Chin State eyes tourism

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - EI EI THU eiei­thu@mm­times.com

The Chin State gov­ern­ment is green­light­ing seven ho­tel projects this year and three com­mu­nity-based tourism ini­tia­tives.

THE Chin State gov­ern­ment is of­fer­ing in­vestors op­por­tu­ni­ties in ho­tels and com­mu­nity-based tourism projects in an ef­fort to im­prove eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in one of the coun­try’s poor­est ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to the state gov­ern­ment there will be seven ho­tel projects across Tid­dim, Falam, Hakha and Paletwa tow­ships this year. The au­thor­i­ties have al­ready cho­sen the in­vestors for the two Hakha’s ho­tel projects, Salai Isaac Khen, state min­ster for de­vel­op­ment af­fairs, elec­tric­ity and in­dus­try told The Myan­mar Times. But he de­clined to give names. Chin State has only three in­ter­na­tional-stan­dard ho­tels at present, two in Min­dat town­ship and one in Kan­pet­let town­ship, ac­cord­ing to the tourism min­istry.

Salai Isaac Khen said that only seven ho­tel projects are planned at present, al­though there could be more in the fu­ture. The gov­ern­ment is also im­ple­ment­ing three com­mu­ni­ty­based tourism (CBT) projects this year in ac­cor­dance with the Chin State gov­ern­ment’s strat­egy plan, he added.

These are based in Tid­dim, Falam and Kan­pet­let town­ships.

De­vel­op­ing the tourist sec­tor will take at least five years and re­quire sev­eral longer-term projects, Salai Isaac Khen said, adding that the gov­ern­ment aims for at least three CBT projects a year in the com­ing years.

“We need tech­ni­cal sup­port and or­gan­i­sa­tions to help pro­mote Chin State tourism,” he said, adding that the state gov­ern­ment had al­ready se­lected Friends of Na­ture Travel and Tours com­pany for the Falam town­ship project, but had not picked a part­ner for the Tid­dim ini­tia­tive.

“There are a lot of beau­ti­ful places in Chin State but we haven’t taken peo­ple there be­cause trans­porta­tion is so bad,” he said. “Chin State will be good for ad­ven­ture tours.”

The state gov­ern­ment is al­ready im­ple­ment­ing an ini­tial CBT project in Saw Loung vil­lage at Kan­pet­let town­ship near Nat­mataung Na­tional Park. This is backed by Ac­tion Aid Myan­mar, which will guide the process and offer sug­ges­tion.

For­ever Top Travel and Tours will be­gin prep­ping for busi­ness in Saw Loung vil­lage this month, with hopes of open­ing dur­ing this year’s high sea­son. The firm is build­ing five Chin tra­di­tional homes with dou­ble rooms in the vil­lage, while Ac­tion Aid Myan­mar is pro­vid­ing hos­pi­tal­ity train­ings to lo­cal res­i­dents.

Saw Loung vil­lage, which is a 15-minute drive from Kan­pet­let, has only 31 house­holds and a pop­u­la­tion of around 170 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the state gov­ern­ment.

Photo: Staff

Hik­ers walk through Nat­mataung Na­tional Park.

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