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Submitted to the
Myanmar Institute of Theology
In Partial Fulfillment of
The Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Arts in Community Development


Aung Mya Soe


Myanmar Institute of Theology

Liberal Arts Program

Community Development Studies Department



Aung Mya Soe

MIT- LAP 0020


September8, 2017
For the partially fulfillment of the degree of

Master of Arts in Community Development,

this Thesis is submitted by __Aung Mya Soe___ ___

and is accepted by Thesis Advisory Team.

Advisor Thesis Coordinator

Date: Date:

I hereby declared that this thesis is based on my own independent work, except for
quotation and summaries which have been dully acknowledged. I also declare that
no part of this work has been submitted for any degree to this or any other

Date: 8 September, 2017 Signature:

Name: Aung Mya Soe

Student ID: MIT-LAP 0020

Supervisor: Daw Aye Min Khaing

Head of Department- Community Development Studies

Liberal Arts Program

Myanmar Institute of Theology


Glory be to God for the special blessing giving me a second chance to

pursue my dream after 30 years of my first graduation. I would like to express my

sincere appreciation to MIT and Liberal Arts Program for the learning opportunity

provided to me to complete this Master’s Program in Community Development

Studies. The accomplishment of this study would not have been possible without

the inspiration and guidance of Dr. Nicole Haeusler, my thesis advisor. Without

your assistance my effort would not have been completed. I would also like to

express my special gratitude to my supervisor, Daw Aye Min Khaing, Head of the

department for your most valuable supervision, your kind instruction and your

great patience to me. Dear Sayama thank you very much for your kindness and


My credits also go to the all my classmates who have been great motivation

through the two years for your support and companion. Finally, I pay my warmest

appreciation and gratitude to my wife for your understanding, patience and helping

hands during the two years’ study. Thanks for your support.

Tourism is widely considered as a tool for development and many

developing countries have taken up the approach in the aim of benefiting a

destination economically and socially. Community based tourism is mainly

developed in a region to promote interaction between the host and the visitors,

providing unique experience about the local way of life. CBT in return expects to

bring in positive changes to the community. The significant effects tourism can

have on a destination and its population led the researcher to examine the host

capacity to implement the development, identify the level of their participation in

the process which is a determinant for the achievement and examine the

contribution that will benefit the local community. The first stage of this study

involved review of existing literatures on tourism development and the major

theories developed for community approaches to tourism. After a comprehensive

understanding of CBT development approaches, visits to the proposed area has

been conducted to examine the ground situation. Careful constructed questions

have been prepared to reach the research objectives. Tourism management students

were trained to conduct research interviews and the mission was assisted by the

local community leaders. Tourism research trip was organized and physical

observation of the development process was conducted. Intensive interviews were

carried out to collect information required to answer the research objectives. The

research findings contribute a great deal to understanding of appropriate approach

to tourism development for community development purpose.

Table of Contents
Chapter One
Introduction 1
1.1 Statement of problem 3
1.2 Objective of the Study 8
1.3 Hypothesis 10
1.4 Significance of the Study 11
1.5 Scope and Limitation 12
1.6 Terms of Definition 13

Chapter Two
Review of Related Literature and Studies 16
2.1 Community Development 16
2.1.1 Basic Concept 16
2.1.2 Definition 18
2.1.3 Brief Historical Background 18
2.1.4 Community Participation and Development 20
2.2 Tourism 21
2.2.1 Concept and Theories 21
2.2 2 Definition 22
2.2.3 Tourism in Developing Countries 22
2.3 Community Development and Tourism 24
2.3.1 Tourism as an Agent of Community Development 24
2.3.2 Community Based Tourism 25 Planning 25 Management and Implementation 26
2.3.3 Contribution and Impacts of Tourism 31
2.4 Myanmar and Tourism 34
2.4.1 Community Involvement in Tourism 34
2.4.2 Brief History 37
2.5 A case of Thandaunggyi 41`
2.5.1 Geographic Background and Information 41
2.5.2 Community Assets for Tourism 42
2.5.3 Thandaunggyi Tourism Development Working Group 43
2.5.4 Supporting Partner Organizations 45

Chapter Three
Research Methodology and Data Collection 47
3.1 Methodology 47
3.2 Data Collection 48
3.3 Sampling 48
3.3.1 Key Informant Interviews 49
3.3.2 In Depth Interviews 50
3.3.3 Observation 50

Chapter Four
Finding of the Study 52
4.1 Thandaunggyi and Tourism Development 52
4.2 Presentation of Information Collected 58
4.2.1 Amazing Restaurant 60
4.2.2 I Wish Bed and Breakfast 61
4.2.3 Ebenezar Local Products Gift Shop 62
4.2.4 TTDWG Chairperson Reverend Bo Thar 63
4.2.5 The Retired Karen Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock 63
4.3 Presentation of Data on Research Questions 65
4.3.1 Leadership Capacity 65
4.3.2 Community Participation 68
4.3.3 Benefits to the Community 71
4.4 Observation 79
4.5 Analysis
4.5.1 Sharing Local Way of Life; the Unique Experience 79
4.5.2 Leadership Capacity 80
4.5.3 Community Participation 82
4.5.4 Tourism Contribution to the Community 83
Chapter Five
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation 85
5.1 Summary of Finding 85
5.2 Conclusion 87
5.3 Recommendation 89

References 91
Interview Questions 93
Profiles 104
Illustrations 105

Chapter One


1.0 Tourism and Thandaunggyi

International tourism has experienced continuous growth in the last decades

and 2015 set the record of 1,184 million tourists travelling the world. (World

Tourism Organization-2016) Tourism has become one of the fastest growing

industries turning to be a key driver for socio-economic development of the

nations. For the developing countries, tourism creates opportunity for foreign

exchange earnings and direct or indirect employment. In the book, Reducing

Poverty through Tourism, Bolwell and Weinz, (2008) regarded tourism as a mean

to generating incomes; acting as a tool for community development and poverty


In December 2015, the United Nations declared 2017 as the International

Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-

moon on World Tourism Day 27 September 2014 stated “Harnessing tourism’s

benefits will be critical to achieving the sustainable development goals and

implementing the post-2015 development agenda” (UNDG, 2015). UNWTO

mandates to promote tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive

development and environmental sustainability and a global solution for a better

future for the world and its people.

Myanmar has emerged as the latest destination in South East Asia and with

that it has seen international tourists’ arrival as stated in Ministry of Hotel and

Tourism’s Statistics (2015), increased from 791,505 in 2011 to 4,681,020 in 2015.

Tourists’ expenditures increased from US$ 319 Million in 2011 to US$ 2122

Million in 2015. Tourists’ spending disbursed, generated income for tourism

related businesses and service providers. The data distinctively proved that tourism

plays important role in a country’s socio-economic development.

Thandaunggyi is situated in north of Kayin state, 200 miles away from

Yangon. It has been a summer getaway for the British during the colonial era since

1852. As indicated in 2014 Population and Housing Census (Myanmar Information

Management Unit-MIMU), Thandaunggyi township is composed of 5,809

households with approximately a population of 29,415. The majority of the

population is Karen ethnic believing in Christianity with few other Buddhists and

Hindus. The late military regime has initiated to transform Thandaunggyi into a

mountain resort in 1990-2000. But the process was stranded as ceasefire agreement

with Karen National Union (KNU) broke down in 2005-2005.

The Ministry of Hotel and Tourism believing in tourism as a tool for

development established Responsible Tourism Policy in 2012 and has come up

with Tourism Master Plan. Community Involvement Tourism Policy has been

developed in 2013. The Ministry of Hotel and Tourism under the late Union

Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government has selected Thandauggyi

as a new destination to boost community based tourism. Together with 5 other

destinations; Indawgyi lake in Kachin state, PaO region in Inlay, fresh water

Irrawaddy dolphin near Mandalay, Myaing in Magwei division and Padaung tribes

in Kayah state, Thandaunggyi has been launched as pilot project during recent

National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s first 100 days. To prevent

unwanted socio-cultural impacts, the Ministry recommended Bed and Breakfast

types of accommodation to be set up in the village alternate to accommodating

tourists in homestay as in other countries.

Myanmar Tourism Federation coordinated with Peace Nexus and

Myanmar Hannseidel Foundation to give tourism awareness to the Thandaunggyi

local residents. Tourism development concept, hospitality training, environmental

and tour guiding, cultural activities and handicraft development trainings have

been organized to prepare the local community to implement the Community

Based Tourism CBT. (MRTI, 2016)

Thandaunggyi Tourism Development Working Group (TTDWG) has been

formulated, chaired by respected Christian leader composing advisory board from

KNU, civil society, government organizations, implementing action body

consisting 15 villagers with strong gender equality, and supportive body

cooperated by INGOs.

1.1 Statement of Problem

Community based tourism requires community involvement to be

implemented successfully. Suansri (2003) explains that in community based

tourism, the tourism is operated, managed and owned by the locals with the

purpose of enabling visitors to increase their awareness and learn about the

community and local ways of life. Therefore, it implies that high level of

involvement and participation plays critical role in viability of the development.


Beeton (2006) stressed that empowerment of the local community to decide

and plan their own future and to exert cooperative effort for the total development

is the key driver. Usually community based tourism is developed in rural area and

the initiative fails due to the community not being able to maintain the initiative.

Effective leadership plays a crucial role in the success of the development. Dredge

and Pforr (2008) addressed parameters of effective local tourism governance


▪ Positive cultures, constructive communication and engaged communities

▪ Transparency and accountability

▪ Vision and leadership

▪ Acceptance of diversity and the pursuit of equity and inclusiveness

▪ Developing knowledge, learning and sharing expertise

▪ Clear roles and responsibilities of participants and clear operational

structures and processes of the network

1.1.1 Leadership Capacity

Newly formed Tourism working group in 2013-14 composed of local

stakeholders with their initial effort for the development, holds a very critical role

in successful implementation of community based tourism in Thandaunggyi.

The working group which is composed of both government and ethnic armed

group KNU together with local stakeholders, assisted by development partners,

presents great challenge in its collaboration and collective leadership for the

development. Even though peace and understanding has been developed, it is still

crucial how the leaders with differences will work together in a long run. It is the

research interest that the working group really represents the community and has

the capacity to facilitate all members to contribute to the wellbeing of the

community. If involvement revolves around a small group of people catering for

their own benefits, the community as a whole will not gain much from tourism


In the initial state, tourism development usually faces many challenges and

it really demands for strong leadership. Planning phase is usually done with care

assisted by international partners. TTDWG’s operational knowledge and

management skill in the field of tourism raises questions. It is crucial how well the

working group is able to deliver after receiving guidelines and training from

international partners.

The working group is to bring the community together to develop a vision

of where they would like to see their community in the future and how tourism fits

into that vision. Tourism awareness and its benefits addressing poverty alleviation

and local economic development, needs to be clearly communicated to the

community. Otherwise tourism will gradually pose as an unwanted intervention

Capacity of the working group to enforce tourism as a change agent for

development and to promote tourism in the region is an issue to be explored (Page,


Tourism is a service industry and it is essential that service providers are

efficient and professional in every service encounter. Tourism products too require

quality in order to attract buyers and generate income. Leaders must have capacity

to initiate long term investment in human capacity building and provision of a

learning environment.

1.1.2 Participation

Murphy (1985) stressed that the success of tourism relies on the goodwill

and cooperation of local people. He argues that if tourism development and

planning does not match with the local aspirations and capabilities, this can destroy

the potential of its success and will not gain participation from local community.

Questions are raised in Thandaunggyi tourism development on how broad the

benefits from the development will be distributed back in the community.

Uncertain and impossibility to ensure broad based benefits will reduce

community’s interest and participation.

Community members are often not involved in ownership of the tourism

development due to the lack of assets or social status in the community. They are

usually excluded in decision making and participation opportunity for them is

limited. Legal system or policy sometimes fails to protect the rights of the local

community therefore, creating barriers for the community to have high degree of

control over activities taking place. Tendency of high participation from small

group or the elite who have advantage of enjoying the direct benefits thereafter is

likely to happen whereas the community as a whole is not involved.

Without local empowerment and community involvement the development

will be fragmented. The development effort that doesn’t involve widespread local

members risks dividing the community, damaging the existing unity and

barricading the implementation and its final outcome. Local community members

will begin to perceive tourists and tourism as the cause of problems that interferes

their peaceful lifestyle.

Community development through tourism integrates professional business

operation with community benefits oriented practices. Healthy competition if not

exercised, creates conflicts affecting mutual understanding and cooperative effort

among participants and stakeholders. It is therefore necessary to look into

stakeholders’ cooperation and broad based participation for the development effort

(Simons, 1994).

1.1.3 Benefits to Local Community

The study will examine benefits of tourism development in the area and

distribution of the benefits to the community. Community based tourism is

developed mainly to benefit the local population.

It is usually the case that the poor, disadvantaged and grass root level rarely

have fair share of the fruits of the development. Job creation for only few people,

income that is not supportive for daily living, economic development that affects

only the elites, accessibility to education and health for everyone that is

unreachable, unproven social and infrastructural improvement in the region, is not

all that is expected from tourism development and its outcome.

Usually business owners and operators are the only beneficiaries of the

development whereas the community members, whose resources have been

utilized, are left unaffected with little or no share of the tourism contribution

(Kalisch, 2001).

Stakeholders in tourism are; accommodation owners, restaurant owners,

transportation companies, employees, products suppliers, souvenir shops, travel

and tour companies, tour guides and importantly the community members

themselves. It is still in a critical situation whether tourism will have positive

impact on local socio economic development and widespread benefits.

It is essential that individual goods and services providers generate income

directly or indirectly from tourism. Tourism must create income opportunity for

stake holders and community members and thereby improve the living standard

and assist in poverty alleviation. Proper and effective strategy for benefits

distribution must be in hand to contribute well back to the community. Tourism

should encourage conservation of natural and cultural resources. It is able to

promote local identity or either brings in damage. These are all the issues needed

to be explored in the research.

1.2 Objective of the Study

Most community based tourism (CBT) development took place in

underdeveloped region (UNDESA, 2005). The approach ultimately aims to bring

in social and economic development, reducing poverty and creating better

opportunities for the community members. Research on community based tourism

development is necessary in order to understand the challenges faced in the process

and finding appropriate approaches most suited to the region. There had been

success and failure in efforts executed in different parts of the world and many

lessons learned are at hand to adopt and adapt to the specific region targeted for the

development. The specific research will explore current endeavor in the region and

see that the introduction of CBT really contribute to socio-economic development.

The main objective of the research is to analyze stakeholders’ cooperation and

participation in implementing CBT in Thandaunggyi.

The research project is aimed to contribute to knowledge gap for the

developers and the community as beneficiaries.

The following specific objectives are set down in order to reach the solution for the

main research.

1. To examine the leadership capacity of Tourism Group

2. To study the participation of community in implementing CBT in Thandaunggyi

3. To study the perspective of the potential benefits of community resulting from


CBT in Thandaunggyi

To meet the objectives of the study, the research, through visiting the site

and observing the development, and based on qualitative interviews will draw up

its evaluation on the potential development tourism brings into the community.

Community development will be the final outcome to be examined. The

development will be measured both on tourism stakeholders’ basis and also on

community as a whole. Individual stakeholders may benefit from CBT

development and improve their business, livelihood and living standard.

Community as a whole may also directly or indirectly share tourism contribution

and enjoy the benefits.


1.3 Hypothesis

Based on literature reviews and prior studies conducted on community

development through tourism, the research hypothesizes that tourism development

in Thandaunggyi can be a tool for community development if it is implemented

through effective leadership, enabling broad based community participation and

widespread benefits sharing.

In terms of the objectives of the study the research hypothesizes that

Thandaunggyi tourism development working group, supported technically by

development partners as Peace Nexus and Hannsiedel foundation, has the potential

to implement community based tourism for improving the region’s socio-economic


With community based tourism policy in hand backed up by the Ministry

of Hotel and Tourism, leaders who are locally respected and well instructed and

built up in capacity, gain conceptual intellect to select appropriate approach

suitable for the community and drive the development. Constant capacity building

programs, regular meetings and monitoring could be identified as favorable steps

in successful implementation of tourism development.

Well set mission and vision, specifically drafted out strategies, hand in

hand collaboration of the stakeholders, and participation of the community

members for the wellbeing of the community is a strong foundation for the


At the beginning stage the progress may seem slow. Community readiness

and marketing capacity of CBT operators can result in obscure and unpromising

business. The ultimate outcome of community based tourism development effort

could be made possible through continuous monitoring and evaluation of the

leaders. Implementation of improved strategies through community involvement

thereafter, will secure improved income, upgrade living standard, result in regional

peace and prosperity, and ultimately achieve socio economic development of the


1.4 Significance of the Study

Thandaunggyi community based tourism development is in its initial state

even though it has been a project imposed years ago. The study, after being

successfully completed, will become a document that will help bridge the gap for

tourism development aimed to achieve socio-economic change in the community.

The research will highlight appropriate approaches for the development through

introducing tourism into the community, evaluating the positive and negative

aspects of the development. The resulted document will be helpful for similar

development plans to be further carried out in other parts of Myanmar. The

research will become an essential learning for a new destination to successfully

implement community based tourism for development purpose. Since

Thandaunggyi has been selected as one of the pioneer projects for Community

Based Tourism development by the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism, the research is

right in time to analyze appropriate approach for the community development and

its success.

1.5 Scope and Limitation

The research will mainly focus on capacity of the TTDWG in leading the

development, community participation and potential benefits, and its distribution

thereafter. Therefore target groups will be tourism stakeholders such as

accommodation owners, restaurants owners, tour companies, tour guides,

employees, immigration, regional government, related leaders both religious and

community, youth, tourism related business such as suppliers, transportation,

souvenir etc. The study will be carried out to cover various stakeholders. Sample

size will be approached for gathering information and data. Community based

tourism development could integrate important issues like peace building, national

reconciliation and holistic development, however the research will only touch on

community based tourism and socio-eco development it brings to the region.

1.5.1 Accurate Data

Accurate data on tourists’ arrival in detail is difficult to attain due to weak

practices in data collection in the region. Inconsistency in data is also a limitation

for the research. Information from sources such as KNU and Military officials will

be hard to gather for its sensitivity to be exposed.

1.5.2 Local Interest in Tourism

The majority of the population is Karen national ethnics. Agriculture is

their main livelihood and most educated locals are employees in government

services. Traditional way of life causes lack of interest in tourism and related

development. Tourism is a new venture for the region too. Therefore, it will be a

great challenge in gaining respondents’ insight and comments on tourism

development for a better comprehension of current progress.

1.6 Terms of Definition

1.6.1 Community Based Tourism

Community based tourism is a type of tourism which is usually operated in

rural area. The objective of CBT is to provide experience to tourists to learn local

way of life and culture, and in return generate income for the community. Local

residents, often poor and economically marginalized invite tourists to stay in their

homes and share their way of living, their culture and indigenous knowledge

through activities like handicraft workshop, village walks and storytelling. CBT

upgrades local pride in their culture, heritage, food and lifestyle. It empowers the

community members to own and manage their own assets and resources, and foster

cross cultural learning between tourists and the host community. CBT is aimed to

promote interaction between the hosts and the visitors, offering unique experiences

and thereby encourage the visitors to contribute directly or indirectly to the

wellbeing of the locals. For CBT to achieve its objective community participation

is critical and equitably sharing of the benefits is essential to make it a success.

CBT if developed effectively can contribute significantly towards poverty

alleviation, especially in developing countries.

1.6.2 Community Involvement Tourism

Community Involvement Tourism is a term used by Union of Myanmar

Ministry of Hotel and Tourism alternative to CBT. This is community based


tourism that put emphasis on community empowerment. Communities must be

consulted and involved in decision-making processes on tourism planning and

management, which directly affect their livelihoods.

The concept of Community Involvement in Tourism (CIT) in Myanmar is

to involve local communities, encompassing ethnic groups, fostering respect for

their cultures and beliefs. Through provision of accommodation, food and

beverage, transportation, local arts and crafts making, weaving demonstration,

cultural performance, local cooking attraction and selling of local products,

community can generate income and lead to economic development. It also aims to

encourage community members to start their own small and medium enterprises or

act as investors or even joint venture partners with the public or private sector

(MOHT, 2013).

1.6.3 Leadership Capacity

Leadership capacity plays an integral part in tourism development strategy.

Community development is strongly related to leaders’ characteristics and the level

of community participation In order to develop current economic and social

environment, communities need leaders who can help local group, businesses, and

non-profit organizations to work together to address challenges and promote local

strengths. Effective leaders have the capacity to analyze current status and address

problematic issues. They can provide important insights into the need for change

and are able to work on the solution together with the community. Their roles,

formal and informal, in the community make it possible to earn respect and foster

involvement of the members. It is crucial for the leaders to have the capacity to

make important decisions and encourage the community involvement. Their

leadership will increase the potential of the community to act in tourism

development. Constant capacity building of the community will elevate their

knowledge and understanding of the development, create a shared vision and

induce successful collaboration Building community capacity without community

leaders’ efforts is not possible. Leadership capacity is therefore a necessary

ingredient for the success of a community development.

1.6.4 Tourism Contribution

Developing countries usually select tourism as part of their approach to

development. Often, countries perceive positive economic benefits as the major

type of tourism impact (Mason.1995). Tourism contributes to the economy of a

country in foreign exchange earnings, revenues, generated income, job

opportunities and improved infrastructure.

Promotion of local identity and community pride, admiration and respect of

local arts and crafts, revitalization of local way of life and traditions are some

visible socio cultural contribution of tourism (Ritchie & Zins, 1978).

Even though CBT features interaction between the host and visitors as the

main activity, environment such as landscape, river, mountain and forest are added

to unique selling points in CBT. Protection of natural resources such as national

parks, community forests and wildlife reserves, promoting the preservation of

these resources are regarded as positive contribution of tourism to the community.


Chapter Two

Review of Related Literatures and Studies

2. Introduction

Literature on tourism development specifically community based tourism

development could be accessed through various sources and they offer valuable

knowledge and insight to the topic and related issues. A great number of

researchers have done various studies on the development issues and even basic

principles apply, there is still knowledge gap depending on geographic implication.

In the context of Myanmar, community based tourism concept is in its early

stage and Thandaunggyi being a new project, extensive research is still essential to

answer the research questions posted. The question of whether community

development could be achieved through community based tourism is yet to be

answered. The review of literature is presented here, examining the following

topics: tourism in developing countries, the importance of leadership capacity; the

participation of community in CBT implementation and the perspective of

potential benefits to the community resulting from CBT development

2.1 Community Development

2.1.1 Basic Concept

Community Development, as defined by Rhonda Philip and Robert H.

Pittman (2009) is an improvement in any or all dimensions; physical,

environmental, cultural, social, political, economic, etc. Social capital which is the

abilities of the residents to organize and mobilize their resources for the

accomplishment of their defined goals is crucial in facilitating and leading the


community development. Physical evidences like improved road system, better

means of transportation, extensive properties development and establishment of

infrastructure are materialistic and visible impacts of development.

The ability of the community to work together effectively is enhanced

through strengthen institutional environment and improved organizational

structure. It fosters the community to develop and sustain strong relationships,

solve problems, make group decisions, and collaborate effectively to plan, set

goals, and get things done.

Such development in economic dimension as creation of job opportunities

and increased income leads to improved living standard. Development of local

micro enterprises, business expansion and new business startups with increased

competition, are some expected outcomes that potentially grow with the

development. Paralleled to asset based development, social capacity of the

community is a more desirable dimension of development. The community’s

capacity to work together in sharing their interests and visions for the proposed

future, monitoring and managing their own resources, can ultimately enforce the

community achievement.

Cultural and environmental factors are some other development dimensions

comprising in the process. Promoted community identity, strengthen pride in

unique community value, revitalized cultural heritages, and preservation of local

ways of life is likewise entailed in parts of the development. United Nations

secretary general, on world tourism day (2015), reminded the world of inclusive

and sustainable development. He stressed that tourism development should protect

the environment and foster conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

2.1.2 Definition

A community is defined by Mattessich and Monsey (2004) as people who

live within a geographically defined area and who have social and psychological

ties with each other and with the place where they live.

Development was defined by Chambers (2004) as continuous ‘change’ in a

variety of aspects of human society. The dimensions of development are extremely

diverse, including economic, social, political, legal and institutional structures,

technology in various forms, the environment, religion, the arts and culture.

There are many definitions of community development but United Nations

defines community development as a process where community members come

together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.

Therefore community development could be defined as improvement in a

community in physical, environmental, cultural, social, political and economic

realms resulting in a better place to live in. And the outcome is achieved through

collective effort of the people taking decision and working together to achieve the


2.1.3 Brief Historical Background

Community development can be traced back to the social reform movement

in Britain and North America in the latter half of the eighteenth century. In

nineteen thirt34ies development projects were carried out in Kenya and Africa

where development practitioners worked with local communities and in particular


with disadvantaged people. The decolonization era founded community

development principles to be applied in third world development efforts. In the

fifties and sixties, community organization, as it came to be called, has been

established to help deprived and underdeveloped urban and rural communities in

North America (Smith, 1979, p. 52).

In nineteen sixties and seventies various anti-poverty programs were

launched for under-developed and developing countries. The initiative started with

the effort to help the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged population in the

community. Development practitioners endeavored to work on local empowerment

and create effective collaboration. They assisted the community to tackle

inequalities in the distribution of wealth, income and land and foster social


In nineteen sixties, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in

Brooklyn, United States, worked on social mission in uplifting low income

residents and their neighborhood. The firm attempted to apply business and

management skills in their social works. Eventually such groups became known as

"Community development corporations" or CDCs. The idea of urban renewal

prevailing in United States in 1960s which focus solely on physical development

was generally replaced by community development which entails a more holistic

approach. In the 1970s and 1980s, United Nations Agencies and the World Bank

adopted community development as part of integrated rural development strategy.


2.1.4 Community Participation and Development

Community participation is an integral part of the development and without

it the development goal will not be achievable. Community members must be

involved in voicing their concern regarding the development effort which in fact

will affect them in the future. They must be assisted to develop their own

community in a way that they want it developed. People participating in their own

development must be involved from the early planning stages through to the

completion. By doing this people are more likely to manage and maintain their

development. Sarah Craig (1995) stated that community participation has different

levels ranging from involvement in which there is no real power to make decision,

then representation which generally refers to the individuals and organizations who

come together at management committee and sub-committee levels and,

participation which is being able to have an input into structures in which decisions

are made.

According to Brager, Specht, and Torczyner (1987) participation can be

attained through educating the community to increase their competence. Then they

can make influencing decisions that affect their lives and retain empowerment to

manage their resources. The World Bank’s Learning Group on Participatory

Development (1995) defines participation as a process through which stakeholders

influence and share control over development initiatives, and the decisions and

resources which affect them.


2.2 Tourism

2.2.1 Concept and Theories

Tourism involves all activities that take people away from their usual place

of residence for any reason. Common reasons include holidays, recreation,

business, visiting and experiencing new cultures and to visit family and friends.

Tourism has become a very significant global activity and as disposable income

and the ease of travel continues to prosper, so will the tourism industry. As an

industry tourism consists of an enormous network of people, places and services

that affect relationships within a country's borders and between nations.

More and more, tourism is becoming a giant among industries that shape

the health, wellbeing, prosperity and social consciousness of the world. As

international barriers to travel continue to fall, and as tourists broaden their travel

patterns to learn more about cultures and environments, understanding between

peoples of different nations and regions increase. Travel for other reasons – escape

from the stress of daily routine, search for fun and excitement will continue as dual

income families with discretionary income and leisure time prevail.

Tourism is categorized into different types depending on travellers’ motives

and the features; Eco tourism, community based tourism, urban tourism, heritage

and culture tourism, adventure tour, marine tourism, cruises and many other more.

Tourists too are classified into inbound and outbound tourists as well as domestic

tourists in regard to the destinations of travel. Tourists are further clustered into

different groups as leisure travellers, business travellers, religious travellers,

sporting teams, honeymooners, etc. Tourism comprises of various sectors;


accommodation, attractions and theme parks, tour operators, inbound tour

wholesalers, outbound tour wholesalers, retail travel agents, local, regional and

national information services, meetings and events, corporate agents and airlines.

Tourism is a composite of activities, services, and industries that deliver a

travel experience: transportation, accommodations, eating and drinking

establishments, shops, entertainment, activity facilities, and other hospitality

services available for individuals or groups that are traveling away from home. It

encompasses all providers of visitor and visitor-related services (Goeldner &

Ritchie, 2009).

2.2.2 Definition

Tourism as defined by institute of tourism in Britain (1976) is the

temporary short-term activities during their stay at these destinations; it includes

movement for all purposes, as well as day visits or excursions. World tourism

organization (1993) identified tourism as activities of persons travelling to and

staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one

consecutive year for leisure, business or other purposes.

2.2.3 Tourism in Developing Countries

Tourism especially in the developing country contributes enormously to

local and national economic growth. Direct and indirect income, employment

creation, small and medium enterprises in tourism business, foreign currency

earned, taxes generated and infrastructure development are positive and desirable

impacts of tourism.

According to David J. Telfer and Richard Sharpley (2008), developing

countries share common characteristics with the conditions of underdevelopment.

Traditional agriculture is the main economy in developing countries and, it has

become their primary source of income and foreign exchange earnings. Due to

insufficient income they are prone to survive in a low standard of living. The

population in developing countries usually grows dramatically, and with high

population they suffer from high unemployment, leading to poverty. As the

characteristics of a developing country, unstable political situation drives the

country to fragile economy. With these situations developing countries turn to

tourism for its potential contribution to the economy and as a development option.

Since tourism is regarded as labor intensive industry, it has the potential to

solve unemployment problem. Tourism has proven to be a constantly growing

industry, so it is perceived as a safe development option. Direct and indirect

contribution of tourism is one of the compelling factors for a developing nation to

adopt it as economic driver. The existing natural resources and cultural heritage

itself are tourist attractions and it is considered to have a very low start-up cost

compared to other industries. With increasing travel habit and barrier free travel

options, developing countries have easy access to enter tourism market, receive

tourists and enjoy its benefits thereafter.


2.3 Community Development and Tourism

2.3.1 Tourism as an Agent for Community Development

Tourism is regarded as change agent and is promoted in the perspective of

its positive contribution to the society, economy and natural environment. Sue

Beeton (2006) in her book Community Development through Tourism mentioned

that tourism, when it works properly well, is an outstanding community

development tool.

From year 2000 to 2015, global tourism had been driven to contribute to

some of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Poverty reduction has

been achieved as figures shown in reports on tourism contribution in the

developing countries. Various development partners initiated tourism development

collaborating with local community. Increasing tourism awareness among

stakeholders and visitors enable conservation of natural resources and strived for

environmental sustainability. Employment opportunities especially for women

promote gender equality and helps generate income for local community.

In September, 2015, member countries of United Nation adopted 17 new

global goals namely Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide the world in

achieving sustainable development.

Exploring tourism contribution to economy, United Nation World Tourism

Organization UNWTO’s report of 2016 stated the following:

The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2015 was USD2,229.8bn

(3.0% of GDP). This is forecast to rise by 3.3% to USD2,304.0bn in 2016.This

primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels,


travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding

commuter services). But it also includes, for example, the activities of the

restaurant and leisure industries directly supported. The direct contribution of

Travel & Tourism to GDP is expected to grow by 4.2% pa to USD3,469.1bn (3.4%

of GDP) by 2026.

2.3.2 Community Based Tourism Planning

In tourism development, planning plays integral part to the success of the

development. Planning requires sound policy to support the development process

and ensure expected outcome reached.

Tourism planning according to Joseph D. Fridgen (1991) involves creating

a future that is acceptable to the community carefully considering visitors’ needs

and also meeting the desires and expectation of the locals. The ultimate aim of

tourism planning is to develop the community and improve the living standards of

the people. As tourism is developed it can put pressure on the locals in increased

numbers of people flocking to the destination, increased use of roads and

transportation, increased demands on services and local hospitality where it can be

perceived by the locals as interruption to their peaceful lives. Tourism planning

and development, therefore requires time, funding, desire, expertise and extensive

programs to be systematically implemented. United States Travel and Tourism

Administration (USTTA) developed tourism planning model consisting of the

following steps.

1. Developing tourism leadership within the community

2. Develop tourism organizations to implement planning

3. Inventory and describe community assets, tourism resources, and liabilities;

assess the social, political, physical and economic conditions of the


4. Project what assets and resources to come to the community in the future

5. Set goals and objectives for tourism plan

6. Investigate alternative methods and means of obtaining the established

tourism goals and objectives

7. Select and approach and use it as a guide for tourism plan and development


8. Prepare and put in place implementation strategy

9. Execute the plane

10. Reassess and evaluate the plan. Management and Implementation

As tourism development requires leadership. First step is to identify leaders

in the community to drive the development. Soon as the leaders are selected,

tourism working groups and committees need to be organized and formed. The

committees will take responsibility to assess community existing resources in order

to identify opportunities and requirements. Then future projection of the upcoming

changes will be made and objectives set. Contingency plan in mitigation of the

original plan has to be in place in case of alteration necessity. The most appropriate

approach suitable for the community will be chosen and implemented with

properly designed strategies. Finally evaluation needs to be done to find out the

effectiveness of the development which meet or fail the expected objective and

necessary modification taken.

Usually the planning process involves government and local authority and

also private sectors and stakeholders. The development phase entails building,

managing attractions, transportation, accommodations, services and facilities for

the tourists. Tourism development as mentioned, results in increased employment,

stimulation of entrepreneurship, diversification of business, taxes collected,

community pride, conservation and preservation natural and cultural resources. On

the contrary, development bears some costs such as increased use of natural

resources, costs of maintenance and repairs, people and vehicles congestion, socio

cultural shift from its originality, endangered environment and species, investment

costs and increased expenses.

Understanding the positive and negative impacts tourism can cause, and

analyzing the strength and weakness of the community will provide insight to the

leaders in driving the development.

Effective community leaders supported by development partners in

capacity building is perceived to be the driving force in involving community

participation and leading to desired development outcome. As the community

engaged in the development process, tourism definitely opts to bring in benefits

and positive impacts. Well planned strategies in hand are keys to improving the

community in socio economic status.


Sue Beeton in her manual, Community Development through Tourism,

highlighted empowerment and capacity building in the development effort. A well

planned strategy could not be successfully executed without efficient and effective

leadership and stake holders’ cooperation.

Capacity building is not only education and training but also include other

forms of development.

She mentioned four different kinds of capacity:

• Organizational capacity

• Technical capacity to deliver specific services

• Infrastructure capacity, and

• Community capacity

Capacity building of community leaders assists them in engaging local

people in the development process and capacity building of the community

member results in better delivery of services to the tourists and meeting their

interests and expectations. She recommended that consideration need to be taken in

capacity building to suit the local requirements. Joint action or partnership tends to

have better effect on some communities in developing collective capacity and

encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives as well as participation. Sometimes the

development process can take longer and most probably noted as failure yet

development partners are recommended to have enduring view to reconsider time

frames in the crucial situation and exert longer effort for capacity building phase.

Local involvement, engagement and trust usually take time. It depends on how

well the leaders could translate the development issues and motivate the members

to take responsibilities into their hands and take active roles in the transformational


Nicole Häusler and Wolfgang Strasdas (2002) stated that CBT is a kind of

tourism that empowers the local to take control over the development and

management. But in many cases, CBT is usually developed in the community

where community leaders rarely have experience and educational background to

play leading roles in administration, marketing, service provision and

interpretation. And without proper capacity threat and problem is more viable than

development expected.

As stated, capacity in marketing is crucial in analyzing tourism trends and

potential market thereafter utilizing the information to build up strategy for

business success. The unique features of a particular region attracts the tourists and

creates desire to visit the place. The community and its leaders need to realize their

unique selling points, take advantage of it, improvising innovation and creativity to

gain competitive edge in the market. From the beginning the community has to

look for profitable markets and devise its own marketing strategy to attract

business and benefit from that. In the case of Thandaunggyi, it is recommended

that the region takes other forms of tourism such as ecotourism, pilgrimage,

cultural and agro-tourism, applicable to the regions and integrate it into CBT to

secure benefits to its full potential

Aref (2011) stressed that the success of CBT development centrally lies in

leadership capacity. The leader has to act as a bridging agent between local

community and external development experts. They need to motivate the


community and provide information to both internal and external actors. As

mentioned by Blackman (2004) successful CBT development process demands for

an individual champion to make it a success.

Kontogeorgopoulos (2014) researched CBT development in Thai and

revealed the importance of leadership in CBT development in Mae Kampong of

northern Thailand which has been awarded for its significant and successful CBT

implementation. The village headman Poo Yai Baan initiated the idea, led the

development and managed the implementation process. The high level of respect

for him among different groups within the community, his skill in developing

relationship with external actors, the capacity to educate local community with

knowledge and awareness, the power to mobilize the community into participation

gained him active community involvement in the development process in all

aspects such as decision making, implementation, benefits sharing, monitoring and

evaluating of project. In addition, his leadership went beyond to equitable benefits

distribution forming various occupational groups which bring together residents—

such as the bamboo weaving, blacksmithing, folk dancing, herbal tea pillow,

homestay, Thai massage, and traditional music groups all benefit directly from

tourism. Local participation in tourism generates income for the groups and the rest

of the community share the benefits from annual dividends. His leadership in

development was proven in the establishment of a forest fire buffer line, the paving

of the village road, and the construction of a toilet for every household in Mae

Kampong. Prommin executed CBT development plans practicing transformational

leadership and inspired motivation. He showed optimism and enthusiasm for the

common goals of the community, he explored new ways to tackle old problems,

mentored others tackling their individual needs, induced respect through display of

sound behavior and created community desire to participate.

2.3.3 Contribution and Impacts of Tourism

As indicated in the report, tourism has become a major contributor to

national income and prosperity. Tourists’ expenditure, incomes and employment

for the locals as well as tax generation and foreign currency earnings are main

economic impacts of tourism development. Tourism not only brings direct income

and employment but can also have significant ripple (multiplier) effects on the

local and national economy. Together with the income earned directly from

tourism some other business indirectly related to travel and tourism such as gas

stations, Laundromats and food suppliers somehow share the benefits as well. That

explains multiplier effect. The primary tourism business such as hotels, food and

beverage establishments and transportation generate direct monetary benefits

whereas percentage or portion of each dollar spent by the visitors goes to the

pocket of local fisherman, farmer or retailers alike. Therefore tourism industry is

increasingly seen as an appropriate vehicle to aid economic growth for developing


John Beech and Simon Chadwick (2006) highlighted the contribution of

tourism and development issues not only in economy but also its sociocultural

impacts such as revival of local arts and crafts, traditional cultural activities, local

architectural traditions and conservation of natural resources and beauty. Tourism

especially in rural community promotes the production of unique arts and crafts as

tourism products. It enhances local identity and pride through cultural

performances and events, helps to preserve local architects as heritage attractions

and conserve natural resources for its sustainability. These socio cultural impacts

are also considered as components of development. Development in a broader

sense encompasses at least five dimensions as categorized by Goulet (1992)

namely, economic, social, political, cultural and full life paradigm. Political

component reinforces human rights and institutional structure whereas full life

paradigm as its definition refers to preservation and strengthening of a society’s

symbols and beliefs.

Deepak Chhabra (2009) explained that tourism based development can

provide both direct and indirect economic benefits to the community. The direct

economic contribution goes to accommodation, catering, entertainment, recreation,

transportation and other travel related service. The follow-through effect is

perceived by beneficiaries such as financial services, food, drinks and products

suppliers, manufacturing and construction firms, laundry services, oil and gas

suppliers, wholesalers, security services, administration and tourism promotion.

Job creation and employment opportunities even it means low paid,

seasonal and part time, generates some income and helps in alleviation of poverty.

A variety of jobs available and well compensated job characteristic encourage

workforce to pursue tourism related employment. Pilots, website developers,

accountants, tour operators, fishing guides, resort operators, and golf and ski sector

positions, too are considered critical tourism-generated jobs. Tourism offers a wide

range of employment options with ranging pay scale. A wide variety of small

businesses benefit from tourism, from bed and breakfasts, cafes and restaurants,

adventure tourism companies to the less obvious – gas stations, grocery stores and

marine supply stores. All of these businesses support the needs of visitors and,

therefore, benefit from tourism revenue.

With the development of tourism related business and infrastructure, local

residents too have access to same services and facilities. Increased revenue leads to

extension of businesses and enhanced services. Visitors can help local restaurants

improve their range of menu offerings. Local hotels and guest houses may improve

their amenities as business increases (e.g., meeting facilities, spa, souvenir shops,

swimming pool, etc.) The local attractions may provide better displays and longer

hours accommodating visitors and locals alike. Special events like music festivals,

fairs and sporting events are enjoyed by residents while also potentially attracting

large numbers of visitors. Development of recreation facilities such as golf course

and other outdoor activities attracts tourists and provide opportunities for the locals

to enjoy it too.

Tourists not only bring dollars and physical upgrades to a community, they

also bring in new ideas and information which benefits local residents.

Cooperating with some organizations which came into the community for research

and educational purposes can upgrade the skill and knowledge of the community

members. Visitors’ appreciation of the scenery, heritage and culture of a

community will promote the civic pride and inspire the residents to preserve,

develop and share these unique treasures. CBT integrating ecotourism realizes the

importance of the natural resources in drawing visitors and providing economic


benefits. In addition, tourism activities often inform and educate visitors about the

value of local ecosystems and the need to protect them. A strengthened tourism

industry will also add to local tax revenue and support additional community


Together with employment opportunities, income generation and

infrastructure development, gender inequality, social change and increased

pressure on existing infrastructure are some other effects that are not expected. The

internal structure of the community is seen modified, however, tourism creates

social separation between the have and have not in regard to interaction with

tourists .The hidden and irreversible nature of some of the negative effects, have to

be taken into consideration when introducing tourism into the community as a sole

development tool. The negative cost of tourism is high and it is noticed only when

damaged is done.

2.4 Myanmar and Tourism

2.4.1 Community Involvement in Tourism

CBT should be developed through local involvement. Local participation in

the development process will increase community acceptance and commitment

towards a collective vision and own wellbeing. Taking ownership to determine

priorities, decide action plans and take step in implementation will ensure

achieving expected outcome.

Tourism Standards Consortium (TSC Western Canada) 2009 puts a

recommendation to begin the development process with formation of the

community tourism planning committee (CTPC) consisting of key tourism


stakeholders and local leaders to guide the development and implementation of the

community-based tourism plan. The members with local knowledge and expertise

should include local authority, governmental bodies, individual tourism operators

and businesses, local business associations, destination marketing organization and

visitor center if applicable, non-profit and community-based organizations such as

cultural and heritage associations, environmental organization, and educational

bodies. Once CTPC is organized they will lead the implementation and act as key

advocates for sustainable tourism development within the community.

Potjana Suansri (2003) in her Community Based Tourism hand book stated

the importance and necessity of cooperating as a success factor for sustainable

development. Tourism is associated with different stakeholders having varying

interests and in order to gain support it is essential that they are given opportunities

to participate as partners and foster cooperation among them. Local authority and

government bodies, transportation and accommodation providers, food service and

products sellers, souvenir and handicraft producers, local tour guides and tour

operators, food suppliers and tourism related business, all need to be given fair

share in participation and all parties involved opt to accept tourism as a tool for

community development. The level of cooperation may include sharing

information, exchanging ideas and experiences, sharing of resources, partnership,

joint venturing and participation as stakeholders. As the mechanism for

participation and cooperation established the sense of responsibilities among

parties involved will increase and it will build up the capacity of the local

community to monitor and evaluate the development and take charge of the

process even manage to coordinate with external parties.

David J. Telfer and Richard Sharpley in Tourism and Development in the

developing world identified CBT as a type of tourism that incorporates high level

of community participation. Indigenous people particularly could be involved in

promoting their culture in CBT as tourists’ attraction. Tourism activities are

developed and operated mostly by the local community and their involvement is

inevitable. Attractions, services and infrastructure must be under the control of the

local, therefore, policy makers are required to encourage entrepreneurship, small

and medium enterprises in integrating local economic development. Community

participation should not be limited to a small number of members but wider scope

of participation is essential for the success. Arnstein (1969) categorized

participation into eight levels varying from followers progressing to member with

right to have a say, then moving to advisory position and finally to decision

making power and managerial status.

Centralization, lack of coordination between stakeholders and lack of

information available to locals has become barriers to the development progress.

Structural limitation, weak legislation and scarcity of experts, human resources and

social capital are all constraints for community involvement to reach its full


Myanmar, included in the list of least developed countries, most

communities are characterized by low levels of education, high rates of poverty

and lack of adequate health care. Report of the World Bank in May 2014 showed

that Myanmar has a national poverty rate of 37.5%. Illiterate rural community,

limited accessibility to health care services, access to safe drinking water and

electricity, lack of transportation system and infrastructure are some common

characteristics of Myanmar poor communities.

Myanmar Tourism Sector Wide Impact Assessment (2015) p 116, states;

The 2010 poverty rates in certain key tourist areas in Myanmar were:

16.1% in Yangon Region; 16.3% in Mon State where Mawlamyine and the Golden

Rock are located; 26.6% in Mandalay Region, (includes Bagan and Pyin Oo

Lwin/Maymyo); 44% in Rakhine State 4 4.2 (Ngapali beach, Mrauk-U); 32.2% in

Ayeyarwady Region (Chaungtha and Ngwesaung beaches); and 33% in Shan State

(Inle Lake, Taunggi).

2.4.2 Brief History

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism in Myanmar (MoHT) prepared Myanmar

Tourism Master Plan in in 2013 with Myanmar Responsible Tourism Policy as its

guiding principles. Tourism Master plan develops strategic programs, priority

projects, and activities to be implemented covering the timeframe of 2013-2020.

The key objectives are to;

• Strengthen the Institutional Environment

• Strengthen Safeguards and Procedures for Destination Planning and


• Build Human Resource Capacity and Promote Service Quality

• Develop Quality Products and Services


• Improve Connectivity and Tourism-related Infrastructure

• Build the Image, Position, and Brand of Tourism Myanmar

The Master Plan ultimately aims to maximize tourism’s contribution to

national employment and income generation, and ensure that the social and

economic benefits of tourism are distributed equitably.

In 2013, Myanmar has come up with Community Involvement Tourism (CIT)

policy emphasizing the empowerment of communities towards meaningful

participation in the tourism development and economic enhancement. CIT aims to

involve local community members to have substantial control over the

development and manage tourism activities in their own region.

CIT policy in Myanmar was developed with the objectives of strengthening

institutional environment and civil societies, and building up community

capacities, It assists in setting up system to strengthen community planning and

management. It encourages local entrepreneurship, develops quality products and

services of the community and monitors the impacts of community involvement.

Reinforcement of institutional environment and constantly developed leadership

capacity increases accountability and induces community participation. Systematic

planning and management, results in improved service level and upgraded product

quality. As more community members engage in micro enterprises, it enables and

strengthens their control over local economic development. It poses more vital role

of the locals in managing and deciding their expected future.


MoHT released Community Involvement Tourism policy in May 2013 with

a framework for ensuring local communities access to opportunities in tourism. It

encourages the development of community-run tourism activities and enterprises in

Myanmar. Engaging communities in tourism skills training, planning and

management will enhance the opportunities for people from local communities to

gain employment in the tourism sector, and to sell goods and services to visitors.

Promoting local products’ sales in tourism market and improving local transport

infrastructure helps maximize local economic benefits in major destinations.

Beyond the monetary benefits tourism strengthens community

organizations’ capacity in management and improves social capital. It promotes

socio-cultural and environmental sustainability and enhances empowerment of the

local in decision making and managing their tourism resources

Ministry of Hotel and Tourism of the Union of Myanmar has piloted six

community involvement in tourism (CIT) as stated in the previous section, in the

aim of developing socio economic of the region.

Indawgyi Lake in Kachin state being a wildlife sanctuary it is the

responsibility of the locals to protect biodiversity of the region and flora and fauna.

CIT with the support of Flora and Fauna International (FFI) was introduced into

the region in the aim of creating new sources of income, and also to involve the

communities in a participatory conservation planning through tourism. CIT with

homestay is integrated with ecotourism activity like bird watching, and outdoor

recreation such as kayaking, cycling, trekking and cultural festivals.


The freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin is an endangered species. The dolphins

play a particular role in traditional local fishing and it is of great interest for the

tourists. In the unique phenomenon of cooperative fishing, the dolphins, together

with the fishermen, voluntarily drive fishes into the net. The development of a

community-based ecotourism concept in the six fishing villages in Irrawaddy river

near Mandalay, gives fishermen an alternative source of income and thereby an

incentive to reduce environmentally damaging fishing methods and dolphins

protection. It helps raising awareness and reducing negative impacts. Eco-friendly

dolphin watching, lunch at village, local handicraft-pottery production process,

village guiding are some activities developed for CIT. The project was assisted by

Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS).

Myaing in Magwer region is a CIT village developed with the collaboration

Inn Yaung village, Kan Gyi Taw 1 and 2 and Su Lae Pan Village, and is near

Bagan. The development of CIT aims to promote tourism, offer destinations in

Myanmar which is off the beaten track, and generates income to improve the

livelihood of the community. One Lodge in the middle of 4 villages was developed

to give customers experience of community activities. Introducing traditional

thanaka, service of lunch with local cuisine and exploring of neighboring area by

bicycle, and evening dinner in the lodge with traditional dance show were some

tourism products typically developed to offer visitors community based tourism

experience. The project was initiated by action aid.

The unique Padaung ladies with long neck and bronze neck rings has great

potential as a CIT destination and since it was an area affected by armed conflicts

it really is in need of reduced poverty through tourism development. The aim of the

project is to create more jobs in the tourism sector, which the local communities

and businesses can benefit from. Currently, CIT in Kayah supported by

International Trade Center- ICT is already being implemented in two villages of

the Demoso Township: Htaa Ne La Le and Pan Pet.

The villages are characterized by ethnic minorities; Kayaw in Htaa Ne La

Le and Kayan in Pan Pet, which are also known as the "Long Neck Women". To

gain CIT experience package such as full day or half day tour to gain cultural

insight of the culture, sharing local art and music, enjoy Kayah BBQ, short forest

trekking with trained guide and buying local unique products, were developed.

The hotel group Golden Island Cottage (GIC) by PaO National party

assisted by GIZ and PaO National development, executed CIT projects in PAO

towns; Inne Ne, Hti Nae and Loi Khaw of Shan states, near Inle Lake to promote

sustainable development in the region through generating income and

strengthening the identity of subsistence farming communities. The pilot phase of

the project started in March 2016. They establish first bed and breakfast, launched

capacity building programs for organizations and the communities. The

community tried to expand their tourism products, promote their local way of life

and open up new trekking trails.

2.5 A Case of Thandaunggyi

2.5.1 Geographic Background and Information

Thandaunggyi has been a British hill station since 1852 with the other two

hill stations; Kalaw and May Myo now known as Pyin Oo Lwin. British officers

chose to visit it as a summer get away to enjoy the cool weather in humid summer.

Crosette, B (1999). It is situated in the northern most of Kayin State, just twenty

nine miles away from Taungoo which is only five hours drive from Yangon. The

town itself in on the hill top with scenic views of mountain ranges and green

forests. During the colonial era the town was used as a resort for soldiers and

administrators for recreation purpose.

The town is better known for its Prayer Mountain named Naw Bu Baw with

Karen legendary folktale and it attracts many Christian pilgrims around the

country. Thandaunggyi has been under conflicts for many years due to the flight

between Myanmar Military and Karen National Union (KNU) since 1989. The

attempt to build mountain resort during Union Solidarity and Development Party

(USDP) government failed, however, after U Thein Sein’s government cease fire

agreement signing, the town has been released from brown area and regarded as

safe place to visit.

2.5.2 Community Assets for Tourism

The cool climate and lovely nature itself is a big draw to attract visitors all

over the country for summer recreation. The old British fort built hundred years

ago on a small hill top, the spiral stairways to the top of Naw Bu Prayer Mountain

and the Karen New Year Mountain nearby add to the attractions of the town. The

tea plantation with tea factory on a hill top which has been built hundred years ago

as a school, the old Church and Hindu temple are all places not to miss for the

visitors coming to Thandaunggyi. Most inhabitants of Thandaunggyi are Christian

therefore three Church buildings in a separate area of the town representing three

denominations stand tall in the community. A military fort named Bayint Naung is

mainly composed of Buddhism, so Buddhist temples and Stupa erected on the hill

top has become a prominent place to visit for Buddhist visitors. The waterfall

nearby and scenic trekking trails are added to the attractions. With the development

of CBT in the region, eight bed and breakfasts have been set up in the community

to receive visitors.

2.5.3 Thandaunggyi Tourism Development Working Group

To manage the CBT development a group of community representatives was

selected to lead the development process. Thandaugngyi tourism development

working group is composed of advisory board, support body and implementing

action body at the community level. Well defined roles and organized structure

enhances collaboration and mobilized community members to execute their effort

to achieve the development objectives.

The most prominent achievement of tourism development in the region as

reported in the CBT conference held in 27th Oct 2016, is strengthened peace and

trust building between conflict actors. Increased tourists arrival improved the

economy and stabilized the region. The development of tourism infrastructure such

as bed and breakfast and restaurants increased employment opportunities, created

income generation, reduced poverty and made it easy for tourists to find

appropriate accommodations with acceptable service standard. Business innovation

and entrepreneurial spirit are the most optimistic impacts received from tourism


Safety and security is still an issue in the region therefore, tourists do not

have access to certain areas as it has been post conflict region. Improved

interaction among stakeholders and effective communication internally still needs

to be strengthened as it has become barrier to cooperation. Through continuous

learning, service skill and capacity of the community members to host the visitors

has yet to be constantly built up. Lack of marketing, quality products development,

ability in business forecasting and handle financial management, results in

unachieved return on investment and difficulty in calculating business profit. The

ongoing process is, TTWG has appointed a treasurer to set aside a portion of

tourism to share it back into village development.

TTDWG has set up tourism information center supported by Business

Innovation Facility (BIF). In order to diversify tourism products new trekking

trends were developed and Leiktho is integrated into Thandaunggyi tourism

destination package plan, Construction of hot spring basin is underway and

standards of local products such as honey, coffee and tea packaging are to be

upgraded. Branding and marketing strategies development is to be boosted and a

network tower installment to improve telecommunication infrastructure has

already been planned. Other issues such as waste management, mitigation of

negative impacts to environment, safety and security concern and public-private

partnership have been discussed in the conference to follow up on the development

progress in order to achieve CBT development objectives.


2.5.4 Supporting Partner Organizations Peace Nexus

Peace Nexus Foundation is an independently-funded private Swiss

foundation. The primary function of Peace Nexus is to promote integrated solution

to peace building. The foundation supports conflicts affected areas find

development opportunities and at the same time strengthen peace building,

democracy and security. Working with UN Peace building support Office (PNSO),

Life and Peace Institutes (Sweden), Peace Direct (UK) and Insider Mediators in

Africa, it has extensive experience across the world in regards to conflict areas.

(Retrieved from https://peacenexus.org)

In 2013, Peace Nexus had agreed to work with Myanmar government to

support facilitation of dialogue between Myanmar government and ethnic minority

groups in cooperation with Myanmar Peace Center. Peace Nexus initiated

Community Based Tourism development project in Karen State at Thandaunggyi

in the aim of promoting responsible and inclusive development to strengthen

ongoing peace process between Karen National Union (KNU) and Myanmar

Government. Hann Seidel Foundation Myanmar

With the aim to support the democratization process in Myanmar,

Hannseidel foundation opened up a representative office in Yangon, Myanmar on

23rd of October 2012. Hann Seidel Foundation (HSF) cooperated closely with the

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MoHT) and the Myanmar Tourism Federation

(MTF) to develop Responsible Tourism Strategy in Myanmar. As a result

Responsible Tourism Policy for Myanmar was published in 2012 and the Policy on

Community Involvement in Tourism also launched in the next consecutive year


Hannseidel supported CBT project in Thanddaunggyi in the aim of helping

economic, political and social reforms as well as developing policy strategies for a

sustainable and eco-friendly economic development. It also assisted capacity-

building measure to reduce poverty, focusing on education and training Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute

The Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI) established in 2016,

is a non-profit organization aiming to support responsible tourism development in

Myanmar through knowledge sharing, training, and research. For knowledge

sharing it constructed e-library and discussion forum as a platform to share

knowledge, resources, ideas and issues related to responsible tourism in Myanmar.

MRTI provides expert assistance in research fields coordinating responsible

tourism projects. It also organizes and conducts education and training programs

related to responsible tourism, destination management, heritage and cultural

management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), methodologies and multi-

stakeholder meetings. MRTI also co-organizes CBT conferences for


Chapter Three

Research Method and Data Collection

3.1 Methodology

The research is qualitative in nature since extensive discussion and

interviews were used and instead of questionnaires, face to face meeting with

various stakeholders and interviewing targeted groups give in depth understanding

of the research questions. The researcher adopted qualitative approach due to

uncertainty of data availability and knowledge capacity of the community to

comprehend surveys and questionnaire does not meet expectation.

Through a number of visits to the region, observation of community

involvement in CBT and seeing current progress, the research is able to identify

how the leaders are playing important roles in the development, how well they can

lead the progress and the necessity of capacity building in order to achieve its

development objectives. For this research altogether forty five persons, forty five

from students’ research program and twelve form researcher’s individual approach,

were interviewed. By hearing respondents’ voices and insights, the researcher can

evaluate the extent of local awareness of tourism, their willingness to participate,

and their understanding of its benefits. Further to this, after understanding

community involvement in CBT development, the third objective can be met to

identify how well the community benefits from tourism contribution and what

distribution schemes are in hand to share the fruits back to the region. As the

objectives of the study have been uncovered, in depth studies will further support

to answer research questions and hypothesis that introduction of community based

tourism to the region can bring in community development, will be tested.

3.2 Data Collection

Research for this study was done via a combination of documentary study,

field research and stakeholders’ interviews. Although there are few reports on the

case, certain concept and information to the research questions have been

reviewed. The first visit was back in 2016 April 13th to 17th during water festival

and the following three visits were done in the next consecutive year. Continuous

approach to the development progress as it rolls on, gained the researcher an

understanding of crucial requirements in the development of CBT in that particular


The field research conducted four times within two years gathered the

primary data for the study. Due to unavailable records and poor data recording

practices in the region, qualitative method has to be applied. And it is perceived

that the best approach to understand current situation is through intensive

interviews with the targeted groups.

3.3 Sampling

To reach the research objectives sampling has to be done carefully to cover as

many main actors and stakeholders as possible that represent CBT community. A non-

probability sampling has been selected with snowball sampling approach where the

researcher met up with key informants and then preceded to quota sampling. The

population of Thandaunggyi is comprised of the community directly affected by tourism

which is 6767 in numbers in the five quarters or wards. Another population which is a

community of military forces who are least likely to be affected by current tourism

business was left out. So when talking about community, it mostly means the community

which has immediate involvement in CBT development.

3.3.1 Key Informant Interviews

CBT study trip was organized by Star Academy for hospitality and tourism

management diploma students from 27th February to 1st March 2017 and thirty

eight students participated in the research interviewing twenty six households

covering approximately 150 family members. Questions are developed in a way to

gain comprehension of the research objectives. Since thirty eight students stayed

across eight bed and breakfasts, they were able to interview the owners and

employees. The tour guides were watched on their guiding skill and were

interviewed too to understand capacity building requirement for the service

providers. Restaurants were patronized in dinner time and service providers were

interviewed on their perception of benefits gained from tourism development. The

interviews with twenty six household members covered a wide range of

stakeholders including government employee, young school drop outs,

transportation providers, suppliers of food and goods, souvenir and retail shops

owners and all other tourism related business. Interview questions were

constructed to contribute to in depth knowledge of current development situation

and community response to CBT development in the region. CBT programs were

pre planned in order to experience and understand the capacity of the community

to host visitors and to watch their willingness, involvement and cooperation.


3.3.2 In Depth Interviews (IDI)

Meetings with elderly leaders of the community ranging from pastor and

writers to political party leaders and members of parliament contributed to the

research objectives. A special sit down discussion and interview were conducted

with Thandaunggyi Tourism Development Working Committee members, to

collect essential information on how the development has been carried out, the

challenges faced and how the community was motivated to involve in CBT

development. Discussion with Thandaunggyi tourism development working group

provides in depth comprehension of the development. Focus group discussion,

individual interviews, in depth knowledge and opinion shared on 8th and 9th of

July 207, were used to obtain data required and the CBT program executed in the

two nights three days itself somehow answered a number of questions posted for

the research.

3.3.3 Observation

The pre CBT study trip was done one week ahead of the actual trip and

programs were discussed to organize activities aiming to give students CBT

experience and at the same time to evaluate the community capacity to host CBT.

A welcome party for visitors with traditional performance and local refreshments

and destination brief were requested as the initial stage of the program. All the

eight bed and breakfasts were assigned to accommodate groups of students and this

was planned to analyze the services and skill gaps of the employee with concern to

capacity building. Starting from Taungoo, on the way up to Thandaunggyi, local

tour guides were encouraged to give commentary and throughout the trekking trip

and on the way up to Naw Bu Baw prayer Mountain, the participants had the

opportunity to experience their guiding service. The local cuisine were prepared in

traditional way and served. Local restaurants were visited to see the standard of

food service, hygiene and sanitation practices. Attractions such as Tea factory,

Hindu temple and old church were visited to see and hear the historical aspect of

the region and how well they are preserved to be showed case as heritage asset of

the region. Cultural performance and exchange were organized in the evening and

discussion and knowledge sharing with local youth took place in the Church. Even

night bazar was set up to host the participants and sell some local products and

souvenir. The CBT showcase and observation of the programs executed itself

poses a number of answers to the research questions.

The researcher constructed categorized questions for different stakeholders

and trained the students how to conduct the interviews. Eight groups of students

who stayed in eight B&B were assigned to five different quarters to conduct

interviews at TTDWG’s selected households. Questions were constructed to cover

the three research objectives. Individual responses were recorded, compiled and

sent for researcher’s analysis. The researchers too did several interviews with key

stakeholders and community leaders. Then all the compiled answers were

personally analyzed by the researchers himself to come up with data interpretation.

The conclusion on research objectives were drawn using the data analyzed.

Chapter Four

Finding of the Study

4.1 Thandaunggyi and Tourism Development

Thandaunggyi is only 5 hours’ drive from Yangon and has easy

accessibility compared to the other CBT sites in Myanmar. It is situated on the

mountain top 4824 feet above sea level with picturesque hills and scenic views

across the mountain ranges. Taungoo, the capital of Kayin state, which is 29 miles

away, serves as transit for travelers. Karen ethnic group makes up the majority of

the population and by nature they are living peacefully in the area. Most of the

locals earn their living in agriculture planting tea, coffee, cardamom, durian, betel

and growing rice.

The 4824 feet high Naw Bu Baw Mountain with a mythical legendary was

set up as a prayer mountain for Christian pilgrimage. 374 steps stairways to the

mountaintop were erected in 1995 and it has become tourist destination for

domestic travelers. The cool weather, the tranquility sensed in the nature, Karen

ethnic residents with simple and unrushed day to day life style, are reasons

drawing visitors to experience the place.

The population of the whole township which is composed of more than 20

villages is 29415 as per 2014 census, however, the town itself is divided into 5

quarters and the population breakdown is as shown as follow.


No Quarter Household Male Female Total

1 Quarter-1 454 1413 1453 2867

2 Quarter-2 200 512 560 1072

3 Quarter-3 347 994 960 1954

4 Quarter-4 124 334 332 666

5 Quarter-5 32 110 98 208

1157 3363 3404 6767

Map of Thandaunggyi Town; courtesy of TTDWG

Thandaunggyi has one state high school, three primary schools and seven

nursery schools with three other church based nursery schools. The town has one

hospital accommodating 70 beds and one regional health care center. The majority

of the population earns their living through agriculture and 20% are estimated to be

working in public sector employment. It is estimated that more than two hundred

people are involved directly or indirectly in tourism related business such as

accommodations, restaurants, retail shops, tour guiding and transportation services.

Community Involvement Tourism Policy encouraged local residents to

participate in the development of their community and protect the area from

external influence and dependence. Thandaunggyi tourism development working

committee was formed in 2013 with the vision of developing the region.

Source: Conference report of Thandaunggyi Community Tourism Development-

27thOct 2016 Hpa An, Myanmar.

The vision statement of TTDWG stated;

We aim to establish a community-based organization that promotes

responsible tourism development in the Thandaunggyi region, and acts as a


role model, supporting locally owned tourism-related businesses, educating

the community and helping to conserve natural and cultural resources

TTDWG developed eight objectives with action plans to implement the progress

(Hann Seidel Foundation, 2016).

• To provide a platform for information exchange for locally-owned tourism-

related businesses and development actors

• To spread economic benefits among the local community

• To educate and raise awareness of local communities about conserving

natural resources

• To provide skills development and capacity building in tourism and


• To promote and provide gnuidance for sustainable principles (waste

management/ hygiene/monitoring and evaluation, etc.)

• To establish role model for CBT in the region

• To maintain Kayin Culture and revive traditional craft and activities

• To share knowledge and lesson-learned on community development in post

conflict area in Kayin state.

With the objectives at the center of every endeavor, TTDWG working

together with the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism has been able to set up eight bed

and breakfasts and secured operating license within a year of the planning phase.

From overnight stays in family homes, visitors had been accommodated in the

building of Bed & Breakfasts, and from giving away local products and handicrafts

to visitors as presents the status changed to setting up an infrastructure for local

shops, where goods can be sold. The achievement dramatically benefits local

business and community members who were involved in providing services to the


The planning phase unfolded training series for receptionists, B&B owners,

hygiene in restaurants or for tour conductor in collaboration with development

partners and public sector. At least two nights and three days package has been

developed covering not only Thandaunggyi but also neighboring villages and

surrounding areas.

Bed and breakfast development is the most prominent achievement of the

TTDWG and the accommodation can provide 59 rooms for the visitors. They have

been able to provide standard lodging to both domestic and international guests


List of B&B with the numbers of room

No Name Rooms

1 Khaing’s Villa 8

2 Star of the East 6

3 Home Sweet Home 4

4 San Su Ci 7

5 I Wish 9

6 Peace House 7

7 Grace for Grace 9

8 Golden crown 9

9 Total 59

List of the restaurants

No Name

1 Amazing

2 Taung Baw Tha

3 Chit Tha

4 Kayin Ma

5 Bo Bwa Myitta

6 Ebaneza

7 See Zar

8 Wai Linn

9 Daw Maw

10 Ya Haw Bote

11 La Wun

Total restaurants - 11

During the high season (October-May) many domestic tourists visit

Thandaunggyi. There are no official figures kept on the exact numbers, but in

weekends and during special events including; Christmas, Easter and Karen New

Year, hundreds perhaps a thousand tourists visit the town for celebrations.

Thandaunggyi Community Tourism Development conference took place

in Hpa An on 27th Oct 2016 and the report indicated some achievements in

tourism development. Thandaunggyi being a post conflict area encountered many

challenges in setting up tourism development in the region. Current achievement is

that through tourism and increased tourists arrival, peace between conflict actors

has been strengthen. Securing operating license for the existing eight bed and

breakfast benefits the community in earning income through proper

accommodation and food provision to both domestic and international visitors.

Consequently jobs in tourism sectors for school dropouts somehow help to solve

unemployment among the youth. Opening up of new shops and restaurants to cater

for visitors, and local transportation benefits from increasing tourists’ arrival are

evidences of tourism achievement in the area. Community members taking the

initiative to start investing in tourism related business show the entrepreneurial

spirit spurred up from tourism development.

4.2 Presentation of the Information Collected

Forty five key informant interviews of community members were

conducted by Star Academy students to find out answer to the research questions.

Researcher selected carefully constructed interview questions as preferred methods

to have comprehensive answers than that of questionnaires. Even interview

questions sometimes require extensive explanation.


The following list is the breakdown of 45 key informant interviews of

stakeholders conducted by Star Academy students, into various categories.

• 8 school teachers

• 6 community members in the field of Agriculture

• 8 Retail shops

• 8 B&B Operators

• 4 Restaurants

• 6 Government Staff

• 5 Tour related business(Tour guide, transport)

Within the four visits to Thadaunggyi, in depth interviews (IDI) with

twelve community leaders and elders were conducted by the researcher in the first

visit 13-17 April 2016 and the final visit on 8-9 July 2017. The in depth

interviewees includes pastors, Karen People Party leader, current member of

parliament, writer, retired government officer and TTDWG leaders. Data on

visitors’ arrival and income generated. Five persons have been selected to report on

in depth interview in order to meet the objectives of the research and answer the

research questions. Extensive interviews and discussion were conducted face to

face individually with the focus group to understand tourism development and its


The five persons representing different key stakeholders (9th July 2017)

No Name Representation

1 Naw May Say Amazing Restaurant Owner

2 Naw Hser Gay & Saw I Wish Bed and Breakfast Owner


3 Naw Sein Pan Ebenezer Local products gift shop

4 Reverend Saw Bo Thar Chairman of TTDWG

5 Saw Christopher Retired Karen Minister of Agriculture and


4.2.1 Amazing Restaurant

Naw May Say aged 40, has opened up Amazing restaurant on August 25,

2015 at the prime location where visitors entering Thandaunggyi stop for

information and food. The restaurant has the capacity to cater for 60 people. With

a see through kitchen, the restaurant offers a variety of menu ranging from Karen

traditional cuisine to local and international has become a busy spot providing food

for both local and visitors.

Having 18 years’ working experience in Singapore including the position

of assistant manager at a food establishment, Naw May Say gained business

concept to start the place. She understands hygiene, sanitation and service,

therefore, transfers the knowledge to her employee and stands as role model among

other local restaurants. When asked about her objective, she enthusiastically

explained that it is not only for generating income but she aimed to train up local

youth to pursue a career to the professional level and share standard practices and

business mind set.

In busy period she employs up to 7 workers to assist her with both

production and service. The head cook earns 200,000 kyats while the remaining

staff gets paid 70,000 to 140,000 kyats including accommodation and food. She

provides them with Basic English language training in order to cater for

international visitors. She persistently trains up her staff in service standards and

hygiene practices however she admitted that it is a tough job to persuade the locals

to maintain the standards.

4.2.2 I Wish Bed and Breakfast

Naw Hser Gay and Saw Johnson are the owners of I Wish bed and

breakfast. I Wish was opened in 2012 with increase visitors’ arrival in

Thandaunggyi and the demand for accommodation. Firstly it was catered for

pilgrimage, accommodating and cooking food for them without any charges. The

cool weather and scenic view attracts many visitors in summer time and it has

become summer getaway for the locals in modern time as well.

I Wish secured it license in 2015 and started operating as official B&B in

Thandaunggyi. This particular B&B is different from others in that it is situated on

the hill top with scenic view of the green mountains and valley and it has a lager

compound serving as garden to the visitors. The old colonial building adds to the

reason people choose I Wish as preferred place to stay. The B&B is composed of 9

rooms including a new extended building in the compound Naw Hser Gay has a

son who is operating Dream Land travel and tour in Yangon and sometimes he is a

source for business to link visitors with I Wish B&B.

She employed two staff to work with her in the B&B and it is more like a

family business. The two permanent staff received hospitality training provided by

development partner such as Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI) and

either hospitality training conducted in Taungoo.

CBT introduction into the region acts as a tool to open up the eyes and ears

of the locals in the post conflict area. Due to limited opportunity in the region,

local participation narrows down only to small numbers of current operators. I

Wish plans to extend new rooms as future requirement yet B&B license permits

only 9 rooms to operate.

4.2.3 Ebenezar Local Products Gift Shop

Naw Sein Pan, aged 53, being TTDWG member leading local products

sub-committee, opened up the gift shop in 2016. The shop is small, selling local

products and also serving local food as a small eating place. Neatly laid on the

shelves and displayed are varieties of local products ranging from local organic

fruits such as banana, pineapple, durian, longan, citron, chayote, pomelo and rare

local sweet chiretta, yellow ginger and jam made from different fruits. Local

unique products such as tea leaves dried or preserved, local made grapes wine,

honey, and coffee are all made in Thandaunggyi and usually purchased by

domestic travellers to take away home as destination gifts.

When asked about the reason for opening the shop she simply stressed her

eagerness to promote local products. The products not only sell as gifts for visitors

but locals, especially the family members at nearby military base usually buy from

the shop.

4.2.4 TTDWG Chair Person Reverend Bo Thar

Reverend Bo Thar is the pastor of Zion Karen Baptist Church in

Thandaunggyi. He was appointed as the chairman of TTDWG and he also operates

Star of the East B&B which has 6 rooms that also sells local products such as

coffee, tea leaves and honey. According to him Thandaunggyi is the dead end town

itself with no trading therefore, the town is depending on Taungoo which is 28-29

miles away, for goods and supplies. There is no regular public transport to and

from Thandaunggyi, yet private transport is available up and down all day

especially leaving the town in the morning and transport goods and passengers

back in the afternoon.

The community has always received visitors and accommodated the guests

at home out of their traditional hospitality. Pilgrimage and visitors usually flock at

Naw Bu Baw Prayer Mountain, especially on special occasions such as Christmas

and Karen New Year. Visitors’ arrival increase yearly and as B&B started

operating in town, standard accommodations can be provided to both domestic and

international guests alike.

4.2.5 The Retired Karen Minister of Agriculture and Livestock

To have a comprehensive understanding of the research objectives, the late

Karen Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Saw Christopher contributed his

opinion on tourism development in the region.


Regarding B&B operation in the region there is still room for improvement

to upgrade the cleanliness and standard of service to meet expectation of

international visitors. The comment is given on finding from a casual visit to some

B&B in the town.

It is essential that B&B and service providers promote local organic

products and proudly serve it to the visitors. Agriculture and livestock products’

sales will generate more income and benefits local economy.

Regarding non-governmental organizations’ endeavor in some

development project, he clearly stated that the local benefits only few percentages

and more than 85% goes to the expenditures of the project. It is merely a failure

and waste of effort and, the external support causes great damage to the attitude of

the local people who tend to always rely on external assistance without exerting

any effort for their own development.

Mutual trust and cooperation of conflict actors can bring about stability and

peace in the region. Carefree mobilization in the region with more business

opportunities open up will definitely result in socio economic development of the

region. Local empowerment does not work if the locals do not have assets and

resources to manage. It is advisable that external investments are invited,

controlled and managed to boost up the development and achieve maximum

benefits in return. Safeguarding of local business in dealing with large investment

from external stakeholders such as hotel groups is crucial to secure maximum

benefits to the community.


4.3 Presentation of Data on Research Questions

4.3.1 Leadership Capacity Students’ Result

Regarding research question on leadership capacity most of the

interviewees expressed that TTDWG leaders still need to improve on broad based

involvement of the community. The key informant interviewees (KII) mentioned

that the working group is working on tourism development yet lack in sharing

information and giving awareness to the public.

Students’ finding

Working on it Still need improvement



Researcher’s finding

Working on it Still need to improve


58% Researcher’s Findings on Leadership

According to Naw May Say, owner of Amazing restaurant and vice secretary of

TTDWG, there is still lack of development communication and flow of

information among stakeholders. Tourism awareness and development objectives

need to be disseminated down to the roots and widely reached out to achieve broad

based and holistic development. Another important note is TTDWG has to

carefully control external influence such as business investment intention of large

commercial groups and some tour companies trying to contract and influence local

business for their own benefits.

TTDWG is planning to be legally registered in order to promote Thandaunggyi

CBT and its local products using its own logo. The region needs to develop new

tour routes and other local CBT products in order to attract more visitors and

tourists. Karen culture and tradition has to be revitalized in the aim of promoting

local identity and unique feature of the region. The most challenging situation in

the development is restriction imposed by KNU on trekking trails and routes.


Public private partnership is still in crucial stage though the development process is

rolled out.

Naw Hser Gay and Saw Johnson of I Wish B&B expressed that technical

assistance of the development partners such as Peace Nexus and Hann Seidel

foundation is essentially important to guide and move the process. KNU’s

sensitivity on security concern is a major constraint for the development work to

move forward.

Naw Sein Pan who operates the gift shop did it as a role model for the locals, to

educate them on the idea that well packaged local products add to the value. She

also highlighted the requirement of product diversification and improved

packaging for local products to generate more sales and income for the community

members. She is leading TTDWG’s sub-committee in local products development.

She found it hard to change local mindset on improving packaging and promoting

local products. Karen traditional costumes and local handicrafts which can add to

CBT products have yet to be reintroduced back into the community. She comments

that technical assistance in the matter of products development is still required and

the locals need to understand that increased local products sales could generate

higher income and support the community in livelihood.

According to Reverend Saw Bo Thar, the chairman, TTDWG works hard to

educate and give awareness to the community. Technical knowhow and technical

assistance is still required to drive the development process effectively. The future

plan of TTDWG in year 2017 is to increase up to 10 B&B with at least 70-90

rooms and new tour routes. The package tentatively includes trekking to Spirit

Mountain (Lo Ta Ray Koh), newly found waterfall and hot spring nearby. There is

still struggle between TTDWG and local authority to secure permit to operate the

route. Local products diversification and packaging improvement is also another

action plan to be implemented in 2017. Traditional weaving, bamboo handicraft,

cultural performance and national costumes will be improved to add on to CBT


Patriotic and enthusiastic about the development of the Karen people, the late

Karen minister of agriculture and livestock, Saw Christopher stressed that tourism

development should not be limited to few elites who are operating for their own

benefits. The whole local community needs to be given awareness on the

objectives of the development and information disseminated, so it will gain willful

participation of the community as a whole.

4.3. 2 Community Participation Students’ Findings

When asked about community participation most of the answers show that the

community is directly or indirectly involved one way or the other in tourism

related activities. They may either serve the visitors or involve in supply chain.

Calculation done on community participation in CBT activities including 8 B&B,

12 restaurants, 8 retail shops and around 15 transportation operators in town, show

that the total numbers approximately 150 -200 community members are directly or

either indirectly involved.


Students’ finding

Community Paticipation
Involved Not involve



Researcher’s finding

Community Participation
Involved Not involved


58% Researcher’s Finding on Community Participation

Naw May Say of Amazing restaurant expressed her concern in community

participation that even though community realizes the benefits of tourism

development there is still a need to involve them in meetings, trainings and tourism

related activities. Broad based participation in different activities will strengthen

CBT experiences provided to the visitors and make Thandaunggyi a more

distinctive destination.

Naw Hser Gay and Saw Johnson of I Wish B&B explained that public sector’s

involvement plays an important role in strengthening the development effort. The

late township administrator was very enthusiastic about tourism development in

the region and actively supports the process.

In depth interview (IDI) participants responded as follow;

The meetings held usually involve only TTDWG members who are mostly

B&B and restaurant owners. The Church leaders who chair the working

group took the decision making role. They still need to involve the

community as a whole.

The statement was summarized from the researcher’s personal interviews

with several key stakeholders conducted on the 8th and 9th of July 2017.

Reverend Saw Bo Thar highlighted requirement of more local involvement

especially in fostering better understanding of tourism development objective, and

getting rid of misunderstanding due to cultural and religious belief. To gain

participation of the community, the community needs to understand the benefits of

CBT. Peace and stability is essential to fully operate CBT in the region. Military,

KNU, current government and the community needs to cooperate in the

development process and brings in prosperity for the region. The development

process still encounters constraints. Being a post conflict area, it really demands

for cooperation among related stakeholders. Community involvement can

strengthen the development and peace and, stability regained as a result of

economic development.

Saw Christopher highlighted the importance local empowerment since the

community has always lived under dictatorship and conflicts. The mindset of the

local requires change as stated in freedom of fear. The locals are still living under

the influence of Military, KNU and current authority. Therefore they never have

opportunity to manage their own community and find solution for their own

development. Even in dealing with external investment the community needs to

stand firm to guard against improper use of local resources and make a deal that

will retain prosperity of the region. Local participation and ownership will

strengthen the development work.

4.3.3 Benefits to the Community Students’ Finding

For final question, government staff and teachers mostly responded that the

development did not affect them and they have less interest in tourism since they

have regular income whereas they think tourism is seasonal and does not guarantee

regular income. Overall, the community understands the benefits resulting from

tourism development in the region. The increase in guests stay at B&B, increased

restaurant sales, more income generated from local products sales and increase in

car rental business all proves that the community enjoys the benefits of tourism

development. According to TTDWG members there is still no community fund set

aside from tourism contribution yet, it is clear that the community as a whole

generates more income as tourism development in the region makes it progress.


Some of the benefits stated by interviewees are as follows;

• Increase of household income

• Increased room sales

• Local products sold at gift shops with higher price

• Livelihood options improved with better living standards

• Youth employment in tourism related business

• Small business opportunities and start up related to tourism

• Better infrastructure and road system

Students’ finding

Benefits sharing
Benefitial Not affected



Researcher’s finding

Benefit sharing
Benefitial Not affected


67% Researcher’s Finding on Tourism Benefits

Visitors' stay at B&B in 2017



100 April

I Wish Grace for Golden Star of the Peace Khaing
Grace Crown east House Villa

The chart mentioned, shows guests’ record between January- May in 2017 at

the listed six B&B. It is difficult to collect data on guests’ stay since the B&B do

not usually keep the record properly. Researcher visited individual B&B to obtain

the data, especially to compare business between 2016 and 2017. But due to

missing and insufficient data in some B&B, only 5 months’ record can be

exhibited on guests’ arrival. San Su Ci is more a Church based accommodation

Monthly Arrival


Jan Feb March April May

and proper record is not obtained. Home Sweet Home stops operating due to health

problem of the owner. It is calculated that total of 2,106 guests stay in the 6 B&B

during January to May in 2017. Overall increase in numbers of guests’ stay at

B&B is perceived as improvement in visitors’ arrival in 2017. Compared to

domestic visitors, only a total of 86 international guests were noted in the record.

They are from different countries such as Germany, France, Australia, Denmark,

Switzerland, England, United States, Canada, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

Researcher found out variation between the report and actual findings obtained

from individual B&B.


Monthly room sales of Khaing’s Villa & Grace for Grace B&B



150 February
Grace for Grace Khaing's Villa Grace for Khaing's Villa
Grace's rooms rooms sold

Monthly room sales of Khaing’s Villa & Grace for Grace B&B

Total income in Kyats

2000000 Grace for Grace
1500000 Khaing's Villa
January February March April May

TTDWG’s report on B&B stay is described as follow.

Years Domestic Foreigners Total

2016 627 89 761

2017-until May 1684 110 1794


Usually pilgrims stay at Church based accommodations. There are three

Churches in Thnadaunggyi and they provide accommodations for stay not on

commercial basis but accepting only donation in whatever amount the visitors like

to offer. At the mountain base, buildings were constructed to accommodate

pilgrims on group and even cooking for guests is provided on request. Visitors stay

at Church based accommodations outnumber the stay at B&B. There are also day

return visitors that do not stay overnight and the numbers add to the arrivals. There

is a record book kept at Naw Bu Baw Mountain base. Although not all visitors

recorded down their visits in the book the total numbers of two months; January

and February showed 2012 visitors. To calculate the total numbers of visitors a

year B&B stays have to be added to Church accommodations visitors and day

returns. As per TTDWG report it is estimated that around 100,000 visitors arrived

in the year 2016.

For Amazing restaurant, at the beginning in 2015, daily revenue summed up to

100,000kyats but yearly increased up to 300,000 kyats average income per day in

2016 and 500,000 to 600,000 kyats daily in 2017. The business saw an increase up

to 150 guests per day from November to May in 2017. Basically, local products

such as meat, poultry, vegetables and fruits which she proudly claims organic are

promoted in the restaurant and the rest of the supplies are bought from Taungoo. It

has become a local spot for eating and caters also to international travellers due to

its service and better hygiene standard than any other establishments in town. Since

international arrival in Thandaunggyi is still very few, the ratio of domestic and

international travellers at the restaurant is 90:10. The restaurant received

international guests from Germany, Australia, United States, England, Netherland,

Japan, Thai and Singapore; top consumers recorded as German guests. In return

benefits will be shared widely to the community as a whole rather than benefiting

only to a small circle of stakeholders.

According to Naw Hser Gay, I Wish is always the first choice for visitors due

to its location and usually visitors refer to face book, trip advisor and other friends’

recommendation to stay at I Wish. In the case of full house, she has to turn away

the visitors but used to recommend other B&B such as Khaing Villa, Golden

Crown and Grace for Grace to the guests. Local produce are used to serve the

guests and local products such as honey, tea leaves, coffee and bamboo shoots are

sold at the B&B for take away gifts especially for domestic travellers.

The total sales for Ebenezar gift shop sum up to 3,500,000 kyats a year and the

business is doing well. Naw Sein Pan expressed that the better the packaging of the

product the higher will be the sales and it will benefit not only the retail shop but

also suppliers.

Reverend Saw Bo Thar, said 2016 received not less than 100-150 international

visitors and up to 100,000 domestic travellers; 10-15% increase in domestic and

100% increase in international visitors. With the 8 licensed B&B providing 59

standard rooms, the town has the capacity to host up to 100 international visitors a

day. Increase in visitors’ arrival also boosts the sales of local products such as

home-made coffee, tea, honey, food and Karen national costumes. Local

transportation too benefits from tourism development and has seen business

increase in car rental service.

4.4 Observation

Apart from extensive interviews conducted, the 2 nights 3 days study tour

purposely programmed to observe the community capacity in delivering CBT

activities, provided most information required of the research questions. The

program was preplanned by researcher and TTDWG to host 38 students from Star

Academy sharing CBT experience of Thandaunggyi.

The welcome culture performance by young Karen children with traditional

costume, and local refreshment offered to the arriving students was stunning and

provided great experience of the local culture. The 2 nights stay at 8 different

B&Bs also proved the hospitality of the Karen ethnic. Evening dinner hosted in the

Church building with culture exchange program really highlighted the community

identity and pride in promoting their culture and tradition.

Walking up the stairs to scenic Naw Bu Baw Prayer Mountain with story told

about its romantic legendary background by the local guide added to the

experience. Trekking trials to Lo Ta Ray Ko, known as Spirit Mountain led by

local guides and local cuisine cooked in traditional way served in local forest house

created a great memory for all. A visit to century old tea factory and old Hindu

temple unfolded the history of the hill resort years ago. Youth exchange program

in the second night opened up opportunity to share CBT concept between the hosts

and the guests. The night ended with night market created to sell local products to

the visitors.

4.5. Analysis

The overall picture of CBT development in Thandaunggyi is perceived through

observation of activities in town during the four visits and also from meeting,

interviewing and discussing with stakeholders individually or through questioning

community members. As stated, Thandaunggyi CBT development was purposely

projected and implemented in the aim of strengthening peace process and

development in the region. The town was selected specifically by the government

due to its natural and cultural assets which have potential for implementing CBT.

Visiting the destination as a tourist, inspires the researcher with the feeling of the

uniqueness in the cool weather which is very relaxing and the green environment

with natural resources extremely rejuvenating.

4.5.1 Sharing Local Way of Life; the Unique Experience

CBT, as in its definition, is a tourism that promotes the identity of the

community, encourages interaction between the hosts and the visitors and creates

mutual learning, contributing to the wellbeing of the host community,

economically and socially. The story and beauty of Naw Bu Baw Prayer Mountain

itself adds to the attraction of the region so does the unique culture of the Karen

ethnic. CIT policy in Myanmar does not permit homestay; therefore lessen the

opportunity of the guests to interact with the host and learn their daily way of life

in a close proximity. B&B acts more like a commercial establishment rather than a

home to share. The experience of B&B accommodation could not be the same as

homestay however, some owners works on providing hospitality to the guests as

close to family service in a homestay.


It is understood that Karen ethnic is rich in culture and traditional way of life

but in the case of Thandaunggyi, it is a rare opportunity to experience the unique

features of the community if not organized and showcased. The Karen traditional

costume is rarely worn except on special occasions such as Christmas, New Year

and on Sundays when they go to Church. Traditional dance and performance,

weaving, handicraft and local food still need to revitalized and promoted to share

local way of life which is the essence of CBT. Lack of traditional and cultural

activities and deficiency of local products innovation and promotion, restrains the

potential of the destination to be projected explicitly as CBT. Packages that offer

unique experience still need to be developed, organized and implemented to give a

competitive edge to Thandaunggyi as a CBT destination. Researcher and some of

the TTDWG members came to a conclusion that tourism operated in

Thandaunggyi need to execute more effort to add to features and characteristics of


4.5.2 Leadership Capacity

The four visits to Thandaunggyi were fully supported by TTDWG in the aim of

helping the researcher understand and comprehend CBT development process in

the region. Close relation and in depth talk with individual leaders and on the other

hand, opinions gathered from community members, helps answer leadership

capacity question. The majority of the interviewees expressed their understanding

of tourism benefits to the community. They perceive tourism as a development

tool. Despite their positive view on tourism a deliberate strategy to strengthen the

awareness and the desire to participate in the process is lacking. The initiative of

TTDWG Chairman to compete in Product Package and Innovation Competition

(PPIC) organized by Business Innovation Foundation (BIF) funded by UK aid,

resulted in technical support to install information center for Thandaunggyi CBT.

CBT in Thandaunggyi was initiated by the previous government in

collaboration with KNU in the aim of stabilizing peace and development in the

region. TTDWG and development partners, invite government officials and have

regular meetings on review of the progress and setting up of future strategies.

However the lack of harmony and compatibility between the current government,

the community and KNU is seen as constraint for the progress.

Both TTDWG chairman and secretary are well respected religious leaders.

They are Church pastors and have full influence on the community who are their

Church members. CBT study trip organized for Star Academy is the evidence. The

programs and activities were executed perfectly as requested and planned. It

implies that they have the capacity to get the community involved and drive them

to certain expected outcome. However comments received from community

members unfolded the full picture of leadership. One of the restaurant owners said,

“Most meetings were organized within closer circle of TTDWG core group and

only randomly selected participants gained access to capacity building programs.

We were not informed and were always left out”. The community leaders need to

work on improving development communication.

Visitors’ record showed that the average stay in B&B was not more than two

nights. Except for Naw Bu Baw Mountain and few other places, there is nothing

much to see in town. Leaders understand that CBT products diversification needs

to be improved. Initiative effort of the leaders to reintroduce the cultural and

traditional activities, revitalize local handicraft skill back to the community and

upgrade packaging standard and product quality is critical in providing visitors

with local experience. It is understood that marketing effort needs to be strengthen

yet the community has to get ready to receive visitors and provide authentic CBT


4.5.3 Community Participation

The research found out that the development effort implemented within the

community was through the leadership of TTWDG. The community leaders

together with some members have the opportunity to plan and decide on CBT

activities in the region. Local empowerment is a positive sign but on the other hand

the nature of participation in terms of inclusiveness is still low. The research

revealed that community involvement is still limited to interested participants

catering for their own benefits.

B&B, restaurants, local retail shops, tour guides and transportation personnel

are direct participants in CBT. They have the opportunity to serve the tourists and

sell local products to visitors. Provision of service and products creates job and

generates income. Even food suppliers and local products producers were

indirectly involved. Cultural dance performers, people working in tea and coffee

plantation, workers in tea factory and food preparation team in Church based

accommodations can also be counted as indirect participants in CBT. The total

numbers across the community including the family members come to 150-200

people. Involvement of local in meetings, voicing opinions, decision making and

information sharing, according to some locals, is still limited to the closer circle.

Community members expected to participate and get informed, yet many times,

B&B owners and some close members within the circle were the only participants

in the meetings and trainings. It is perceived that limited participation lessen

community motivation and has become the main reason to slow down the

development process. The research revealed community leaders’ lack of giving

constant awareness, disseminating information on tourism development, and

limiting involvement in trainings and capacity building programs.

4.5.4 Tourism Contribution to the Community

Monetary benefit is difficult to calculate regarding tourism contribution since

record keeping and reliable data is not present. Remarkable business increase in

food sales such as Amazing restaurant, accommodation income such in Khaing’s

Villa, Grace for grace and local products sales as in Ebenezar gift shop are

evidences of financial contribution gained from tourism in town.

Transportation business too, improves with the increase of visitors’ arrival to

the region. A number of transportation such as cars and motorbikes enjoy better

income with more orders for pickups and return trips add up. According to Ah

Kwee who has been in transportation services for more than 13 years, there are

around 15-20 persons operating transportation services in town, ranging from 4-

seater to 22-seater. Usually vehicles transportation goods also accommodate

passengers to and from Taungoo. A passenger is charged 2000 Kyats for one way

trip. Newly constructed road at the entrance to town is a proof of infrastructure


development. Increased restaurant numbers and upcoming addition of

accommodation are positive signs of local spirit in entrepreneurship. Small 4-seater

usually charge 30,000 Kyats and 22-seater charge 60,000 kyats for the trip. Total

income of transportation operator increases as tourism business flourishes in town.

Even though broad based benefits across the community in terms of data could

not be indicated, tourism undoubtedly contributing to the economic development

of the region. Agriculture remains major source of income and the majority of the

population is still unaffected by tourism.


Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

Tourism is usually perceived as a tool for community development. The

research follows the hypothesis and focuses on three questions; leadership

capacity, community participation and tourism contribution to the community. To

have a comprehensive understanding of the tourism initiative in Thandaunggyi, a

preliminary visit was carried out a year ahead of the actual research in 2016 April

13 to 17. Individual interviews with different community leaders reconfirm

community willingness to adopt tourism as a development tool. The majority

members of the community interviewed, wish to see the region with stability and

peace and, better economy. Literature review of CBT theories and its

implementations in different countries contributes invaluable knowledge enhancing

the research.

Researcher conducted the second visit in February 2017 to preplan and

facilitate CBT activities purposely set up for observation of community

coordination. Study trip conducted by Star Academy on 27th February to 1st March

2017 made way for a closer observation. Interviewing of 26 households covering

45 community members unveil positive perception the community holds regarding

tourism development in the region. Questions were constructed for different groups

of stake holders to reach the research objectives. The CBT activities catered for

Star Academy students gave a clear picture that the community has great potential

to make CBT a success.


The final visit done on 8-9 July 2017 summed up the research and assisted

the research come to a conclusion. In the thesis, three research questions have been

posted to answer whether the community based tourism development in

Thandaunggyi can really result in development of the community. The research

has a closer look at of the leadership. It is found out that leadership has influence to

motivate the community yet the capacity of the leaders requires to be strengthened

if the development is destined to reach to its full potential. Next objective is to see

if the community as a whole willing to participate in the process and how well they

are involved in the implementation. Focus groups’ interviews and in depth

discussion reveals that despite the community willingness to participate,

involvement is still limited to a closer circle.

Finally tourism contribution to the region and its positive impact on the

community has been measured in terms of economy and social benefits. Data

collected and extensive interviews covering different tourism stakeholders prove

that tourism inevitably contribute to the local economy and development. Physical

evidences and infrastructure improvement seen in the area confirm the notion that

tourism has gradually taken the role of a change agent in local development.

The research overall contribute to practical understanding of CBT development

process in Thandaunggyi context. The results of this study are expected to be

useful for the tourism policy makers, tourism entrepreneurs, government

authorities, academicians and other key stake-holders in the tourism industry. The

study findings have confirmed that local community in Thandaunggyi has been

enjoying economic benefits resulted from tourism development. Better road


system, new buildings and shops, more job opportunities, increase local household

income, and market created for local products are positive impacts of CBT

implementation in the region.

Concerning community participation, the research found out that people

who are directly involved in tourism have positive attitude towards CBT

implementation whereas those who are in other trades have less interest especially

those in government employment see tourism as seasonal with irregular income.

However, overall opinion on tourism development is optimistic as the community

accepts tourism as a potential driver for local development. The majority members

of the community are Christians and through church organizations they are

committed to participate in any activities required of them if requested by the

church leaders. The unity and team spirit observed during the research poses as a

constructive element exiting in the community.

5.2 Conclusions

The research finds that the help of external actor such as Hann Siedel

Foundation, Peace Nexus and Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI)

was indeed crucial for the initiation and implementation of CBT project. However,

it is also found out that the local population nowadays has high levels of control,

and even self-mobilization, which indicated the highest level of local participation.

The research can firmly state that the local community still holds empowerment in

deciding and leading the development on their own without any external influence.

The involvement of the local population in tourism planning and development


merely depends on leadership. Tourism awareness needs to be extensively

communicated to the public so as to gain holistic participation. It is observed that

only a small part of community is involved in CBT activities whereas wide spread

community willingness is seen positive. Therefore cooperation between

stakeholders needs to be strengthened and broad based involvement of community

requires reinforcement.

The most important finding is tourism development in Thandaunggyi is

said to be community based tourism yet the feature of CBT is totally missing.

Interaction between the host community and the visitors rarely exists and

opportunity to learn local culture, tradition, handicraft, and share their way of life

is harder to find. TTDWG also admits the requirement to create extensive tourism

products to attract visitors and increase products sales. Tourism information center

supported by Business innovation foundation (BIF) has to be more prominent and

actively functioning. Not only product development but also marketing effort and

branding pose as priority issues to be instantly handled.

Although this research has given a good insight into CBT projects, there are

also several limitations. First of all the research is limited in its scope. Questions

were developed for different categorized focus groups and intended numbers have

been approached for interviews. But the numbers compared to the total population

is relatively small. And the majority of respondents are from tourism related circle

except for some government employees which play a part in the interviews.

Therefore the conclusions remain only valid for the limited community. It is hard

to conclude that the finding really represent the entire community of


Thandaunggyi. Another limitation is the data collected. Since record keeping in the

region is still poor the data interpretation is mostly a close approximation.

5.3 Recommendation

CBT in nature, is intended as a low-impact and often small scale,

alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. Hence quality experience plays

important role in the success of the CBT. The research findings pose a serious

emphasis on leadership capacity. As TTDWG increases their ability to involve a

larger number of participation, a better result can be reached and the community

will have more possibility to meet the development goal. It is essential that

constraints to local participation caused by low interest and lack of cooperation

between stakeholders such as government bodies, KNU and community members

are given immediate attention. Issue such as area security and limitation of access

has to be given priority and sorted out in order to diversify tourism routes and

provide more activities to the tourists. Cultural performances, traditional

handicrafts production, ethnic costume weaving, local cuisine preparation and local

way of life, all need to be revitalized in the aim of providing visitors a more unique

CBT experience. Connection with mainstream tourism (Goodwin, 2006) and

cooperation between the CBT group and other tourism facilitators such as tour

operators and travel agencies will enhance the business and create a win-win

situation between the host and external partners. Small scale business with large

investment usually finds it difficult to succeed therefore it is recommendable to

call for assistance in capacity building for the community from development

partners and institutions. Monitoring and review has to be constantly carried out in

order to find the gap and make a timely revision.

Finally CBT development is a complicated and complex endeavor

nevertheless; many have experienced success in meeting their development goal. It

takes time and the slow progress can extinguish the spark to result in failure.

Thandaunggyi CBT development should bear in mind that community

development is attainable through strengthening the leadership, involving broad

based participation and sharing the contributions to benefit the local population.

The study focuses on the implementation of CBT particularly in a post conflict

area. Since local communities engaging in CBT are the main target in this research,

inclusion of the non CBT participants and comparison of the results from the two

groups will provide the overall and a clearer picture of CBT in Thandaunggyi

context. In addition, the integration of small business management capacity

building program and systematic record keeping practices should be executed prior

to the research in order to achieve a more precise result.



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Interview Questions

Target groups

 Accommodation owners, employee

 Restaurants owners, employee

 Tour companies

 Tour guides

 Government Employees

 Immigration

 Regional government

 Related leaders both religious and community

 Youth

Questions for Accommodation owners

1. When did you open the B&B? How many rooms do you have? What are your

room rates?

2. How many visitors did you receive in 20…? Guest numbers each year

3. What is the ratio of domestic and international guests? What nationalities did

you receive most? One to three top countries

4. How many nights did the guest spend in your B&B?

5. Did you make any other income apart from room charge?

6. Where do you get daily supply for the guests? Do you use local produce for the


7. How do you support your employee? Wage, training and others?

8. How do you share visitors with your competitors? Do you have cooperation

among accommodations? Do you have any conflicts of interest?

9. Were you involved in any tourism related meeting, planning and decision


Questions for Restaurant Owners

1. When did you open your restaurant?

2. What is your seating capacity?

3. How many employees do you have?

4. What are your menu options?

5. Who usually come to your restaurant?

6. Any foreigners?

7. How much do you earn? Day/month/yearly

8. What do you think about tourism development in TDG? Do you think it affects

your business?

9. Were you involved in any CBT activities?

10. Do you receive any training for you and your employee?

Tour Guide
1. When did you get your guide license? Do you think there should be more

training opportunities for you to improve your tour guiding skill?

2. What is the ratio of local and international visitors? What are the challenges

you faced as a tour guide?

3. Do you think guests are satisfied with the destination, the CBT and your


4. What are foreigners’ favorite activities in TDG?

5. Is TTDWG assisting to improve CBT products and services? Or is there any

requirement for external assistance to upgrade products and services standards?

What is your opinion as a tour guide?

6. Do you have fair share of the tourists among yourselves with your colleague

tour guides?

7. How did you connect with external tour companies?

8. Were you able to create income generation opportunity for the community

members? How?

Tour companies
1. How long you have been registered? How many staff do you have? Were you

able to provide standard/proper training for your staff?

2. Do you have proper technical and IT support for your business?

3. Did you do sufficient marketing and networking for your business?

4. How did you get your customers? Who are your source markets?

5. Were you able to provide efficient service to your customers? What are you big


6. How do you cooperate with other competitor tour companies in the region?

7. Were you able to share benefits with the community or contribute to the

community development?

8. How did you cooperate with TTDWG in assisting CBT development? Did they

give you any guideline regarding CBT business in the region?

1. What important role immigration plays in TDG CBT development?

2. Did you have accurate record of tourists’ arrival? Domestic and International?

3. Did you get full cooperation from the accommodation and community houses

in regard to the number of arriving tourists in the region?

4. Did you have any up to date IT and technical support for effective data


5. How can immigration participate better in CBT development?


Government Employees
1. Is the majority of the population in the region, government employee?

2. Why did you choose to work as government employee?

3. What is your opinion on tourism related employment? Do they earn more than


4. How many of your family members are government employee?

5. What are the advantages of being a government employee?

6. With the regional development do you think people will become more

interested to work in business than in public sector?

7. What is your opinion on CBT development in the region? Do you have any

involvement with CBT development?

8. How can public sector work together with private sector in CBT for the

community development?

Regional government
1. Is tourism considered a priority sector by government in its own development


2. How much support is given to tourism development in the region?

3. Is there sufficient coordination between the government, TTDWG and the

community for tourism development?

4. Is the government involved in progress and results monitoring and review?

5. How can the government support CBT development more effectively and


Questions for employee

1. Did you have any other job before?

2. How much do you earn? Is it a better income than other Job? Is the income

reasonable to support your daily living? Family?

3. Did you get any training related to your job? Or certificate? Were you able to

perform your task efficiently? Or do you still need some more skill?

4. Do you regard your current job as a career or just a tentative job? What do you

do in off season?

5. Are any of your family members involved in any tourism related supply chain?

6. Do you receive good comment from the guest regarding your service? Are they

satisfied with your service?

7. Can you speak English? Did you get any English speaking training?

TTDWG & Religious Leaders

1. What is your opinion on CBT development in the region? Positive and


2. As community leaders how are you leading the implementation of CBT

development ?

3. With the differences and diverse backgrounds did you have any challenges to

gain collaboration?

4. What significant achievements did you accomplish up to date on CBT

implementation in Thandaunggyi? Were you able to drive the development

with minimum guidance, support and monitoring from MoHT and

development partners?

5. Did the community members have passion to develop CBT as a tool for

community development? Were you able to give them awareness on CBT and

its benefits? Were you able to motivate and involve them in the development


6. Have you learned how CBT is implemented in ASEAN countries? Did the

community understand their uniqueness and how to utilize their unique selling

points in implementing CBT in the region?

7. With the domestic and international arrival, do the service providers have the

capacity to deliver satisfactory standard of service to the visitors? Are there any

plan for continuous capacity building and service trainings?

8. Did you face any conflict of interest among the community in CBT

development? How did you handle it?


1. Are you interested in the development of CBT in the region? Do you think

youth can generate income tourism related employment?

2. Do you have interest in preserving and promoting Karen culture and identity?

What do you think youth today need to learn and hand over from the older


3. Are you interested to work in government sector or private business? Why?

4. If you have the opportunity to start or involve in tourism business what do you

have in mind to do?

5. As member of the youth, are you involved in some activities of TTDWG?

What are the activities?

6. Are you given awareness on what is CBT and how it can benefit the region?

Tourism related business such as suppliers, transportation, souvenir etc.

1. Do you think CBT increase your earning more than before?

2. Do you have a fair share of the business? Is there conflicts of interest and


3. How do you cooperate with each other in providing standard service and

products to the visitors?

4. Are you given any training on customer service and product development?

5. If you have the opportunity what would you like to do to improve your


6. How would you like TTDWG to support you in CBT development


In Depth Questions for Thesis

Leadership Capacity:

1. We understand that TTDWG was initiated by KNU, Community and the

Army. With the differences and diverse backgrounds did you have any
challenges to collaborate well in tourism development works?

2. Since the formation of the working group, what were the significant
achievements of CBT implementation in Thandaunggyi? Were they able to
drive the development with minimum guidance, support and monitoring
from MoHT and development partners?

3. Can we say that the TTDWG members represent tourism stakeholders and
the community? Are they leading CBT development for the benefits of the

4. As community members, do you understand what CBT is, how it works

and what are the potential benefits to the community? Were TTDWG able
to give awareness about CBT?

5. Do you think CBT can bring development to Thandaunggyi? Or do you

perceive CBT as an unwanted intervention to the community?

6. Is the TTDWG able to involve the community in the development process?

Do they have the drive to motivate the community?

7. Do you have any idea how CBT is implemented in ASEAN countries? Did
you have opportunity to learn about it? Did the community understand their
uniqueness and how to utilize their unique selling points in implementing
CBT in the region?

8. With the domestic and international arrival, do the service providers have
the capacity to deliver satisfactory standard of service to the visitors? Are
there any plan for continuous capacity building and service trainings?


1. As a community member do you feel motivated to participate in CBT

development in Thandaunggyi? Why and why not?

2. Even though you don’t have any asset or social status do you think you are
given the right to participate as a community member in CBT development
and share the benefits directly or indirectly?

3. Do you think the community will benefit from CBT development or the
benefits will go only to just a small group of people?

4. Is adequate empowerment given to the local community to implement CBT

or is there any external influence that hinders their full participation?

5. Did CBT development in TDG gain widespread local members’

involvement? Or did it cause community discord and damage the existing

6. Is there healthy competition among business with mutual understanding

and community benefits oriented practices?

7. Did the tourism development and planning match the local aspirations and
capabilities, and gain participation from local community?

Benefits to local community

1. Do you believe that community based tourism is developed mainly to

benefit the local population?

2. Up to now, do the poor, disadvantaged and grass root level have fair share
of the fruits of the development?

3. Has CBT created Job for the locals, generated supportive income for daily
living, and affected economic development of the community compared to
pre development period?

4. Has CBT brought better opportunity for education, improved healthcare,

social and infrastructure development in the region along with CBT

5. Did individual goods and services providers generate income directly or

indirectly from tourism?

6. Has CBT improved the living standard and assisted in poverty alleviation in
the community?

7. Is there proper and effective strategy for benefits distribution well back to
the community?

8. Does CBT development encourage conservation of natural and cultural

resources? Does it promote local identity or just bring in damage?

No Interviewees Number

1 Pastor 1

2 Karen People Party 1

3 Eastern Star Tour 1

4 Author of Karen Traditions 1

5 Member of Parliament 1

6 Village Elder 1

7 Bed and Breakfast Owner 1

8 Restaurant Owner 1

9 Gift Shop Owner 1

10 Retired Karen Minister 1

11 Chairman TTDWG 1

12 Secretary TTDWG 1

Total 12

Profile of the In-depth Interviewees

No Target Group Number

1 School Teachers 8

2 In Agriculture fields 6

3 Local Products Gift Shop 8

4 Bed and Breakfast Operators 8

5 Restaurant Owners 4

6 Government Staff 6

7 Tour Related Business 5

Total 45

Key Informant Interview