Local people of a popular tourist destination deserve direct and indirect benefits of tourism, said Vice President U Henry Van Thio on his inspection tour of community-based tourism in Kayah State.
While visiting the villages of local ethnic groups, the vice president promised them he would allocate more funds for vocational training of the locals so they can take advantage of the surging popularity of the region. The funds would be used for training of local tour guides, restaurateurs, hoteliers and arrangements for community-based and eco- tourism.
Kayah State attracted 3,986 tourists during the period from January to September 2016. During his tour of the state, the vice president visited Htipwint Lake, near Ngwe Taung Village in Dimawhso Township, where an umbrella-shaped volcanic structure of 227 feet in height and 115 feet in width that was created by a now-extinct volcano is located.
Package vacation tours feature the Taungkwe Pagoda, Myonarm Pagoda, Kandarawadi Palace, Htipwint Lake and its umbrella-shaped volcanic structure, the seven-tiered lake, the Htisekha waterfall and the Lawpita Hydropower Dam.
The vice president enjoyed the performances of local troupes and presented cash awards. At the seven-tiered Lake in Tahnelale Village, he heard reports on the revitalisation of Kayah traditions that are attracting an increasing number of tourists.
After hearing the reports, the vice president highlighted the importance of conservation of historical heritage, natural environment and traditional culture and urged officials to educate local people in order to be able to understand the nature of community-based tourism.
The vice president also viewed the traditional weaving methods of the Kayah ethnic people and their traditional homes. Afterwards, he visited Ngwe Taung Dam and natural limestone caves near Loikaw. Later that evening, locals performed traditional dances for the vice president in Kayah State Hall. With the tourism industry rising globally, Myanmar expects to attract seven million tourists in 2020.
Myanmar has seen its tourism sector improve year after year, receiving 4.6 million visitors in 2015, with arrivals expected to reach 7 million in 2020, according to the vice-president. Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is implementing public-based tourism development projects as an initiative for the progress of tourism at designated areas nationwide. The ministry is making arrangements for travelers to observe traditions and customs of local people and to enjoy the ways of ethnic people, it is learnt.—Myanmar News Agency