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Myanmar unveiled its Tourism Master Plan

June 19, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59During this year’s World Economic Forum in NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR on 5 June 2013, the quasi-civil Government of Myanmar, alongside the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Norway, unveiled a Tourism Master Plan, which outlines 38 development projects valued at nearly a half billion dollars that will help increase Myanmar’s tourism competitiveness, protect environmentally important areas, and safeguard ethnic communities.

According to U Htay Aung, Myanmar’s Minister for Hotels and Tourism, this master plan outlines a path to welcoming more visitors to Myanmar without threatening its unique cultural heritage or endangering pristine environments.250x250px

If Myanmar continues implementing economic, political, and social reforms, international visitor arrivals are forecast to rise as high as 7.5 million in 2020 – a seven-fold increase from current numbers – with corresponding tourism receipts worth $10.1 billion. Under a high growth scenario, the tourism industry could provide up to 1.4 million jobs by 2020.

The master plan, funded by the Government of Norway, recommends building tourism-related human resources by strengthening the tourism education and training system, and identifies $44.5 million in new opportunities and partnerships aimed at training tourism workers.

The master plan focuses on the 38 projects, such as expanding international air arrivals in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, undertaking improvements to the Bagan river pier to support more cruises, and building feeder roads in destinations like Ngapali Beach and Inle Lake.

Myanmar’s 1993 Tourism Law will be reviewed and updated to streamline licensing formalities for hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and tour guides, as well as to amend sections governing regulations around the gaming sub-sector, labor, and the establishment of outbound tour operations for Myanmar citizens. The master plan suggests establishing a Tourism Executive Coordination Board, chaired at the vice-president level, to draw the various tourism-related ministries, agencies, and federations together under a single umbrella.

The plan also outlines the need for new tourist police divisions to be set up not only to safeguard tourists, but to prevent child trafficking and sex tourism. It suggests new tourism initiatives be introduced to ethnic communities using pilot community-based tourism projects that ensure local people are prepared to handle an influx of visitors, and maintain control over tourism in their communities. 

For further information, please contact GMS Media Travel Consultant Reinhard Hohler based in Chiang Mai/Thailand by e-mail: sara@cmnet.co.th

Written by : Reinhard Hohler

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