Yangon-area hotels have undergone inspections for upgrades in advance of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, according to the Myanmar Hotelier Association.
"We started [the inspections] in September in time for the SEA Games. It's only for the Yangon Hotel Zone," said Tin Win, chairman of Yangon Hotel Zone. He added that the MHA cannot give star ratings to the hotels but can only conduct the upgrades.
Although Yangon is home to 213 hotels with 9,294 rooms, most foreign tourists stay in three-star hotels, according to sources from tour companies. "The guests want to stay in four-star hotels in Yangon and Mandalay, especially the Chinese. They want to show off to say they can stay in these hotels while they are visiting Myanmar," said Nan Ni Ni Hlaing, from a local tour company.
Tour company sources say that some tourists have been reluctant to return to Myanmar due to high room rates and poor service.
Last month, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism announced changes in hotel rates during the SEA Games for media, official observers, and sports fans from foreign countries, depending on the region.
Media and official observers will be charged US$55 in Nay Pyi Taw and $75 (S$95) in Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwe Saung while sports fans will have to pay $70 in Nay Pyi Taw, $150 in Yangon, $100 in Mandalay and Ngwe Saung, according to the Ministry.