Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business’ Tourism Sector-wide Impact Assessment စိတ်ဝင်စားလို့ ဖတ်ချင်သူများ ရှိခဲ့ရင် ပေါ့

Executive summary and recommendation(Myanmar)

Tourism SWIA Press Release Burmese

Dear Ngapali-based tourism businesses

With apologies for any cross posting, I have pleasure in enclosing links to Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business’ Tourism Sector-wide Impact Assessment which was published on Friday and which you might have seen reference to on page 1 of Saturday’s New Light of Myanmar.

I have cut/pasted the English language press release beneath my address below to give you some background to the report, The Exec Summary, and the full report, in English, are available for download from our website.

Executive Summary and Recommendations (English) (576 KB)

Full Sector-Wide Impact Assessment (English) (5MB)

I also attach the Burmese summary and recommendations, and press release.

We have also compiled a list of ‘linked initiatives’ which are activities being conducted by government, international organisations, international and local NGOs and business which have a link to responsible tourism. Please let us know if you have any more to add to this list.

If you are on Facebook, please ‘like’ MCRB on Facebook to get more updates about our work, and also other links to relevant resources and articles on responsible business

MCRB would welcome feedback on the report, and also any suggestions for how we can work together to follow it up.

best wishes

Vicky Bowman

Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB)

15 Shan Yeiktha St, near Sakura Hospital

Sanchaung, Yangon, Myanmar
01-510069, 09 448011895

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Can Myanmar begin the journey to sustainable and quality tourism?

The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business today published a sector-wide impact assessment (SWIA) on tourism which highlights some of the positive and negative impacts tourism can have on the country, and the choices to be made. This second sector-wide impact assessment by MCRB, following on from the SWIA on oil and gas highlights a number of actual and potential impacts of tourism development. Some of Myanmar’s flagship sites such as Bagan, Inle and Kyaiktiyo, are already under environmental and social pressure from the effects of tourism, which is affecting the livelihoods of local inhabitants and long-term viability of these places as tourism destinations. The SWIA makes recommendations to government, businesses, civil society groups, tourists and other stakeholders intended to increase positive impacts and reduce negative impacts.

Myanmar already has in place a number of government policies to encourage responsible tourism. However, a lack of capacity and resources means that implementation of these policies is incomplete. Launching the report, MCRB Director, Vicky Bowman, said “At the moment, there’s too much focus on hard infrastructure and in particular, hotel construction. Myanmar needs to rein in the rush to create so-called ’hotel zones’, where land is compulsorily acquired for multiple hotels, often on environmentally sensitive sites. Our field research repeatedly showed that many of the negative impacts we found were associated with hotel zones. What is needed – as the government’s own Master Plan identified – is participatory destination management and a ‘zonal planning’ approach, which is not the same thing as establishing a ‘hotel zone’”.

The assessment also found that local communities were still not sufficiently engaged in decisions on tourism development. “Engagement, consultation and participation of stakeholders should form the basis of tourism development projects from the very start. This is particularly important in ethnic minority and post-conflict areas where tourism businesses should take the time to understand the conflict and communal dynamics, and how local people would like to see the destination opened to tourists and benefits shared”, said Allan Jørgensen, from the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

The SWIA highlights the significant job creation and poverty alleviation potential of tourism. It also highlights potential threats, drawing on experiences from the region such as Cambodia and Thailand. For example, children are vulnerable to the impacts of tourism through phenomena such as ‘orphanage tourism’ and some types of ‘voluntourism’. On this, and other issues, the SWIA identifies relevant international standards and initiatives, and highlights relevant good practices both in Myanmar and other countries.

Vicky Bowman commented: “I know from 25 years of travelling in Myanmar that it has so many ecological and cultural assets, both tangible and intangible. Myanmar people have told us they attach a high priority to protecting this environmental and cultural wealth. The country is lucky to still have choices. It can, of course, try to compete with Bali and Thailand to attract mass tourism. But if it does, it risks destroying the things that make its destinations different. Alternatively, Myanmar can harness tourism in support of the protection of its diverse cultures and ecosystems. Those choices need to be made on the basis of participatory discussions at the local and national level. ”


About the Tourism Sector-Wide Impact Assessment (SWIA):

1. A bilingual English/Myanmar report with the executive summary and recommendations of the SWIA, and the full SWIA report (currently English language only) is available here

2. The SWIA is based on both desk-based and field-based research in six locations throughout the country which have already experienced tourism development. It includes an in-depth analysis of existing Myanmar legal frameworks and the legal and policy framework relevant to the tourism sector. The report also provides a background on the tourism sector in Myanmar, including the tourism value chain and sector-wide impacts tourism businesses and other actors have to manage.

3. The SWIA draws on established environmental and social impact assessment methodologies, but applies a human rights lens. The Tourism SWIA and its methodology were developed in collaboration with MCRB’s founding organisations, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). In September 2014 a SWIA on Myanmar’s Oil and Gas sector was launched and future SWIAs on ICT and Agriculture are currently being underway.

4. The SWIA considers actual and potential impacts on three levels:

· Sector level impacts that covers the aggregate impacts of the sector and paints the “bigger picture” of the interaction between the tourism sector and Myanmar society (Part 3), as well as tourism impacts in ethnic minority areas (Part 3.1);

· Project level and cumulative impacts that cover eight areas of impacts at the project level and the cumulative levels: stakeholder engagement and grievance mechanisms; communities; land; labour; groups at risk; culture; security; and the environment (Part 4).

5. The SWIA highlights relevant international standards of responsible business conduct, particularly from the United Nations (UN), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as tourism-sector specific standards. The report makes recommendations on how these standards can be incorporated into policy-making and practice.

6. A summary of the recommendations to each of the main actors in Myanmar’s Tourism sector is included in Annex below. The full set of these recommendations and suggestions for how they can be implemented are included in the full report (Part 5).

Vicky Bowman
Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB)

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Executive Summary and Recommendations (English) (576 KB)

Full Sector-Wide Impact Assessment (English) (5MB)

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