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December 14, 2019

Tourism and public diplomacy in Myanmar

  • By: Htay Win

Tourism is an economy in terms of travelling for pleasure and business to the places of interest. Diplomacy is the negotiation in which the international actors seek a way through negotiation for their national interests. Public diplomacy is the communication with and dissemination of propaganda to the foreign public by the state actors and non-state actors to the national branding. Public diplomacy is an open and plural diplomacy. In the public diplomacy, non-state actors and the individual play an important role to brand the state and persuade foreign people for a good image of the country.
In the 21st century, tourism and public diplomacy are important ideologies and they are related to each other for the potential and prosperous economy. Every person must be a diplomat for the success of the public diplomacy. The hard work of only the official diplomat cannot be successful for persuading the foreign public.
To see the good points of the country by the foreign public is essential to brand the state. The national branding is very important in the public diplomacy. In this case, the reliable media plays an important role in drawing the hearts and souls of the foreign general public. In terms of the globalization and the fourth industrial revolution, the writers, journalists and bloggers are also leading the main roles for the success of the public diplomacy.
Tourism drops by 20 percent in Myanmar during these years in terms of the failure of the public diplomacy. China is very successful in public diplomacy even though it is not a democratic state in terms of qualified human resources and the strong ancient civilization. In this case, millions of tourists visit China every year. Every country has lovely things. Those lovely things can influence on the hearts of the foreign public. If we say from the commercial point of view, the demand of the product is high if it is a well known brand. The state also has a brand to draw the minds of the foreign public. Tourism started booming in 2012 and 2013 when the then opposition party was invited to take part in the by-election and president Obama visited Myanmar. That was one of the successes of public diplomacy in Myanmar.
Successful marketing is also doing the public diplomacy and the successful public diplomacy is also a successful marketing in return. They are intertwined and related to each other for the successful and sustainable tourism. Recently, rescuing the wild boars football team who trapped in the flooding cave in Thailand is a good example of the successful public diplomacy. They could draw the foreign public attention to eye Thailand for travelling. They showed their sympathy, cooperation and humanity to the foreign public. They could shake the hearts of the foreign public.
If tourists visit the country, they can see lovely things of the country such as friendliness and beautiful landscapes in Myanmar to be successful in the public diplomacy. Myanmar also could draw the attention of the foreign public even before 2010 because of the successful public diplomacy on the other hand even though the state was not democratic. If the public diplomacy is successful, the foreign public will like our culture, our people and our country. To sustain the successful public diplomacy in the long run, the state needs qualified human resources.
There are two terms in the international relation. They are cooperation and conflict. To get cooperation from the foreign public, everybody should involve in the public diplomacy telling and writing good stories to the foreign public and showing honesty in the politics.

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