MTB is one of five sector-specific banks granted a banking license by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) in 2017. It is founded by a public tourism company. Initiated during U Thein Sein’s government, K2 billion was raised to finance the MTB to help promote the tourism sector, but it failed to get the necessary approvals from relevant authorities.

“As a tourism-related bank, we will focus on lending to this sector. But we also plan to offer financial support to other related sectors and businesses. We will support the inbound and outbound tour businesses,” U Saw Bo Bo, managing director of Myanmar Tourism Bank told The Myanmar Times.

The bank aims to offer low interest loans to assist the tourism sector.

The CBM has also relaxed its restrictions on collateral this February. As such, loans at rates of 16 percent are available for borrowers without collateral.

For those who are able to provide collateral, the lending is a maximum of 13pc.

The Myanmar Tourism Bank will decide on the loans to extend depending on the nature of the business of the borrowers, said MTB’s managing director.

The branches at Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw and other places will be open in next month, U Yan Win, a shareholder of the bank, told The Myanmar Times.

In addition to giving out loans to tourism companies, personal travel loans will also be issued to those who want to travel, as a way to support the development of the tourism sector.

As a tourism-related bank, we will focus on lending to this sector. – U Saw Bo Bo, MD of Myanmar Tourism Bank

According to the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism’s statistics, there are more than 2500 travel and tour companies by the end of November, but the majorities are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

In the tourism industry, there are a few hoteliers and travel and tour company owners who are able to invest large amounts to finance their businesses but others are mostly SMEs who face financing difficulties.

The bank is located on 347 Pyay Road, Kamayut township, Yangon.