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Marble Eyes and Yellow Thoughts

As time goes by, new things will become old and everything cannot be permanent according to the nature law.

To show the business that supports the national economy in visualizing and coordinating of arts and deep social skills, I will point out tourism. Today, tourism stands tall as a business that can generate foreign income within a short time without deteriorating the ecosystem.

Furthermore, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has been collaborating with related ministries, associations and public with the aim of upgrading of national people’s economy in the country. So, experienced tourism professionals and experts including Union Minister have been taking efforts in community-based tourism( CBT), marine tourism, ecotourism in the country in sustainable ways.

During Union Minister’s trip to Kanpetlet ( Chin State) in May 13, 2016 , I was very pleased to Minister’s words to villagers who are implementing community-based tourism in Saloung Village. He said ‘We, government is the government elected by public democratically. We want to know your opinions whether you want to implement CBT in your village or not. We aim to improve the health and educational standards of villagers with CBT.’ And then, Union Minister opened community-based tourism in Saloung Village with the regional state government.

What I want to present is Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has been carrying out in discussion with tourism-related associations, asking for relevant ministries’ and public’s opinions  in adopting tourism policies and objectives. In addition, as a focal ministry, it has been trying as a priority in exploring new tourism destinations that are suitable with the country and nationals, developing tourism-related businesses such as hotels, tour guide, transportation, souvenirs, tourist healthcare and tourism promotion.

As there are many reasons that can deteriorate the society and environment because of tourism booming, the amount of losses to recover is great unless practical rules and regulations and regional orders have not been prepared.

Moreover, taking examples of neighbor countries that are facing country dignity and deteriorating natural resources while promoting tourism in country, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has been adopting and implementing Myanmar Tourism Law, Myanmar Tourism Master Plan, Community Involvement In Tourism Policy, Responsible Tourism Policy and Myanmar Ecotourism Policy and Management Policy to improve tourism in the country sustainably.

Although experienced tourism professionals in tourism industry are trying to be alive the seed of tourism, some pessimists always criticize every efforts of Ministry from negative point of views. For example, in some destinations the rate of guest stay is less than  the percentage of hotel rooms but hoteliers want to extend hotel rooms. In concern with this case, Ministry reviewed the investment of hotels in some destinations.

In issuing and  inspecting the transportation licenses of vehicles, speed boats and tour guide licenses  in order to be safe and convenient for tourists according to the guidelines, these people blamed on Ministry. Moreover, the government do not allow tourists to travel permitted areas because of safety and security there. But, they also criticize personally on this fact.

As there are 50000 villages in Myanmar, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism explored  new  tourism  like community-based tourism in some villages according to rules and regulations in cooperation with regional government and also has had success in achieving awards in travel fairs. However, there are people who cannot accept this plan.

Moreover, some of the travel agencies try to promote Nay Pyi Taw as tourist destination although it possesses many attractive places such as Phokyar Elephant Camp, Ngalaik Lake, Land Mark, Safari Zoological Garden.

People who are living in Myanmar are honest, friendly, embarrassed and helpful to others. They follow and practise traditional cultures and customs according to the religion. However, for those who are doing tourism business want to implement Home Stay Tourism that is not suitable with Myanmar culture. Home Stay Tourism means tourism that tourists can stay with hosts at home and can learn local culture and family life. In Myanmar, this type of tourism is not suitable and Myanmar people are not accustomed to stay with international tourists. There can also be cultural and social problems between hosts and tourists.

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has published  Dos & Don’t’s for tourists by the ways of uploading on Ministry Website and by displaying at information counters but it is found that nobody obeys these rules and regulations.

In the same way, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is issuing licenses for hotels and guesthouses according to the recognized standards but some hoteliers want to operate Bed and Breakfast (B & B) which includes only limited facilities for tourists such common toilet, bedroom and bathroom. However, some people are illegally doing home stay and Bed & Breakfast (B & B) in some quarters in

Yangon without licenses. Although Home Stay and Bed & Breakfast are popular in foreign countries, it cannot be possible to allow these types of tourism in Myanmar and we must take time to give awareness to Myanmar people in order to be familiar with international cultures.

French is a leading and successful  country in tourism  in the world. In 2016, there were 85 millions of tourist arrivals, US$ 50 billions of  foreign income, 7% of GDP and 2 millions of tourism-related jobs in French. Moreover, tourism professionals from French gave tourism-related advice that should be implemented in Myanmar. These advice includes to adopt exact rules and regulations, to build strong tourism stakeholders, to understand tourist behaviours and to target luxury tourists in Myanmar at present.

In some countries, travel planners prepare the type of accommodation according to the standard of tourists and tourist expenditure per day. In our county, what kind of tourists shall we target, Budget Tourist or Luxury Tourist? We must prepare to be ready in every sector such as infrastructure and service to get market of Luxury Tourists.

In 2006, Myanmar received only 2.9 millions of international tourists. However, this number is less than that of tourist arrivals in 2015. This is because Ministry of Hotels and Tourism only took the tourist statistics released by Ministry of Labour, Population and Immigration. But some pessimists also blamed on Ministry without knowing the reason why tourist arrivals decreased in comparison with that of last year. This year, we expect tourist arrivals will reach above 3.5 millions.

There are still many people who can critize Ministry’s efforts from negative point of view in spite of cooperation with Ministry and associations. If such people  colloborate  and give advice, tourism in our country will be successful within a short time.

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