Loans – Myanmar Tourism Bank extends loans to tourism sector
Deputy Director U Soe Win said the agreement will allow tourism-related associations that meet the requirements to apply for loans at MTB.
“loan interest rates will differ depending on what one has to mortgage,” he said.
U Soe Win did not provide specifics on the loans but said that they will only charge the lowest interest rates as per Central Bank regulations.
The privately-owned bank obtained a business license from the Central Bank in 2018. It currently has six branches, catering to the needs of the tourism sector and SMEs.
The Myanmar tourism sector has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes restaurants which no longer have tourists or foreigners as customers.
“Restaurants are operating just to cover the expenses. Some restaurants only have 50 percent of their customers left,” said U Nay Linn, director of the Myanmar Restaurant Association.
The authorities suspended dine-in services at eateries during the first and second waves of the pandemic and many remain closed.
Myanmar’s tourism sector has seen a 75 percent drop in foreign tourist arrivals in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Deputy Minister of Hotels and Tourism U Tin Latt. He said Myanmar received less than one million tourists in 2020, compared to over 4.3 million in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, the country expects to start receiving visitors again in the fourth quarter of this year.
Mandalay is already laying out plans to revive the tourism industry by developing new tourist destinations and introducing one-day and ecotourism trips once the sector resumes operations.
Meanwhile, a community-based tourism plan to connect Nay Pyi Taw to Shan and Kayah states is also in the works, said U Thein Htwe, chair of the Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association in Nay Pyi Taw. “We have a plan for Koekwayt first that includes De Lein Li, a hot springs tour, Nant Mon Gyi, Lein Li bridge and Loikaw in Kayah. Other tours will connect Taunggyi and Inle in Shan,” he told the Myanmar Times earlier this month.
There have also been no-landing sightseeing flights as well as river cruises to boost tourism revenue in recent months.
He said the country expects to start receiving visitors again in the fourth quarter of this year. – Translated