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Tourism in Kawthaung: the community leads the change

Destination Management Organisation, a participatory and inclusive tool for tourism destination management in Tanintharyi Region

In an area where tourism development is proceeding at a rapid pace, two ways can be chosen to better exploit the resulting economic opportunities: the traditional one, which involves the construction of large resorts - with a significant environmental impact - or the sustainable one, which focuses on the well-being of local communities and the precious natural resources of the territory.
Istituto Oikos, without any doubt, has decided to support and invest on this front. Thus, since September 2018 we’ve been facilitating meetings between Government representatives at district level, Civil Society Organisations and business representatives to share their ideas and their needs on the discussion board of the newly birth Kawthaung Destination Management Organisation (DMO), with the commitment to make Kawthaung a sustainable tourist destination.
On June 21st 2019, the 4th DMO meeting took place, during which organisational structure and membership criteria and the future action plan have been established. Now we are waiting for Tanintharyi Regional acknowledgement.
DMO is a participatory tool, which collects community needs and ideas and brings them at the Regional and National level. In Myanmar there is no similar bottom-up model for destination management planning yet, Kawthaung DMO is the first example of such a Public-Private Partnership in the Country and we are working hard to make it as sustainable as possible: a model for sustainable tourism development in other areas of the Country.
The initiative is part of the STAR project, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

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