located around nine to ten hours by land from Yangon.

In 2018, more than 60,000 foreign tourists to Rakhine State mainly visited Ngapali Beach and the Mrauk- U historical site.

Hotel and Tourism sector is most interested to invest with other sectors including agriculture, livestock and fisheries, and manufacturing, according to according to the investment opportunities of Rakhine State survey by Myanmar Investment Commission, Rakhine State Government and Myanmar Survey Research.

Investors said that while there are opportunities for beach hotel projects and tourism in Rakhine, one of the barriers to entry is high land prices and poor transport infrastructure, according to a survey conducted by the Myanmar Investment Commission, Rakhine State Government and Myanmar Survey Research.

The state government said that a slew of infrastructure projects, from road and airport construction, are in the works and will soon begin. In addition, a total of five new projects that will drive tourism are expected to take place. These are the Mrauk-U new city, Mrauk-U airport, Ponnagyum industrial zone, the Kyaetaw – Mingan Development project, upgrading of the Ngapali airport and the eco-tourism project on Manaung Island.

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