Vice President U Henry Van Thio celebrates World Tourism Day 2020 online

The World Tourism Day 2020 was celebrated online with the discussions on its theme of ‘Tourism and Rural Development’ at the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
The State Counsellor honoured the annual event, which is normally held on 27 September every year, in her video message which was screened at the celebration.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as Chairman of National Tourism Development Central Committee, made a speech at the event through videoconferencing.
He said that Myanmar rejoined the United Nations World Tourism Organization in 2012, and since then the event was annually celebrated with the contests of travel photos, essay writing and debate and selection of the best performers in hotels and tourism industry.
The Vice President talked about the impacts of international flight suspensions on the tourism industry and the estimation of experts on the recovery of this sector that will need 2 to 8 years at least.
The UNWTO adopted a theme “Tourism and Rural Development’ for the World Tourism Day 2020 in accordance with the views of tourism experts who remarked that the international visitors would prefer social distancing, natural tourism, ethnic tourism and environmental tourism in the post COVID-19 outbreak.
The Community-Based Tourism project of Myanmar developed in 2016 is conformable to the theme of World Tourism Day this year. The objectives of CBT include to promote traditional cultures of ethnic people, to alleviate poverty and to conserve environment.
The Vice President highlighted the importance of ‘connectivity’ and ‘infrastructure’ in managing natural resources for the development of tourism sector and the use of online and digital technologies to explore new possible tourist destinations in addition to the existing Bagan, Mandalay and other significant areas.
He also advised to apply e-commerce in building the competitive capacity of MSMEs in tourism sector after developing digital infrastructure and ordinary infrastructures such as roads, bridges, airports, electricity and drinking water.
He added after completing construction of two new airports in Chin State, the region would become a prominent tourist destination and enjoy the benefits from this business.
The Vice President also talked on the increasing number of visitors to Kayah and Kayin State thanks to better transportation, socioeconomic development of local people on these routes, and a coastal highway project that will link Ayeyawady Region with Rakhine State.
He continued to say developments of more tourist destinations which are more familiar with natural environment in regions and states, preparations for international norms to fight against the pandemic, and the role of Destination Management Organizations in respective regions and states for safe and development of destinations.
The video message of UNWTO’s Secretary-General Mr Zurab Pololikashvili was shown to the event.
Union Minister U Ohn Maung delivered a commemorative speech for the World Tourism Day, followed by the greetings of U Yan Win, Chairman of Myanmar Tourism Federation via videoconferencing.
The development of Community-Based Tourism project in regions and states are presented by the video clips.
Offices under the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism in Shan State, Kayah State and Magway Region, and U Aung Min Naing, the head of social economic sector from the Action Aid Myanmar, made a videoconferencing on the Tourism and Rural Award-winning CBT project in Inn Yaung village-tract of Myaing Township of Magway Region.
The Myanmar Tourism Strategic Recovery Roadmap (2021-2025) was presented by Mr Paul Penfold and Daw Aye Aye Mar from the LuxDev.
In his concluding remark, the Vice President expressed thanks for giving assistance to organize the event, the increasing number of villages from 2 in 2016 to 41 with 19 tourist destinations under the CBT projects, future support to MSMEs with digitization, investments, human resources and technical assistance, guidelines for developing tourist destinations and cooperation of relevant ministries and private organizations.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)

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