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Sustainable Tourism & What It Means To Myanmar

Sustainable Tourism & What It Means To Myanmar

by Andrea Johnson

Myanmar’s tourism industry is set to be one of the main contributors to its economy. The nation has several factors to emphasise on in order to push its tourism industry further through sustainable tourism. To maintain sustainable tourism, a country has to ensure that there is minimal impact of modern development on its culture and nature. This involves a great deal of effort from the government, locals and also tourists.


Developing Hotels and Tourism Industry

Some of the tourists’ biggest concerns when it comes to travelling are safety and cleanliness. To do so, Myanmar is emphasising on the urban development of better hotels and improved living conditions so visitors to Myanmar can enjoy convenient and safe services while causing minimal impact on its own culture and nature.


As Bagan has already been listed as the second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Myanmar, after the first one being Pyu Ancient Cities, this marks another achievement for the country. With this great news, Myanmar is expected to see a rise in the number of tourists to these places.


More islands from Myeik Archipelago are also being opened to tourists. New hotels and recreational infrastructure are also built to provide safe and new experiences to visitors. This serves as a great opportunity for the country to rise in its tourism industry, with more nature-related activities such as bird-watching, trekking, snorkelling, and hiking added onto the list. However, the government has established a stricter rule that prohibits tourists from damaging natural coral reefs and aquatic lives. This ensures that nature is well protected and preserved while the country continues developing its hotels and other infrastructure.


Eco-friendly Travelling

As a country thriving with culture and nature, Myanmar can utilise the traditional and authentic lifestyle of its people by encouraging eco-friendly travelling. Ox-carts, horse carts and carriages and bicycles are still widely used in the country as some of the people’s main modes of transportation. Tourists who love experiencing village life would enjoy travelling using these traditional means. The locals also generate income by offering their transportation services while reducing environmental impact due to the absence of pollutants emitted by motor vehicles, and tourists can give back to the community by contributing to their earnings.


A cycling tour is a great example of Myanmar’s way of eco-friendly travelling. Most of these tour companies rent bicycles from local cycling clubs, and members of the club can offer to be tourists’ guides. Some tours involve the guides bringing visitors to cycle from village to village while experiencing different lifestyles of the villagers such as cooking traditional food, making handicrafts, celebrating festivals with the locals and many more. One of the most popular cycling tours is from Yangon to Ngapali beach, where visitors journey through the bustling city of Yangon to the quiet and scenic Ngapali beach.


Elevating Timeworn Culture

Myanmar is known to have 135 ethnic groups, with each sub-group having their own distinctive culture, language and tradition. Kayah, the smallest state in Myanmar has some of the rarest indigenous groups that stand out for their striking culture and features. There are ‘long-neck’ Kayah women with brass neck rings, Chin women with tattooed faces, Salone people who live on sea most of their life, and many more ethnic groups waiting to be discovered by the world.


With the Community-based Tourism (CBT) Project, Myanmar puts its indigenous groups in the limelight to showcase their cultural diversity while preserving the traditions of the people. CBT allows tourists to experience authentic local lifestyles while allowing locals to continue practising their age-old traditions. This initiative also encourages interaction between locals and tourists, improving their knowledge and communication skills. CBT also generates income for the people as they offer their services in handicrafts workshops, as well as bringing them around for fishing, swimming, and sightseeing.


This is only the beginning for Myanmar to uplift its tourism industry. There are endless possibilities for it to grow, with a thrilling blend of culture, nature and impressive monuments among a hidden paradise. As it receives the recognition it deserves, this nation will thrive as a Southeast Asian country that every traveller will have on their travel bucket list.



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Office (33), Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

+95673406458, +95673406247
+95 673 406 129