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Inaugural Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference attracts 300 delegates from 13 countries

Yangon, 27 February 2013 – Under the patronage of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Sphere Conferences and Myanmar Tourism Federation today launched the country’s first hospitality and tourism conference – the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013. This two-day conference is held at the Traders Hotel in Yangon from 27 to 28 February 2013. 

Sphere Conferences is the conference arm of Singapore Press Holdings, the country’s leading multimedia group which publishes newspapers such as The Straits Times, its flagship English-language newspaper and one of the region’s oldest and most established newspapers.
 

The Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013 is positioned as the gateway for property developers, operators and owners of hospitality properties, financiers and investors to explore, evaluate and expand Myanmar’s potential as a travel destination. The Myanmar government shared its tourism master plan, detailing a suite of proposals to boost the tourism sector and showcase the country’s potential projects and investment opportunities to position itself as a major tourist destination in Asia.

There were 300 delegates present at the conference to learn about the opportunities available in Asia’s last frontier, providing the stage for domestic and international hotels and tourism investors to convene and map the future of the Myanmar’s tourism industry. Companies represented include Air Kanbawza, Hotel Ace, CB Bank, Centara International Management, Hilton Worldwide, Keppel Land, Meritus Hotels & Resorts, MasterCard Worldwide, Myanmar Hotels International, Orient Express, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and Starwood Asia Pacific.


His Excellency U Htay Aung, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, was the event’s Guest-of-Honour. 

Following the official opening ceremony, the conference started with Dr Paul Rogers, Team Leader of the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan Project, giving a keynote presentation on the country’s developments of its tourism masterplan.

Delegates at this two-day conference also gained first-hand information from the Myanmar Tourism Federation on the hotel investment zones in Myanmar. Ms Daw Cho Cho Win, Deputy Director General of the Myanmar Investment Commission, explained the key laws and regulations governing the hospitality and tourism investments. There was also a destination-focused discussion group to identify different issues and challenges as well as solutions and opportunities that will aid keen investors in entering into Myanmar. 

His Excellency U Htay Aung, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, said: “With diverse cultures and history, Myanmar definitely has a lot to offer to the international visitors. We have reached a milestone of 1 million visitors in 2012 and expected to attract a further 30% more in the coming year. As of 2012, of the 787 hotels in Myanmar, 23 of them are of five and four stars status. . To meet the demand of increasing tourist arrivals, we are developing and upgrading our infrastructure and tourism facilities.”


U Yan Win, Chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, said: “Myanmar has become one of the “must-go” travel destinations of choice. As such, there is a crucial need for the country to welcome foreign investment to help fill the gap in tourism products and hospitality resources. At this year event, we will unveil appropriate investment and partnership models to foreign investors who can add more financial and technological resources to boost Myanmar’s hospitality and tourism landscape.” 

Mr Chua Wee Phong, Chairman of Sphere Conferences, said: “Myanmar is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing destinations and attracted its one millionth visitor in 2012. Comparing with 2011, tourist arrivals have jumped 30% in 2012. From 2009 to 2012, tourism income has almost tripled from US$196 million to US$539 million. With such favourable numbers, it is only natural that Sphere Conferences engages this sector to support Myanmar in fulfilling its potential. We are proud that the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference has drawn tremendous interest from international participants."

For the complete list of speakers, visit the event website at 
www.mhtc.sphereconferences.com 

For more information on the Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013, please contact Ms Nann Thi Thi Tun at telephone: (65) 6848-5371 or email 
thithi@sphereconferences.com.




Photo 1 - Myanmar Hospitality and Tourism Conference 2013 officiated by (from left) - Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Press Holdings; H.E. Robert Chua, Republic of Singapore Ambassador to Myanmar; H.E. U Htay Aung, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism; U Myint Swe, Chief Minister, Yangon, Myanmar; U Yan Win, Chairman, Myanmar Tourism Federation; and Mr Chua Wee Phong, Chairman, Sphere Conferences. 



Photo 2 - Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Press Holdings (left) presents The Straits Times "Asian of the Year" Award to H.E. U Htay Aung, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (right), who receives the award on behalf of the winner - President of Myanmar, Thein Sein.


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E 

For more information, please contact:


Ms. Nann Thi Thi Tun
Marketing Executive 
Sphere Conferences
Tel: 
+65 6848 5371
Email: 
thithi@sphereconferences.com

Ms. Karin Lee
Senior Marketing Manager
Sphere Conferences
Tel: 
+65 6848 6054
Email: 
Karin@sphereconferences.com

Mr Yeo Siew Chi
Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: 
+65 6319 1586
Email – 
yeosc@sph.com.sg


About Sphere Conferences


Sphere Conferences, a conference arm of Singapore Press Holdings, produces conferences that are of the highest quality bringing inspiration, innovation and value to customers. Sphere’s purpose is to empower customers with big and fresh ideas and lasting relationships that will enable them to excel in their chosen markets, by providing unique networking and learning platforms whereby they can learn, network and do business.

For more information, please visit 
www.sphereconferences.com 


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd


Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.


Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing 

In Singapore, SPH publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages. On an average day, 3.05 million individuals or 76 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.


Internet and Mobile

Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 270 million page views with 18 million unique visitors every month. Apart from AsiaOne, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include ST701, the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds); Stomp, 
omy.sg and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times’ iPad and smartphone applications. SPH’s Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital editions which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions.

Broadcasting

In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English. SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. 


Events and Out-of-Home Advertising

SPH’s events arm Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPH MediaBoxOffice.


Properties

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. Its second retail development, The Clementi Mall, started business operations in 2011. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road. SPH‘s latest retail development project, The Seletar Mall, is slated for completion by end 2014.

For more information, please visit 
www.sph.com.sg.