A take on tourism in Myanmar

Among the different gifts that we receive in our lifetime, the gift of nature is the best and probably the most valuable. At Myanmar, we enjoy the abundance of nature. From beautiful snowcapped peaks to kilometres of fine sand beaches, Myanmar has been bestowed with the best nature has to offer.

It is unfortunate that we are not aware of the value of natural gifts. Often, human beings become myopic about using nature and abuse them. However, we should always keep a long term perspective and avoid short-sightedness. This will enable us to leave these gifts for our children to enjoy. We should leave the world a better place than we found and that is the best thing that we can do in our lives.

The natural beauty of Myanmar is a gift of God and it is our duty to maintain the natural beauty of Myanmar. Our people should know the value of natural beauty of Myanmar and understand that not many countries around the world have what we do.

In the field of hospitality and tourism, we are often taught about the 4 A’s – Attraction, Accessibility, Accommodation and Amenity. These are the fundamentals of tourism and possess an interrelation between them. I feel Attraction is main among these four points. The other A’s support Attraction.

In Myanmar, there are many tourist attraction places waiting to be explored. Our Attractions is the basis of our tourism industry. There are immense opportunities to strengthen our tourism industry. We have 14 states and regions with each state and region having its own natural beauty, natural resources and own distinctive culture. These are also what attracts tourists from all our world.

While we concentrate on developing our tourism industry, it is also essential for us not to overdo it. We should be careful not to destroy our natural beauty. We have already seen how uncontrolled tourism has destroyed the environment in countries around the world. Our country has a robust environmental policy and it is the duty of all citizens and tourists to obey the same. This will help us maintain the natural beauty and the eco-system of our country.

Tourists visit our country for a variety of purposes – for shopping and travelling, gaining knowledge, doing business and much more. Our country holds a unique image on the world map. Several tourists have visited our country and have taken unique photographs which have gained popularity across the world. This has helped tourism in our country, attracting people from all over the world.

Recently, I visited a few places in the Chin state – Kan Patlet, Naga and Lahal Myo.  I thought this region is like a separate world from the rest of the country. It is like nothing I have seen before. The entire region has high mountains and deep crevasses.  Transportation in this region is difficult. Providing health benefits and education and supporting the economy of the region is difficult due to the difficult terrain.

Chin State has an ethnic group who live in the high mountains and deep valleys. The beautiful scenery of the region and its people are a matter of tourist’s curiosity and hence it is slowly emerging as a popular tourist destination in the world. However, transportation in these parts is tricky. Hence, it is better for tourists to take the help of tour companies who will plan the trips and ensure that the tourists have a great time.

Transportation remains a problem here. Although it is convenient to travel by land and the journey takes one through the picturesque countryside crossing the Ayeyarwaddy river through bridges several times, it is a time-consuming affair. Connecting the region well through airways will really help tourism in this region.

While Chin State can be visited throughout the year, except during the rainy season, a great time visit it is during the Naga festival. Several tour companies organise trips during this time. Many tour organisers club Chin state along with other regions of the country, such as Myeik, Chin, Naga and Danu, A Long Taw Kathapa, Chatthin, Hlaw Kar, Inn Taw Gyi, InnLay, Kyeik Htee Yoe, Lanpi, Lawkananda, Mainma Hla Kyun, Moe Yone Kyii, Myein, Nat Ma taung, Pin lone Pya Darlin cave, Phoe Kyar, Popa, Shwesettaw, Thamee Hla Kyun, Watthtee Kan. However, I feel Chin State itself deserves a few days to explore.

Safety remains a big concern for international tourists visiting the country. Since tourism is still in the developing stage in our country, and there are still several restricted areas, people are still not sure about the safety aspect of our country. Most international tourists keep safety as their primary concern and don’t want to go to restricted areas. However, they prefer to travel to Myanmar due to the immense natural beauty of the country. The reason why restricted areas exist in our country is that we are afraid of the damages uncontrolled tourism might bring to the culture and ethnicity of the local people. As a country, we concentrate on the quality of tourists, rather than the quantity.

The Ministry of Hotel and Tourism of Myanmar are dedicated to promoting the country as a tourist destination and doing their best to improve the tourism industry in the country. Tourism helps the economy of our country and helps us make our mark in the world. We hope to be considered as a destination of choice for most tourists across the world.

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