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Burma’s Re-opening to the World: An Examination of Sustainable Tourism Development in the 21st Century


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Now that Myanmar’s government has recently begun allowing travellers/tourists to freely enter the country, the formerly non-developed tourism industry is quickly becoming a major contributor to the nation’s economy. With these quickly increasing visitor numbers, tourism infrastructure development must focus on steady sustainability if it is to succeed as well as provide substantial benefits and opportunities for the country as a whole. The future of Myanmar’s tourism industry is dependent on sustainability practices and initiatives and therefore, must imitate its neighbor’s positive examples in order to preserve vast natural resources for future generations. Myanmar’s tourism development and future perceptions as an international tourist destination will have great implications for Southeast Asia as a whole, as they quickly become a key player in the regions tourism industry.

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Burma’s Re-opening to the World: An Examination of Sustainable Tourism Development in the 21st Century

  1. 1. Myanmar’s Reopening to the World: An Examination of Ecotourism Development in the Twenty First Century Research & Presented by: Daniel Pliske
  2. 2. ONTENTS .C Part one Introduction to Myanmar and ecotourism Part two Tourism Leadership and economic impact in Myanmar Part three Ecotourism in Myanmar
  3. 3. The Golden Land
  4. 4. Obstacles for Tourism in Myanmar High Colonialism (1920s) Civil War (1948-1962) Mass Tourism -2011 Socialist Regime (1962-1988) Quasi-socialist Regime (1990s) Structural corruption Crony capitalism Poverty Ongoing human rights violations Communal violence
  5. 5. Tourism Leadership in Myanmar Global and Regional Scale Development of World Tourism Global and Regional Organization National Scale - Myanmar Government
  6. 6. The development of World Tourism > Tourism Leadership > Myanmar to rejoin UNWTO Myanmar signed the Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam Tourism Cooperation (CLMV) > Global – Regional Scale
  7. 7. Tourism Leadership National Scale Ministry of Hotels and Tourism > > NGOs
  8. 8. Infrastructure Environmental concern Overseeing tourism Tourism investment Rail network Responsible Tourism Policy (2012) Best Practices for Foreign Visitors (2012) Tourism Master Plan (2013) Recent Policy
  9. 9. Tourism Impact on Economy 716 731 763 792 816 1059 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 NUMBERS OF ARRIVALS IN THOUSANDS (1000) Tourist arrivals in Myanmar (2007-2012) Source: Myanmar Ministry of Hotel and Tourism. Tourism Statistics Report (2007-2012).
  10. 10. What is Eco-tourism? Ecotourism “is environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features – both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low negative visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socioeconomic involvement of local populations” (World Conservation Union). > Nature-based destinations Learning-focused interaction between the tourist and natural attraction > > Environment, social-cultural sustainability
  11. 11. Myanmar’s Ecotourism Destination Wildlife National Parks and Sanctuaries • Alungdaw Kathapa National Park – jungle trekking and elephant riding • Hlawaga National Park – bird watching • Popa Mountain Park – extinct volcano with monkeys • Lampi Island (Mergui Archipelago) – diving and other marine based activities • Sein-Ye Forest Camp (Bago Yoma) – experience in witnessing the logging methods and the utilization of elephants • Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary (Shwe Bo) • National Botanical Gardens • Moneyingyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary • Kakaborazi National Park, Myaing Hay Wun Elephant Camp • Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary • Nat Ma Taung National Park • Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary • Yangon Zoo logical Gardens.
  12. 12. National Kandawgyi Gardens
  13. 13. Bird watching in MOEYUNGYI WETLANDS
  14. 14. Myanmar’s Ecotourism in Action Protecting Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Environment The threat of animal poaching high rate of deforestation
  15. 15. Myanmar’s Ecotourism in Action Protecting Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Environment • Protected Area System – PAS • Legislations • Elephant Preservation Act • Forest Law • Forest Policy • Rules relating to the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas
  16. 16. Myanmar’s Ecotourism in Action • Government intends to open up more restricted areas in the country to tourists in order to help to attract more visitors Access to Restricted Areas Chin State resident
  17. 17. Myanmar’s Ecotourism in Action Ecolodges Myanmar Andaman Resort
  18. 18. Myanmar’s Ecotourism in Action Ecolodges Mount Oasis Resort
  19. 19. Myanmar’s Ecotourism in Action Tour-operators Some examples: > Supreme Services Team (SST) Tourism > Woodlands Travel
  20. 20. Ecotourism in Myanmar Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
  21. 21. Myanmar’s Future Ecotourism Challenges • Crony involvement in tourism – land conflict, etc. • Local community empowerment • Area, biodiversity and environment protection • Poor chances for small ecotourism enterprises • Lack of training programs for language skills and capacity management • lack of skilled labor and professionals • Human rights issues (forced labor, child labor, woman empowerment, etc.) • Weakness ecotourism knowledge awareness
  22. 22. References Hausler, N., Munz, A., Westarp, L., Daw Khin Than Win, U Kyi Thein Ko. (September 27, 2012). Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Ministry of Hotels & Tourism Responsible Tourism Policy. Retrieved from http://www.burma-center. org/en/publications/documents/item/344-myanmar-responsible-tourism-policy/ (June 5, 2013). Myanmar Unveils $500 Million Tourism Plan. Asian Development Bank (ADB). Retrieved from (February 22, 2013). Investing in Myanmar’s Tourism Industry. Retrieved from tourism-industry/ (May 23, 2011). Eco-Tourism. Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Tourism in Burma. Tourism Transparency. Retrieved from Kay Leigh Long. (June 6, 2013). Myanmar reveals tourism Master Plan. Myanmar Times. Retrieved from Sonenshine, T. (August 17, 2013). Myanmar Opening to Tourism, Investment – and Reform? National Geographic Daily News. Retrieved from (May 11, 2012). Myanmar set to rejoin UNWTO. World Tourism Organization UNWTO. Retrieved from
  23. 23. References U Htay Aung. (June 2013). Myanmar Tourism Master Plan | 2013-2020 (Final Draft Report). Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Retrieved from 2020.pdf World Travel and Tourism Council (2013). Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2013. Myanmar. London Asian Development Bank (2005). Tourism Strategy Final Report (TA 6179-REG). Annex 3 Technical Notes and Tables. Manila Wall, W. & Aung, L. S. A Feasibility Study Setting Up Ecotourism Business in Myanmar. Master of Business Administration in Management. School of Management. Shinawatra University. Bangkok, Thailand. Ceballos-Lascurain, H. (1996). Tourism, Ecotourism and Protected Areas. Gland: IUCN Publication. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) (1990; 2006). Fact Sheet: Global Ecotourism. Retrieved from Bushell, R. (2001). The Place of Ecotourism, With Particular Reference to Australia, Sydney: School of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus. Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Tourism Development Report 2012: Speech delivered from the Union Minister for the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and for Sports, meeting with the Singaporean Business Delegation. Nay Pyi Taw: Ministry of Government Press, 2012.
  24. 24. Thank You! Any Questions? Presentation by Daniel M. Pliske Sales & Marketing, Access China Tours Master of Tourism Management (MTM) Graduate Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR) Colorado State University (CSU) Fort Collins, Colorado, USA PowerPoint by: Wen Zhao