ITC project wins top tourism prize in Myanmar
Yangon-based travel and lifestyle magazine Myanmore has awarded an ITC-backed project the prize for ‘Tourism Development Project of the Year’ in its list of 2019 honourees for achievements in the Myanmar tourism sector. Other prize categories included best tourism experience of the year and best tourism industry figure of the year – with the ITC project standing out among the most prestigious tourism initiatives in the country.
Mr. Nay Moe Aung, owner of the 9 Generations Groundhandling agency in Kayah state, eastern Myanmar, collected at hotel the prize at Yangon’s Novotel Yangon Max on behalf of all who contributed to the success of the project.
Myanmar offers an opportunity to boost sustainable tourism, building on the experiences and lessons learnt of more mature tourism destinations, such as Thailand and Indonesia. For Kayah state, the objective is to establish a new tourism destination with minimal disruption to the local environment and existing way of life.
Part of the Netherlands Trust Fund IV portfolio of projects funded by the Netherlands government’s CBI centre for the promotion of imports from developing countries, the project works along the tourism value chain, from product and service development to market linkages and marketing, collaborating with national and state governments, tourism associations and the private sector.
ITC, in partnership with the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and Ministry of Commerce, has developed several community based programmes and creative tourism activities in Kayah and most recently in the southern Tanintharyi Region, resulting in a significant increase both in international tourist arrivals and in incomes for local tourism and service providers.
ITC also provides advice on sustainable tourism development and decentralization to tourism industry players in Chin state.
‘9 Generations received the prize on behalf of the many people who contributed to the success of this project and Nay Moe Aung has been one of our best trainees and partners”,’ said Marie-Claude Frauenrath, Senior Trade Promotion Officer, ITC Office of Asia and the Pacific.
‘His company sells the tourism experiences we helped to develop under the project to Yangon tour operators, rigorously applying the sustainable tourism rules of paying the community correct prices for their services, paying a share into the community fund, and only using local guides,’ she said.
It is not the first time ITC’s work on inclusive tourism in Myanmar has been recognized by the international tourism industry as an example of best practice. In 2017, the project won the best “ASEAN Homestay and Community-Based Award” at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Singapore.