Netherlands grant to aid Kayah tourism
September 10, 2014
YANGON, 10 September 2014: Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce says the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), under the Netherlands’ ministry of foreign affairs, will provide a USD1.9 million grant to develop tourism in Kayah State.
Commerce ministry adviser, Dr Maung Aung, told local media that the Netherlands’ CBI will provide technical training and funding to three sectors of Myanmar’s economy — fisheries, garments and tourism.
“CBI is now surveying Kayah State to develop tourism… the agency is also providing tourism training courses and technical assistance.”
In addition, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is developing a tourism-development project in tandem with CBI and the International Trade Centre.
The aim is to turn Kayah State into a destination for foreign visitors.
CBI has identified tourism as a key industry for Myanmar’s development and said it will assist rural communities to reap benefits by promoting sustainable and community-based tourism. Most tourism revenue goes into the wallets of investors and large-scale corporations rather than filtering down to communities.
Kayah State has potential for tourism due to its proximity to Thailand and its rugged mountainous terrain, which includes caves as well as waterfalls. However, large stretches of the state were covered in landmines during hostilities between government troops and rebels. A massive de-mining effort would be required to make it safe, according to the report and that could take years.
At present, very few tourists visit Kayah State. It was one of the places off limits to travellers up until recently when regulations were eased.
Kayah State is in east Myanmar, adjacent to Shan State in the north and Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province in the east. To the south and west it borders on Kayin State.