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3 Feb, 2015

ATF 2015 caps long tourism career of Minister U Htay Aung

Nay Pyi Taw — The ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015 was a personal triumph for Union Minister of Hotels & Tourism U Htay Aung. It capped a long career that has seen him rise from a mid-ranked official in the country’s tourism apparatus to Minister over the span of nearly three decades. I have personally known him throughout his career.

In spite of his upward trajectory, he remains an unassuming, humble man, totally committed to Myanmar, very diplomatic and equally quick to tick-off anyone who still refers to Myanmar as Burma (as I made the mistake of doing at the Ministerial press conference).

At the ATF 2015, U Htay Aung spent the first three days in the ASEAN government meetings, including those of the tourism ministers. Thereafter, rather than leaving, he spent the next three days at the private sector travel show, the Travex, walking the floor, talking to buyers, sellers and the media, getting their feedback and ensuring everything was proceeding smoothly.

He even popped in to attend the Lao PDR press conference for a few minutes.

Never seen any minister do that at any ATF.

Born in 1951, U Htay Aung completed a Master’s in Tourism Administration at George Washington University. He joined the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism in 1992 as Assistant Director and moved up to Deputy Director (1993-95) and Director (1995-97). In 1997, he became General Manager of Myanmar Hotels and Tourism Services and 2002 its Managing Director.

Between 2004-11, he was the Director-General, Directorate of Hotels and Tourism. In 2011, he was named Vice-Minister for Hotels and Tourism and appointed, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism as of August 2012.

He is married with one son.

The triumphant Myanmar team of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015

ATF 2015 Myanmar full team

Union Minister of Hotels & Tourism U Htay Aung (in red longyi, or sarong) with members of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, Ministry officials, some of the Myanmar exhibitors and other members of his team that organised the historic ATF 2015.

minister on the move

Minister making the rounds, with entourage in tow.

minister at lao pc

An unexpected appearance at the Lao Press Conference.

minister at bintan

The Minister (fourth left) at the Bintan Resorts booth, with Maung Maung Swe, vice chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, (third right), Group Marketing Director of Bintan Resorts Asad Shiraz (second left) and Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil (third left).