ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Tourism Bank Public Company to help develop tourism sector
The Myanmar Tourism Federation will establish a privately-owned Tourism Bank Public Company Ltd to provide financial support to small and medium enterprises related to the travel and tour industry, the federation’s secretary general U Kyi Thein Ko told Mizzima in a telephone interview October 19.
The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration under the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development has already given the green light to the tourism bank and the company is waiting to receive a license to operate, U Kyi Thein Ko said.
The company will be made up of 20 to 25 members of the federation – composed of hoteliers and tour business people - and an initial capital of K20 billion as approved by the Central Bank of Myanmar, he said.
The company aims to operate in the country’s three main cities - Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw, he said, adding that it will take about six months to set up.
“The public company will disclose detailed plans publicly as to how loans will be provided after a meeting of the board of directors,” said U Kyi Thein Ko, who is one of the directors.
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Minister U Htay Aung told reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Hilton Hotel Nay Pyi Taw on October 17 that the tourism bank will provide financial loans to enhance the performance of companies related to the travel and tourism industry in a different way compared with conventional banks.
The federation’s vice chairman U Maung Maung Swe explained to Mizzima that some travel and tourism companies face problems in access to loans before generating turn-over in a short time frame when operating in the peak season.
Yangon-based Thingazar Travel and Tours company managing director U Tin Tun Aung told Mizzima that small and medium travel and tours companies have to struggle to get loans in a formal way through government and private banks because they may have limited collateral, unlike say hotels that have property.
Myanmar’s 2014-20 tourism master plan calls for the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and civil society to provide assistance for the development of the growing tourism industry.
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