Hilton Worldwide has partnered with Eden Group by signing a deal for five separate Hilton brand hotels in different Myanmar locations. The country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is located on the Indian Ocean and bordered by Thailand, Laos, China, Bangladesh and India. International tourism in the country nearly doubled from 2012 with more than two million visitors in 2013.
Hilton Yangon is scheduled to open in Q4-2014 in Myanmar’s largest city. Myanmar has a population of 61 million in a country just beginning development with western brands. Accor and Best Western have also signed hotel properties in Myanmar recently.
Eden Group already has two hotels open in Myanmar and these hotels will be rebranded and open as Hilton Hotels in October 2014.
Hilton Nay Pyi Taw will be a hotel in the new government administrative capital for Myanmar since 2006. The hotel is expected to open as a Hilton hotel with 200 rooms in October 2014, in time for the ASEAN Summit in November.
Hilton Ngapali Beach is a 51-room beach resort overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Three other Myanmar hotels currently in the construction pipeline of Eden Group will open over the next three years.
Hilton Bagan (2016) – an ancient city in Myanmar with over 2,000 Buddhist temples. Bagan at its height was the administrative center in the 9th to 13th centuries when the Pagan Empire unified the Irrawaddy Valley peoples into the region that became Myanmar. Mongol invasions collapsed the Kingdom of Pagan in 1287. Bagan is one of the primary tourist destinations in Myanmar with insufficient tourism infrastructure to handle international visitors. Hilton Bagan will be a major tourism resource with 200 rooms.
Hilton Inle Lake (2016) is one of the more popular attractions in Myanmar according to TripAdvisor reviews. Inle Lake (wikipedia) is the second largest freshwater lake in Myanmar. The local people have a cultural tradition of rowing boats on the lake with their legs. Floating gardens for vegetable and fruit production on the lake is another local tradition.
Hilton Mandalay (2017) will be in the second largest city of Myanmar and the last royal capital of Burma on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. Mandalay was established in 1857 and currently is the economic hub of Upper Myanmar.
Myanmar is rapidly expanding tourism in a country that went through decades of military rule and isolationism. Military government recently ended in 2010 with a peaceful transition to a civilian government. According to the Corruptions Perception Index, Myanmar has improved from the 2nd most corrupt country on the planet in 2010 tied with Afghanistan and behind Somalia to 20th worst place in corruption for 2013. The United States resumed diplomatic relations with Myanmar in January 2012.
Tourism is still in developing stages with limited access to much of the country. The locations where the Hilton Hotels will soon be open are currently the only locations in Myanmar with tourist facilities. Access to much of Myanmar is still restricted for tourism. The U.S.State Department warns tourists to assume you are being monitored when you speak with Burmese nationals in public places like hotel lobbies and restaurants and assume your communications and actions are being monitored. Assume your hotel room possessions may be searched. Sounds so ‘Cold War’. Perhaps needless to say, but be sure to avoid photographing police and military in your tourist shots.
Now are you ready to get that Myanmar tourist visa?