3rd National Conference on Communities and Tourism to be held in Kalaw

The 3rd National Conference on Communities and Tourism (NCCT) will be held in Kalaw Town, Shan State, from 6 to 8 June.
Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) and Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI) will jointly host the conference with the assistance of GIZ Myanmar (Private Sector Development Programme).
The NCCT aims to discuss the interface of communities and tourism in Myanmar. The conference intends to stimulate a dialogue on opportunities and challenges for responsible tourism development in communities in Myanmar. This includes practical issues such as operations and licencing of tourism businesses and how to develop tourism within the communities, said U Win Min, Programme Associate of MCRB.
“We have to ensure the development of livelihoods while we develop tourism industries. We will discuss the norms, responsibilities and accountability to ensure environmental and social communities are not affected while implementing the projects,” he added.
At the forum, participants will discuss opportunities and challenges to responsible tourism development in communities in Myanmar, being a local entrepreneur and operating a tourism business in communities, and communities in the tourism destination planning process.
The conference will also discuss the expansion of the tourism value-chain and methods to increase the involvement of community members in the development and planning of community-based tourism (CBT), such as addressing environmental and social issues, potential areas for cooperation, and partnership among the various sectors outside the communities to support small and micro businesses at a local level.
At the conference, officials from small and medium enterprises will also discuss matters related to businesses and tourism industries.
Some 150 participants will attend and take part in the discussion, including officials from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, representatives of Myanmar Tourism Federation and its member organisations, CSOs related to community work and tourism, tour operators who are supporting small-scale tourism businesses and NGOs.
Shan State has huge potential to implement the CBT project because of its many natural and beautiful sceneries, ethnic minorities and varied cultures. Shan State has already implemented numerous CBT projects. Capacity building is also important for the development of the CBT project that will attract tourists to visit Myanmar and benefit local communities and provide them income.
“I think tourism responsibility is important because tourists come to see places where the environment and culture have been conserved and promoted. So, we need tourism to benefit communities and protect the environment. In particular, community tourism is important, because it helps people at the bottom of the pyramid, some of the poorest people in Myanmar to get incomes from tourists either through working in a tourism establishment or by making handicrafts or food items that can be sold to tourists. So, we have formed the MCRB in the last three to four years to discuss how best to promote community-based tourism in Myanmar,” said Vicky Bowman, director of MCRB.
The National Conference on Communities and Tourism was held for the first and second time in Nay Pyi Taw between 2015 and 2017.

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