Myanmar Hotel and Tourism LawBurma Hotel and Tourism Law
Outline of the tourism law: Ready for the job?
Other changes to the recent Ministry of Hotel and Tourism bill are needed to make sure that the new law will meet the needs of the industry and guide SDS. CONSIDERATIONS: The Hotel and Tourism Act of 1993, which came into force in 1990 and was superseded three years later, is being reviewed so that it is a good moment to consider what a tourism law is good for and how it can help the sustained expansion of the area.
New legislation is needed to implement the Myanmar government's engagement in sustainable and community-based tourism and to include global norms and best practice. She should also recognize the present situation and the challenge of the sector. The work of former Secretary U Htay Aung has put tourism ahead of other industries in terms of policy and planning, such as the master plan for tourism, the policy of responsibility for tourism, the policy of communal involvement in tourism (CIT) and ecotourism policy.
"We' re going to examine the tourism legislation of our neighbours and see what is missing in our tourism legislation," he added. Since then, the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism has been working on a new law with the assistance of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and others. We had a face-to-face consultations with legislative proposals published on Facebook in June at the latest and debates with business and developers.
The June proposal, however, still carries the marks of the old times, when tourism was controlled by licences and schedules, and there were no clear thought of regulation and no reason to set up commissions. We would like the new Secretary, U Ohn Maung, who has lived in tourism, to take a new look at the proposal and resume discussion with a wide range of actors, even at national and regional levels, on whether the bill is really appropriate.
Specifically, the proposal should be examined in the light of the present tourism industry issues - in particular those of tourism industry, wastewater and local authority design - to provide the legislative framework for the Department in order to guarantee a national tourism policy framework. Thus, for example, the department needs to exert leverage on the development plan for existing and prospective travel locations so that precious goods for tourism are not damaged.
They must also be able to affect the programmes for the growth of tourism's tourism industry in order to make sure that the needs of the tourism industry are taken into account. The law names tourism companies, users and public administrations as actors to whom the law will apply, but not your area. Tourism can have a negative or positive impact on them and they must have a single vote, as the CIT policy underscores.
In order to guarantee their conservation and to emphasise their involvement in the tourism industry, the law should make express mention of the right of grassroots populations, as well as the right of tribal people. Nor does the proposal of the Tourism Act clearly formulate how the industry is to be governed by other legislation or how these legislation is to meet the needs of tourism.
That is one of the most important issues for the sector. For example, legislation affecting tourism includes the use of lands, planning permission, work, employment, transportation, immigration, fire, law and order, environment, fire, safety, healthcare, sanitation, food law, conservation of our world' s rich culture and nature, as well as information on our personal rights, taxes and statistical information - the lists go on and on.
A further trend not mentioned in the present bill is the increase in internal tourism. Myanmar's growing population is traveling for fun or pilgrimages. Chaungtha Hoteliers Association predicts that 20,000 to 30,000 people spend the nights on the beaches every day during the vacation, almost all Myanmar's people.
The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business surveyed its Sector-Wide Impact Assessments (SWIA) for tourism in 2015, and the Pilgrim Industries Federation released an estimation of four million local Myanmar tourism in 2014. This is fourfold the generally acceptable number for international visitors (the number is bloated by crossing the border).
As well as acknowledging the importance of internal tourism for regional economic development and employment, there is now the possibility of eliminating synthetic differentiations in hotel licences that pose bureaucratic hurdles and the possibility of bribery, and it seems that people should be expecting lower housing levels. Nor are the laws enshrining the laws governing the right of the "consumer" - i.e. the tourists.
Viet Nam and Indonesia, which have seen a similar state of affairs to Myanmar, where tourism has grown sharply in a brief time after a spell of turbulence, have expressly incorporated tourists' privileges into their domestic tourism law. Acts state that tourism has the right to obtain precise information about tourism companies' goods and service, to be private, safe and protected, to receive tourism service of appropriate standard and hygienic, and to make complaints in relation to tourism goods and service.
A further important rule lacking from the present proposal concerns the Ordinance on Insurances for both tourism companies and tourism. After all, the bill does not clarify the responsibilities conferred on regional and state government and regional and local government. The directive prescribes the establishment of regional tourism agencies headed by State and Regional Ministries, whose purposes, functions and competences are not clarified.
They are intergovernmental committees involving community agencies and other actors at grassroots levels. These are needed to safeguard, administer and support tourist attractions. These organizations were recognized in the Tourism Master Plan. There is a need for a new tourism law and it is good that the design procedure is under way.
The proposal must, however, keep pace with recent changes in Myanmar and respond to the issues that have been raised by the sector's actors. Indeed, the first stage could be to remove the link to "hotels" in the name. To do so would make sure that the law recognizes the importance of the whole tourism value added value creation chains, as well as small and very small enterprises, and considers the Minister's function as a key factor for sustained development.