Tourist guiding is fundamental to supporting the growth of the tourism industry in Myanmar. An increasing number of tourists visiting the country has resulted in a stronger demand for skilled guides in both existing and emerging destinations. Good tourist guides are an essential component of many tourism products that benefit low-income people, because they allow tour operators to reach local communities that they wouldn't otherwise be able to reach. Good tourist guides are also important in facilitating responsible and respectful engagement between low-income people and visitors.
How BIF is catalysing change
Through rigorous market analysis BIF identified that a lack of qualified tourist guides acts as a barrier to the development of destinations and also hinders tour operators successfully implementing inclusive tourism products. Having identified this, BIF conducted detailed research into tourist guiding in Myanmar and, with the support of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MoHT), presented the findings and recommendations to key stakeholders in the tourism industry on the 15th August 2015.
Participants in the consultation included representatives from the MoHT, tourism industry associations such as the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA) and the Myanmar Tourist Guides Association (MTGA), private sector stakeholders and other development partners. The consultation process saw the group reach a consensus on the goals and intervention areas that need to be addressed as part of an industry-led reform process.
Inputs from the Minister, along with the decisions reached through the consultation process, fed into the drafting of a Policy Framework for the Myanmar Tourist Guide Sector. The Framework sets out the reform process, outcomes and resources required for change, and will be used as a road map to shape the future of tourist guiding in Myanmar. It is hoped that the framework will also be adopted as part of MoHT’s forthcoming Tourism Human Resource Development strategy.
Supporting private sector led tour guide training