USD 1.9 million Netherlands-funded project to boost sustainable and inclusive tourism in Myanmar

25 August 2014
ITC News

(Yangon) – A USD 1.9 million project to boost sustainable and inclusive tourism in Myanmar was launched in Yangon on 26 August 2014.

The three-year project with a particular focus on tourism development in the scenic Kayah State is funded by the Dutch Government, co-designed by the Netherlands Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) and the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) and implemented by the ITC. This project forms part of the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) III programme managed by the ITC in co-operation with the CBI. The project will be delivered in an integrated manner with the complementary CBI tourism development programme at a national level.It is aligned with the recommendations of Myanmar’s Tourism Master Plan and the country’s National Export Strategy designed with the technical support of the ITC.

‘This project is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the tourism sector in Kayah State by integrating local enterprises and service providers into value chains which will lead to a multiplier effect for local communities,’ said Mr Anders Aeroe, ITC’s Director for Market Development.

‘Inbound tour operators will be encouraged to develop inclusive tourism tours and packages in Kayah State as part of a visitor’s trip to Myanmar which usually covers the capital, Yangon, and beauty spots such as Inle Lake, Bagan, Mandalay, and Mingun, as well as the famous Kyaiktiyo Pagoda. There is more to experience and to marvel at in Myanmar, and Kayah State is a picturesque spot that should not be missed.’

Mr Dick de Man, Deputy Managing Director of the CBI, said there is great potential for tourism development in Kayah State, which borders Thailand, as the region is home to diverse ethnic groups with their rich cultural heritage also offering great potential for regional linkages.

‘Cultural and environmental tourism can be advantageous to the people of Kayah State as it can enhance understanding of the diversity of Myanmar and the importance of sustainable development to preserve the history, landscape and natural beauty that makes up the charm of this country and its people,’ said Mr de Man.

He added that the NTFIII tourism project helps to build linkages with international markets which will enhance economic sustainability and involve communities in the value chain.

The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Trade Promotion at the Ministry of Commerce, Mr Aung Soe, welcomed the initiative and assistance to increase tourism in Myanmar.

‘This is the first initiative to be implemented under the National Export Strategy,’ said Mr Aung Soe. ‘Among the priority sectors, this tourism sector development project would be implemented in co-operation with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, International Trade Centre and related associations. We hope this project will contribute to tourism development in Kayah State in terms of product quality, business linkages and capacity-building of tourism sector associations.’

Also present at the launch in Yangon were senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar Tourism Federation, Union of Myanmar Travel Association and Myanmar Marketing Federation, Kayah State Hotelier Association and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in tourism-related services.