An announcement from Memories Group last March reveals a US$3.19 million investment to Strand Hotel International Ltd, acquiring a minority share, stakes for three hotels – including the renowned Strand Hotel constructed during 1901, in the British colonial era, on the Yangon waterfront and is considered a landmark – as well as a cruise ship.
Strand Hotel International Ltd has a hotel in Myanmar and a great number of properties, including Hotel G Yangon, a modern hotel in the city centre, a lakeside property in the northern part of Yangon called the 4-star Inya Lake Hotel, a luxury ship around 200 feet with 25 cabins that manages Ayeyarwady River sailings, and the Stand Cruise.
The CEO of Memories Group, Cyrus Pun, states that the investment and acquisition is in accordance with the expansion of the group’s hotel business sector through developing or operating more lodges and a hotel in Myanmar. He also expresses the group’s goal of establishing itself as the principal travel and tourism firm in the country, positively considering the potential of Myanmar’s tourism department that encourages further developing their lasting impression on the country’s hotel business sector.
The Strand’s associates have also joined forces with the Memories Group for a growing portfolio. The Memories Group has presided over the grand openings of three hotels in Myanmar in the past six months – 72-key Hotel Suggati on Mawlamyaing riverfront, 24-villa resort Awei Pila on the remote island of Mergui Archipelago, and 4-star Awei Metta over the Pun Hlaing Golf Course in Myanmar capital Yangon. In the earlier part of 2018, Memories Group has also assimilated the sailing and yachting operator, Burma Boating.
This Myanmar-based company on tourism also holds Balloons Over Bagan, which presides over hot-air balloon trips for arial views of the temples of Bagan and Inle Lake’s famous resort, and – most recently – balloon adventures in Loikaw, which is an eastern outpost in Myanmar that is known for the Kayah State and its lock-neck ladies.
It was only recently that Myanmar opened its doors to foreign investors and tourism, straying from its economic and political isolation. Areas like Burma that have previously been closed off to tourists can now be accessed, but the lateness of its potential is suspected to be the reason Myanmar’s tourism potential has yet to be tapped into.