JICA focuses on stirring local tourism and historical heritage

Published on : Thursday, July 9, 2015

JICAMore than 150 people attended a JICA-sponsored seminar in Bagan, Myanmar, June 7-8 to raise awareness of issues facing the local tourism industry and the importance of historical heritage and hospitality.

The city is home to thousands of temples and pagodas constructed when it was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan from the 9th to 13th centuries.

At the seminar, officials told residents, local government officials and restaurant and hotel owners about the results of a survey of 1,000 foreign tourists conducted in March at Nyaung U Airport. Asked about their impression of Bagan as a tourist destination, 70 percent said they enjoyed the city’s landscape and heritage, but 30 percent said they were disappointed by it. Officials said the reasons for the disappointment may include garbage near pagodas and inadequate protection of the landscape.

Consideration and cooperation on the part of locals is essential to protecting the landscape, they said. They also explained the importance of hospitality.

The seminar was one of the first pilot activities in JICA’S “the Project for Establishment of the Pilot Model for Regional Tourism Development in Bagan,” which began in late 2014. The goals of the project include improving the following aspects of tourism: management and administration, infrastructure and human resources.

The seminar was held at Lacquerware Technology College and sponsored by JICA and Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Under the project, other pilot activities, such as training programs for hotel front office and restaurant staffs and the creation of a Bagan tourist information website are planned for this year. JICA experts and the ministry will work together closely on them.

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