A DESTINATION management plan for the greater Inle Lake region has been set in motion to ensure sustainable tourism, which also includes a proposal for establishing a permanent destination management organisation.
Backed by international NGOs and the Luxembourg government, the project is by the Institute for International Development (IID) and the Nepal-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). So far, it has resulted in the creation of a committee representing both the public and private sector which is holding an open group discussion today with participants from the local tourism sector.
Other activities will include developing a visitor forecast model, preparation of guidelines for sustainable tourism development, training in tourism planning and conducting the first detailed survey of tourists in the region.
Inle Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Myanmar, a listed ASEAN heritage area that is currently being assessed for qualification as a UNESCO International Biosphere Site.
Tourism at Inle Lake has expanded rapidly recently with a minimum of 200,000 domestic and international visitors annually.
Joern Kristensen, director, IID, said: “Through our research…we found people, the environment and infrastructure are quite unprepared for this rapid increase in tourism. So there should be more focus on providing training and employment for local people.”