Since Myanmar liberalized its economy in 2011, the country has experienced a surge of foreign direct investment and visiting tourists. Official government figures show that tourist arrivals have risen from below 1 million in 2011 to over 3 million in 2014, with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism setting an ambitious target of 4.5 to 5 million tourist arrivals in 2015.
Recognizing the need for international standard hotel facilities, funded by overseas investors, Myanmar’s government has worked to increase foreign investment by implementing laws and policies to encourage foreign market growth. This includes passage of the Foreign Investment Law 2012 and implementing regulations allowing for 100 percent foreign ownership of hotel projects rated three stars and above. In addition, the Asian Development Bank has unveiled plans to further promote regional investment in the hotel and tourism sector, and Myanmar has committed to launching a Tourism Development Bank to provide financial and technical assistance to entrepreneurs.