Strengthening the Myanmar tourism sector by using, analysing targeted data

23 September 2016
ITC News
ITC and the World Tourism Organization partner to help Kayah State policymakers gather, analyse and use data to strengthen the tourism sector

Tourism stakeholders in Myanmar are focusing on gathering and using statistics to guide the development of the sector, with support from the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

ITC and the UNWTO are providing training opportunities for policymakers and members of the business community to help strengthen the country’s system of tourism statistics, as part of the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) III Myanmar project focusing on inclusive tourism in Kayah State.

‘This workshop came at the right time and at the right place for the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT),’ said Aung Phyo, who works for the Ministry’s Tourism Promotion Department, after attending a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw in August. ‘Most MOHT directors attended the workshop as they really want to learn more about tourism statistics.’

‘Optimizing tourism potential’

There is an increasing awareness in Myanmar that the country needs a reliable and accurate system of tourism information to help policymakers and the business community to better understand the role of the tourism sector in the economy, to help ensure its sustainable and robust development.

‘Statistics are invaluable for monitoring the country’s economic and social conditions and to assist policymakers and investors in optimizing the tourism potential of an area,’ said U Tint Thwin, MOHT Director General. ‘Correct and precise tourism data is a fundamental requirement for all aspects of sustainable tourism planning.’

The system of tourism statistics can help provide information on types of visitors, the activities they engage in, and their consumption of goods and services. On the supply side, it is equally important to understand the industries that provide tourism services.

Targeting growth in Kayah State

The UNWTO-ITC mission continues in Kayah State, where experts will deliver workshops and training to key public and private-sector stakeholders to enhance their knowledge on how to gather, analyze and use data.

‘The objective of this work is to assist the government in understanding the full social and economic dimensions of tourism and to guide tourism policy and planning while providing a useful lobbying tool to advocate the cause of tourism,’ said Vanessa Satur, Programme Manager, Technical Cooperation and Services, UNWTO.