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Hanns Seidel Foundation Myanmar

Hanns Seidel Foundation Myanmar
Unit 7, Inya Lake Hotel
37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel.: +95-1-667225 | Fax: +95-1-667454

The Draft Responsible Tourism Policy for Myanmar formulated successfully

From the 22nd of May to the 5th of June in workshops all over Myanmar and in a Concluding Conference more than 350 participants from public and private tourism sector expressed that tourism should be developed in a responsible and sustainable way. Local communities, local authorities and local initiatives should be integrated as much as possible. Additionally it was articulated to raise awareness campaigns about the (negative) impacts of tourism, especially focusing on child sex tourism and human trafficking.

The Deputy-Minister for Hotels and Tourism, H.E. U Htay Aung, opening the concluding conference said in Nay Pyi Taw on 5th June: “The Ministry has repeatedly stated its commitment to uphold the principles of Responsible Tourism. We are fully aware that the success of tourism can be judged by the net benefit to the country and its people.” The aim he said: “ is a simple one – to encourage every travel company, operator, hotel and destination to take real action and show consumers that they not only care about the sustainability of the tourism industry in Myanmar but also the communities that are so often negatively affected by mass tourism. Responsible Tourism can be used to get competitive advantage.”

Currently Myanmar is experiencing a rapid increase in international tourist arrivals and will soon emerge as a prominent global tourism destination. According to the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar welcomed 792,000 travelers in 2010. In 2011, around 900,000 travelers visited Myanmar. For 2012 there are 1.5 million tourists expected, representing a doubling of tourist arrivals in merely two years. On the one hand Tourism can generate substantial economic benefits and could be a key economic driver in Myanmar’s future on the other hand it can have very negative impacts. For now, however, Myanmar’s tourism capacities are insufficient and ad-hoc tourism development to cater for the sudden influx of tourists can have significant long-term impacts on local cultures and traditional livelihoods.

For that reason the Hanns Seidel Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and the Myanmar Tourism Board now elaborated a Draft Responsible Tourism Policy of Myanmar.

During the first days, ten workshops were held with participants from the Public and Private Sector respectively, - all participating with a great amount of enthusiasm in discussing their individual responsibilities for making tourism in Myanmar sustainable. Two Concluding workshops were conducted to review if all important information that has been gathered during the first ten working sessions are mentioned in the premature Draft of the Policy for Responsible Tourism. Afterwards, on the 5th of June 2012 the reworked Draft Responsible Tourism Policy were presented and discussed at a Concluding Conference in Nay Pyi Taw. Renown Professor Harold Goodwin from the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University was the international keynote speaker. The support by Hanns-Seidel Foundation was highly appreciated from both – the Public and Private Sector.