Myanmar: Supporting locals

Myanmar: Integrating local communities in the tourism sector

For decades Myanmar was very much isolated. Since the beginning of the political transformation in Myanmar, rising numbers of tourists have visited the country. In 2018, there were three million visitors. Myanmar has beaches that seem endless, countless islands, and a lot of untouched nature.

Meanwhile the euphoria of the early transformation days faded, and tourism entered a phase of consolidation and professionalization. After the exuberant growth of those early days, tourism still offers many opportunities, especially for inclusive economic growth.

Since 2012, Germany has been supporting private sector development in Myanmar. The purpose of these efforts is to improve the environment for the sustainable economic growth of micro and small enterprises in selected sectors, including tourism. Germany's activities have been aligned with the country's tourism master plan. It focuses on integrating local communities in the tourism sector, fostering good governance and protecting the environment.

Joint solutions

In Myanmar's largest administrative unit, Shan state, public and private representatives have jointly worked on solutions for conflict-sensitive, environmentally sound tourism management at Inle Lake. The lake is famous for its floating villages and gardens. It is the main tourist destination in Shan State. Through its cooperation with Germany, the regional government wants to foster the participation of micro and small enterprises in economic development.

Among other things, Germany supports its partners in Myanmar by helping to set up tourism organisations and associations, providing training in the area of digital marketing, and organising tourism fairs.


Results to date

The number of visits to the Inle Lake website has increased. Many visitors choose to download the maps that are available on the website. The organisation of tourism fairs has helped to create new business relations with local suppliers from the agricultural and crafts sectors. In the area of local tourism, 45 per cent of the income stays in the communities.

Project data

Envisaged duration: 2014 to 2021