InsightSurveys and predictions at the beginning of the year named Myanmar as one the newest hotspots for luxury travel. And bookings and interest by tour operators, hotel developers and high-end cruise lines seem to be bearing that out.

Recently, Orient-Express announced it will launch the Orcaella, its second river cruise ship on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, the country still known as Burma in many circles.

Earlier this year, SeaDream Yacht Club, which has two luxury cruise ships, said it was sending one of its vessels to Myanmar and other remote Asian ports this winter.

"Traditionally, since the line started, it has focused primarily on both ships being in the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer," SeaDream CEO Pamela Conover said in a recent interview.

Jeri ClausingBut as guests repeat, she said, the company is changing its itinerary to offer new adventures. And Myanmar and other emerging Asian destinations top many people's bucket lists.

Likewise, Myanmar is among the countries that Abercrombie & Kent says is in high demand by its customers.

The country was among those that the luxury tour operator recently included in its 50 new guaranteed departure dates in late summer and fall as part of its Luxury Small Group and Family escorted journeys. 

While companies like A&K and SeaDream generally cater to the more adventurous luxury travelers, recent reports on hotel development indicate companies expect it to become a more mainstream destination soon.

Hotel News Now recently reported that global hotel chains are following Asian luxury leaders like Orient-Express and Shangri-La into what Glenn de Souza of Best Western said is "essentially Southeast Asia's last great wilderness."

Today, 15 hotels are in the in construction, final, preplanning or planning stages along the development pipeline, according to STR Global, sister company of

Hilton Worldwide earlier this year announced a deal in Myanmar, and Simon Cooper, president and managing director of the Asia-Pacific region for Marriott International, was tweeting from a scouting trip to the country last week.

"Touring the famous floating gardens of Inle Lake. Hurry before it is too polluted. Real pity!," he tweeted.

Another post described the country "as a beautiful part of the world trying to change."


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