Eager to capitalise on new and potentially fruitful opportunities, general manager, Sedona Hotel Yangon, Mok Kok Meng exclusively shares with Natalie Hami the hotel’s latest news as well as his forecasts for the property.
TTG: With a new Emirates Airlines flight set to soon begin to Yangon, how will this new connection affect your property?
We currently receive a mix of both corporate and leisure travellers from Asia, Europe and the US. Now that Emirates Airlines is flying directly into Yangon, we expect to see many more Middle Eastern travellers in Myanmar.
In 2015, after a few years of opening the country up to more visitors, Myanmar received close to five million tourists, and we are expecting that number to increase to 7.5 million annually by 2020.
As the Middle East is home to established international businesses, we expect more groups to travel to Myanmar for large-scale business events. As the first international hotel with one of the largest meeting and event facilities in Yangon since the hotel’s opening in 1996, we anticipate catering events of even larger scale this year and beyond.
TTG: Will you be looking into new markets? If so, which ones?
We would like to continue expanding into Middle Eastern markets, especially from countries that offer flights into Myanmar and Yangon specifically, including Europe, Qatar, the UAE and so on.
TTG: What enhancements will you be making to accommodate an increase in travellers to the destination, and thus the hotel?
In an example of perfect timing, Sedona Hotel Yangon recently unveiled a new 29-story Inya Wing. The wing has 84 luxury suites, as well as a high-end retail experience, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, an all-day restaurant, a new luxury spa and an executive lounge.
With the addition of the new Inya Wing, we now offer a total of 797 guest rooms to meet the demand for quality accommodations, which is currently in short supply in Yangon.
Additionally, we are converting an additional rooms in the original Garden Wing into long-stay apartments for a total of 60 in the hotel to provide more spacious accommodations during an extended stay (one month or longer).
A few executive suites in the Garden Wing connect to a standard room next door, while all the Shin Sawbu Suites in Inya Wing connect to a premier deluxe room or premier deluxe club room, and they offer twin beds, suitable for family travel, which is common from the Middle East market. In addition, the hotel can arrange for prayer mats to be placed in room per guest’s request.
TTG: How will you be promoting the hotel this year?
To celebrate the launch of the new wing/suites and the 20th anniversary of the hotel, Sedona Hotel Yangon is offering suites now until September 30, 2016, at an attractive price.