Thai investors and business people have lingering perceptions of Myanmar which often interfere with their decision to do business here. Some of those perceptions may be founded, but they should look to positive changes taking place and the time needed to do so. If that is possible, Myanmar is a land of opportunity particularly in the hotel and tourism sector. That is the message from the Thai ambassador to Myanmar at a conference held recently in Thailand.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in this country of over 50 million people is expected to grow 9.1 % and continue to consistently do so over the coming years. Per capita income in Myanmar is rising from an annual $850 currently to about $2,500 by 2030. When it comes to tourism , there is lack of four and five star hotels, however foreign investors are allowed now to hold a 100% ownership in such hotels. There is also need for good restaurants in the bigger cities. Foreign tourist arrivals are expected to double this year to 3 million with most of them coming from Asia. Of those from Asia most come from Thailand followed by China and Japan.