MYANMAR Hilton Worldwide has announced plans to expand into the Burmese market, through an agreement signed to manage the first Hilton-branded property in the city of Yangon.

The 300-room Hilton Yangon, scheduled to open in 2014, will be part of a mixed-use development located at No. 65, the corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Merchant Street in the Kyauktada Township.

The 21-storey property will offer 1400 square metres of events space, including a 850-square metre ballroom, on top of other amenities such as three restaurants, a destination sky bar, swimming pool, and business centre.

Hilton Worldwide Asia vice president for development Guy Phillips told micenet ASIA that the events offering is in line with Myanmar’s government tourism master plan, which has earmarked MICE as a key growth sector.

“With an aim to develop the country’s tourism and MICE industry in anticipation of an increase in inbound arrivals during the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and ASEAN meetings in 2014, and the ASEAN Tourism Forum in 2015, we see immense growth potential for MICE particularly in the next 12 to 18 months. In line with this, exceptional demand for quality mid-range and high-end accommodation in Myanmar exists, and with the Myanmar Tourism Federation’s push to position the country as a new MICE destination in Asia comes the opportunity to cater to the demand for larger MICE functions.”

The agreement was signed between Hilton and LP Holdings Co., Ltd, whose director Richard Mayhew commented: “Myanmar, and Yangon in particular, is one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia since the United States and United Kingdom lifted sanctions.”

Following social and economic reforms, Myanmar has seen visitor arrivals grow by 45.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The Asian Development Bank has upgraded its growth forecast for Myanmar to hit 6.3 per cent by 2013.