This week, the main question that will guide our reflection is:
How responsible tourism as a guideline for Burma’s future remains a big challenge in many ways?
Tourists are, admittedly, attracted by the encouraging steps made by the Burmese political power and subsequently, are returning in greater numbers to discover Burmese hidden treasures. Tourism has become an actual financial stake in the country’s reconstruction. However, there are still pending questions. How to promote responsible and high-quality tourism as opposed to laying excessive emphasis on quantitative aspects of tourism growth? How to avoid pitfalls such as giving priority to short-term profitability policies?
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has approved a drafted responsible tourism policy which will go before the Cabinet for approval and will serve as the foundation for a tourism master plan. The article stresses the importance of the active participation of more than “350 tourism industry stakeholders from both the public and private sector”. Without this active stakeholder involvement, any success or any practical implementation would be unrealistic. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism also relies on the active support from other ministries, the private sector and civil society. If responsible tourism wants to be achieved, it needs to be integrated with other sectors and with the commitment of locals: “We are fully aware that the success of tourism can be judged by […] the net benefit to the country and its people”.
This policy, considered as an ambitious guideline towards sustainable tourism, “has nine major aims, including spreading benefits of tourism broadly, integrating the industry into national development plans, maintaining culture diversity and authenticity, conserving the environment, training the local work and minimizing unethical practices”.
Thus, although the concept of responsible tourism to support culture diversity and environment conservation seems to be well understood, much work is still needed to put it into practice.
Indeed, this other article titled “Thein Shein’s infrastructure headache goes on tour” emphasizes the “increasingly urgent efforts to drum up immediate solid investment to revive Burma’s economy” inasmuch as “Burma is still “desperately short of hard-cash commitment”.
In this way, a main challenge in Burma’s growth is the necessity of improving transport infrastructures, above all across the border, since “astonishingly, Burma is unconnected to any of its five neighboring countries by a single railroad or highway”. Implementing targeted policies for improved transit transport is essential to facilitate the movement of people and goods and lend credibility to sustainable tourism.
Besides, this article paints a troubling picture of the economy of the country: “The truth is that the country needs not only tens of billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure from roads to electricity power lines, but also the technology and skilled expertise which only foreign firms have at this stage”. Indeed, there is an urgent need of tourism facilities geared to customer requirements (for instance, water supply or environmental conditions are often below acceptable standards) and managed by staff with efficient skills.
We let you take a closer look at this article and the difficulties that need to be further addressed by Burma.
In addition, from the air transportation perspective, “Thai Commuter Airline may offer flights to Burma”, considering “three routes out of its hub in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai”. Nonetheless, decisions on the future of this plan will not be made before early next year.
It will be held from 17-19 October at the Sand Expo and Convention Center in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Practitioners from various fields (such as sustainable architecture, digital marketing and tourism management) and responsible tourism experts will share their thoughts and advices on best business practices, aimed at “maximising economic, social and environmental benefits while minimising costs to destinations”.
This conference is an excellent opportunity for the delegates to participate in one-on-one sessions with these experts and to exchange valuable experiences on responsible tourism in the travel industry.
Responsibletravel.com is pleased to announce the shortlist for the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards for 2012.
We invite you to discover the inspiring stories of the selected organizations. It highlights how they value responsible tourism and how such tourism can benefit to local communities and environment preservation.
Last but not least, a very interesting and useful article on how to get a Burmese Visa (in Bangkok), how much it costs, as well as some tips on the mistakes to be avoided with your money and a detailed list of all the costs on a daily basis for a 7 days stay in Burma (during a journey in July, 2012).
This article will answer all of your important questions as “Which bills do I need in Burma?”, “In which currency do I pay in Burma?”…etc.
We strongly encourage you to carefully read this helpful article!
Have a good week everyone!