One stop app for “Best Myanmar Tours”

One stop app for “Best Myanmar Tours”

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When entrepreneurs Chit Hnin and Chit Moe traveled their native Myanmar with the Samsung Android Training Roadshow, they encountered countless travel frustrations—and were blown away by product inspiration.

“When we searched online for good hotels, restaurants and attractions nearby, we couldn’t find accurate information,” recalls Chit Hnin. “We realize it can be difficult to find up-to-date travel information on what to expect when you visit.”

one stop application

Seeing a product opportunity, the New Wave Technology co-founders launched their Best Trip platform in 2015 with Linn Phyo and Pyae Phyo, who helped develop the service and are now technical and creative directors respectively. Best Trip includes travel guides for some of the best destinations in Myanmar, including Yangon, Bagan, and Nay Pyi Taw, and allows users to book hotels through the site, making it a one-stop shop. The company currently works with 15 hotels, but aims to increase that number to 300 by mid-2017, and the team is developing a booking feature for the app.

It also provides information on popular festivals so tourists can plan their visit accordingly.

Gallery: Amazing Myanmar

14 images

The Best Trip app works offline, which is crucial for travelers passing through remote parts of the country where data coverage may not be available. Ooredoo Myanmar CEO Rene Meza told Frontier Myanmar that while internet access is rapidly spreading in major cities such as Yangon, rural Myanmar remains “untapped” in this regard.

The app also automatically updates as the New Wave team adds new cities, and visitors can socially check in through the app and Facebook. For the convenience of domestic and foreign tourists, Best Trip currently provides Burmese and English versions. (Chit Hnin and Chit Moe are tracking their users’ home countries to determine which languages ​​to offer in the future.)

The troubles of foreign tourists

Millions of tourists began flocking to Myanmar after it began opening up to the outside world in 2010. Just under 4.7 million people visited the country in 2015 and 3.1 million in the first three quarters of 2016 (although these were lower than government forecasts), according to Myanmar news source Mizzima.

While Chit Hnin and Chit Moe are doing everything they can to make traveling in Myanmar easier and attract more tourists, there are still some issues that are beyond their control.

Mizzima recently reported that the lack of low-budget guesthouses often frustrates foreign tourists looking for cheap accommodation in popular tourist areas such as Inle Lake. The publication noted that regulatory restrictions and weak infrastructure are also obstacles to tourism development, although officials noted that these issues need to be addressed to grow the industry.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism addresses these issues in its Myanmar Tourism Master Plan 2013-2020. The report calls for increased air and ground travel options, as well as ecotourism development and climate change adaptation programmes. The Department of Transport also acknowledged that while train travel is reasonably priced, tourists often avoid it due to frequent delays and long travel times. It is reported that historic railway attractions can also serve as additional tourist stops for foreign tourists.

opportunity to grow

If Myanmar follows through on the initiatives mentioned in the report, the country will get a share of the $255 billion generated by tourism in ASEAN countries.

The country has made good on its stated intention of simplifying the tourist visa system. It already offers visa waivers and visa-on-arrival policies for several ASEAN countries, and has launched an online visa application process for tourists from 100 other countries, simplifying the road for travelers.

If this progress continues, New Wave Technology will benefit, said Chit Hnin, who hopes to boost tourism in Myanmar.

The company is currently developing a central reservation system that combines property management and online booking processes on one digital platform. The goal is to eliminate manually updating data for attributes and rates.

“Myanmar has several untouched destinations, with beautiful lakes and mountains,” Chit Hnin said. “There are many opportunities to invest in tourism across the country.”

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