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Exploiting Myanmar's tourist potential to the full
With 10 per cent of worldwide GNP (or 7.9 trillion dollars), worldwide travel is already an important factor in the economy. This will continue to be supported by the mid-range segment's growing business and the development of low-cost airlines. Burma is at the geographical center of events. The tourist sector is in a Sweetspot, with clear benefits such as large degrees of latitude and a varied nature.
And, while its regional travel sector is the smallest, the expected pace of expansion is the highest at 8.5 per cent (2016-25). Although the interest in going to a destination that has recently facilitated touristic connections, this - and other drivers of economic expansion - is not necessarily positive for Myanmar's travelers.
Myanmar's tourist sites and tourist facilities, like any other tourist, need to be improved, refined and renewed to survive the competition for people. It needs a major push in its communications network to increase accessibility and will quickly build a large swimmingpool of tourism front liners to address problems such as high overheads, educated tourist awareness and linguistic obstacles.
A tourism-life cycle study shows that technology that facilitates comfort is the mainstay for tourism. Everything from route and accommodation bookings to instant capture and distribution of vacation reminders, connection and access to the Internet are critical. That means stakeholder must engage in on-line visibility and not be scared to try and understand what will turn on-line interest into touristic Kyats.
Your entry into cyber space should not only be limited to the field of online advertising, but also to the field of online distribution. The use of technology will help small and medium-sized enterprises not only to attract more tourism and thus increase their revenue, but also to increase their efficiency, cut cost and offer better service. Longer visits could be more frequent if the right infrastructure and incentive are in place.
Only a small proportion of visitors (3% and 5% respectively) come from high-income countries such as the UK and the USA. In order to realise their full potentials, the campaign and promotion must be geared to a varied mixture of visitors throughout all four of the year. It could mean visiting European and Oceania during the winter months and visiting visitors from the tropics during the colder months of Myanmar.
In the past year, almost half of tourism arrives were propelled by only six contries; this is a clear sign that large addressed stores have not yet been covered. The broadening of the tourism mixture also lowers the risk of local depression. Industrial actors need to bring together lobbyists beyond the present suspect community to get the most out of what Myanmar has to offer. 2.
Lastly, Myanmar's tourist boards and organisations must work with the local community and neighboring nations to create their own tourist routes and links to Myanmar's unspoilt landscape. Infrastructure must be made available to give visitors the chance to enjoy the unspoiled nature of recent years. The expansion of cross-border tourist traffic will have an additional effect: it will penetrate the economy of the whole state and benefit both local and regional companies and inhabitants.
In particular, the sustainable development of the travel sector - whether in terms of the number of tourists or the attractiveness of the sites - must be systematic and centralised in order to prevent frequent errors such as double work, inefficiency and over-evolution. Burma has a rich and varied heritage of culture, nature and history that must be preserved, especially in the light of a very high touristic expansion in 2014-15 (more than 50 per cent growth).
Myanmar has a lot of tourist opportunities. Provided the country's long-term policy and position are well expressed and implemented on time, the tourist sector could make a major contribution to the development of SMEs, stimulate employment and promote integration. This may sound like a desired source of economic expansion for the state, but the tourist boards must make advance plans and make the best possible bookings.
In the Southeast Asia office he works in the fields of travel, business, digital media and government. Viewpoints and statements made in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of Myanmar Business Today.