whole country to develop. It can make some people earn more than other people because of the centralized economy of the industry in the country. We confess tourism is a good industry but not a perfect one to construct a country into a developed one.
51 Interview F Date: 15-3-2015 (Myanmar Embassy London) Q. Now that the country has opened up to the world after Myanmar’s 2011 democratic reforms and tourism industry, like many other industries have opened up to the world market, what are your opinion about it? A. Tourism in Myanmar is one of the most important sectors where the country has vast potential and comparative advantages. To this day, Myanmar remains one of the undiscovered tourist destinations in the world. Tourism provides markets for locally produced agricultural products, contributes to rural development, and it can help spread social and economic benefits to all regions and states where tourist attraction sites exist. Together with rising foreign and domestic investment, increased levels of visitor arrivals and spending are creating jobs for local populace. Government’s efforts to opening up the tourism industry to the world market along with many other industries could bring economic benefits and well-being of host communities, and the country as a whole. Moreover, Government’s endorsement of tourism development as a national priority would contribute economic growth and poverty reduction, and accelerate national reconciliation and the democratization process. Q. At the moment the country is in the process of political and economic reforms after having been isolated from the world and the country tourism industry is willing to expand its market on an international level, what are your opinions regarding this approach? A. Myanmar is strategically located in Southeast Asia and is a land of breath-taking beauty and charm. Myanmar has world-class tourist attractions and is the envy of many in the region. It is currently experiencing rapid growth in international tourist arrivals and tourism receipts. It has become an emerging tourist destination for international travellers who keen to experience Myanmar’s abundant wealth of cultural and natural heritage, genuine hospitality, and spiritual values. So it is no doubt that Myanmar’s approach to expand its tourism market on an international level will be productive, beneficial for domestic as well as regional and for international as a whole. Q. Apparently, the country is famous for its cultural heritage and that is what many tourists are attracted to the country. So, if ‘cultural heritage’ was to be seen as the main product in branding the country as ‘cultural tourism destination’, how do you think the international market would respond to this decision? A. Myanmar is not only rich in cultural heritage but also rich in natural and environmental heritage. The world knows Myanmar as the Land of Pagodas. The main tourism sites are accessible throughout the year. Mt. Khakarborazi (5889 metres) the highest peak in Southeast
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