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Interview with May Myat Mon Win Chairperson of Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM)

Name : May Myat Mon Win

Position : Chairperson of Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM)

May Myat Mon Win has joined Myanmar Tourism Marketing Committee, later rebranded as Myanmar Tourism Marketing, as an Executive Committee Member since 2010. Currently she is serving as both the Chairperson of Myanmar Tourism Marketing, Vice Chairperson of Myanmar Tourism Federation and the General Manager of Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon. With the proven records and milestones, she has been serving in the hospitality and tourism industry for more than 20 years.


How did MTM come into existence?

In 1996, Myanmar launched a campaign “Visit Myanmar Year” in order to boost the tourism sector and attract more foreign visitors. However tourism of the country slowed down due to many reasons at that time. Thus about 20 key players in the industry (hoteliers, tour operators, airlines, etc) got together and formed MMC (Myanmar Marketing Committee) to promote Myanmar destination abroad. Later the name MMC was changed to Myanmar Tourism Marketing and re-organized as one of the 11 sister-associations under Myanmar Tourism Federation.

What is the mission of MTM?

Our mission is to promote Myanmar as a sustainable and preferred destination for the travellers.

What are the main tasks and current activities of MTM?

I believe the name of our association, Myanmar Tourism Marketing, self-explained our duties enough. Our core tasks are marketing activities such as public relations, communications, media relations, promotions, marketing planning and so on. MTM is operating with six working committees and they perform designated tasks under six categories. The first one is Travel Trade Shows and Road Shows. We selected major travel trade shows at target source markets and participated as Myanmar Booth together with delegation members to promote Myanmar destination. The second committee is public relations and digital marketing. This committee publishes weekly press release concerning the news, activities, events and festivals happening in the country, and distributes to both domestic and international media. The third committee is Familiarization Trips. MTM will invite familiarization trips for overseas travel agencies, media, TV media and travel writers from abroad and offers them a trip to experience our destinations of Myanmar. In return, they will write or broadcast about Myanmar. These trip packages are scheduled to start in March 2017. The fourth one is Project and Fund Raising. This committee carries out several projects and fund raising activities. The fifth committee is Membership. Its main responsibility is to communicate with MTM members who mostly are key players from hospitality industry. The last committee is Research and Statistics. This committee does research, gathers data and discovers new destinations.

How do you see the growth of tourism in Myanmar?

Myanmar is a country with huge potentials with its priceless assets and heritage, especially for its people who are well-known for the spirit of hospitality running in their blood. Diverse culture of the country, unspoiled landscape and location of the country make Myanmar a unique destination. However the country’s tourist arrival figure is not up to our potential compared to our neighboring countries. Therefore we need to move forward by working hard and by learning from our neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Philippine, Cambodia, etc, which are popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

How does the government support MTM’s activities?

Government does support us by sharing information on tourism-related events or activities. Recently, MTM has submitted “State Tourism Marketing Action Planning” for 2017- 2019 to the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism through Myanmar Tourism Federation and now they are reviewing it. Also when MTM requires approval or ask for support from the government, they would help us.


As a newly elected chairperson of MTM, is there any plan to make changes?

MTM’s journey to make Myanmar steadily developed into a sustainable and preferred destination has already begun. Therefore I plan to focus on continuing the journey with our colleagues and industry stakeholders in accordance with MTM’s objectives. Rather than making changes, I aim to work on the efficiently executing MTM’s roadmaps and activities to promote Myanmar.

What obstacles MTM encounters while doing activities?

MTM has to promote our core and new destinations via many different channels. Media plays an important role as it greatly influences the buying behavior of people. Thus we wish to invite more media firms to do filming or making documentaries that highlight the beauty of our country. However, it is not easy to coordinate between the departments involved. So it would become easier when there is a proper policy or when the link between the departments involved becomes more systematic. In addition, our biggest challenge is lack of marketing and promotional budget. Without budget, we cannot do those activities effectively.

Any future plans of MTM?

In December, we are organizing a B2B Roadshow in Singapore. In 2017 January and March, we have plans to go to ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore and Internationale Tourismus-Börse in Berlin respectively. Also we are greatly interested in China market. International outbound travel of China is enormous and they tend to spend a lot on travelling. So we will focus on up-market Chinese tourists and business travellers starting from 2017. Moreover, new mobile apps are to be launched and website of Myanmar will be continuously reviewed and improved. For the improvement of tourism industry, we also plan to arrange brainstorming sessions and workshops on quarterly basis. In Myanmar tourism, seasonality is big challenge in management demands due to big demand drop in raining season. We are planning to promote our Green Season Campaign to improve demands between April to September. We aim to promote domestic travel in the year 2017 for Myanmar people to see and feel the diverse culture and tradition of our ethnics regions and feel proud of who we are and our beautiful landscapes.