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1 Formation of a Local Tourism Management Organization: An immediate solution for tourism development of Mrauk-U Zin Nwe Myint Department of Geography University of Yangon Photo: Zin Nwe Myint 2007

2 Mrauk-U In Rakhine State Western part of Myanmar Township area sq km Town proper - 30 sq. km An ancient capital of Rakhine State Period Founded by King Min Saw Mon Ruled by 48 Rakhine Kings for 355 years A fortress city, moat and canals Became cultural heritage site in 1996 Cultural Heritage Zone 20 sq km. Present population is about (?) Mrauk-U

3 Mrauk-U: One of the Cultural Heritage Area of Myanmar

4 Shittaung Temple Built in 1535 AD with 1000 artists. Colourful wall portray with paintings at Shit-thaung pagoda, from where ancient Rakhine culture was excavated. Gutman 2001: 101 Gutman 2001

5 Photo: Zin Nwe Myint 2007 Photo: Zin Nwe Myint 2007 Koethaung Pagoda (1553 AD) Buddha images - Three stories, each story had inner passages where the wall are full of Buddha images Photo: Zin Nwe Myint 2007

6 Photo: Zin Nwe Myint (2007) Andaw-thein Temple (1531 AD)

7 Htaukkan Temple (1571 AD)

8 Ruin old palace wall

9 Arrival of international tourists to Mrauk-U Year No. of tourists Total zone fee (US $) Source: Archaeology department of Mrauk-U, April 2007 Only 1.3% of the total international tourists arrived to Myanmar visit Mrauk-U.

10 Aim To understand why tourism as urban drivers had not yet developed in Mrauk-U and consider how it could be developed coherently from the beginning Objectives (1) To understand the present situation of tourism business in Mrauk-U (2) To understand the major controlling socio-economic factors and their impacts (3) To highlight the importance of integrated planning through a local destination management organization Methodology Rapid Appraisal method Interviews and free talks, Field observation

11 Tourist - Generally, a person who has travelled away from home, is visiting other location and does not plan to relocated or stay away from home permanently Tourism - The sum of the phenomena and relations arising from the interaction of tourists, business suppliers, host governments and host communities in the processes of attracting and hosting these tourists travel - Composite of activities, services, and industries that delivers a experience, transportation, accommodations, food services, shops, entertainment, activity facilities and other hospitality services available for individual or groups who travel away from their home (Goeldner et al. 2000: 14)

12 Three kinds of tourists can be classified in Mrauk-U 1) International tourists (Foreigners) 2) Domestic tourists (From other places of Myanmar) 3) Local tourists (Pilgrims from vicinity of Mrauk-U) Peak time of tourist arrival to Mrauk-U: between October and February Source of foreign tourists 82% of the total visitors to Mrauk-U is from Europe 7.6% from North America Type of foreign tourists 60% FIT, 40% package tours A cultural zone field is levee to foreigners, 5 US$ per person

13 What are the present components of tourism in Mrauk-U? How are they functioning?

14 1) Transportation To Mrauk-U - Motor road Bad road situation with insufficient high-way infrastructure Long travel time - Airways Government owned airline (MAI) Three private airlines (Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways) Limited schedules (twice a week) Sittway Airport Limited capacity Need to continue from Sittway to Mrauk-U Motor-road is restricted for foreigners, allow only by water way Need special permission from Ministry of Interior Bad road situation Gasoline problem control the price Within Mrauk-U Cars - Limited Horse cart Preferred by domestic tourists Trishaws - for internal commuters within the town Trawlargyi used by local pilgrims

15 Cars - Limited - Normally 5-7 old jeeps in Mrauk-U - Package tours use company s cars from Yangon or Sittway - Problems of bad road condition and gasoline prices - Not feasible for normal domestic tourists Horse carts - Mainly used by domestic tourists - Total number of horse carts is 36 - Useable by tourists is 20 - Tax to Township s Development Committee Photo: Zin Nwe myint 2007 Horse Cart Gate No. 1 Southern corner of the old palace wall

16 Photo: Zin Nwe Myint 2007 Trishaws waiting for passengers near main market place. Tawlargyi mainly used by local pilgrims for a day-trip visit to Mrauk-U. Photo: Zin Nwe Myint 2007

17 2) Accommodation Hotels - Government owned Mrauk-U Hotel Service is limited, prices are high Foreigner is charged in US $ 36 for single room - Privately owned two hotels, mainly for foreign tourists Prices are higher than government owned hotel Guesthouses - Mainly used by domestic tourists from other parts of Myanmar - Total number of guesthouses is 7, total number of rooms is less than Prices for a double room is 4000 Kyats (3 US $) in 2007 Monasteries - Two large monasteries where domestic tourists can lodge free of charge

18 3) Food Services - No proper restaurant for foreign tourists - Only three restaurants in main road in front of main market places - Not even sufficient for domestic tourists - Low standard restaurants 4) Others Limited electricity supply Limited communication facilities Possible water supply problem Lack of amenities Improper maintenances of ancient monuments

19 Renovations in Mrauk-U At Shitthaung Pagoda Changing the originality by modern flooring material

20 Inappropriate renovation at Koethaung Pagoda Putting the name of contributors destroyed the original pattern and devalue it.

21 Renovations of Pagodas Not in appropriate way

22 Flow-chart showing the major actors in tourism development of Mrauk-U

23 Analysis of opportunities and barriers Opportunity - Have high culturally valuable monuments - Religiously famous pagodas and it festivals - High social integration until now, still potential to find a way for socially sustainable development Barriers Difficulties in accessibility (transport and telecommunication) Limited accommodation Lack of proper food services Others Limited electricity supply - Limited amenities - Insufficient infrastructure Lack of integrations within government institutions on tourism development of Mrauk-U Divided administrative responsibilities

24 Suggestions Local destination management organization (DMO) is needed with all stakeholders. Immediate need: action required now Keep good social coherence among the members of DMO and population and reinforce potentials for local people participants, multi-stakeholders interaction, coherent regulations, cross-cutting, scientific side-backing Political will for high-quality development

25 Thank you.

26 Finally, Next Research Questions Finally, a few questions: How to organize a sufficient DMO? How to legitimize it? How to keep/manage urban social coherence? How to make best use of the drivers? How to generate and modify future visions jointly within a social system?

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