Myanmar Elected: Mr. Nyi Nyi Naing
In preparation of the 2015 Myanmar Elections, every week we speak to a citizen of Myanmar about the impact tourism has (had) on their daily life. In this fourth week, meet Mr. Nyi Nyi Naing who saw a big change after he changed his career to become tourist guide.
I used to be a teacher and my income didn’t cover the cost of the family. When I became a tourist guide, it made a big difference.
Until 1992, tourism was run by the state. Most service providers were government staff. So people didn’t get much benefit from tourism.
But when tourism opened to the private sector, many people got involved in tourism and most of their living standards improved. When tourism is booming, the number of hotels, restaurants and tour service providers are increasing. Transport, communication and infrastructure are also improving. This makes people’s lives change a lot. The benefit is not only for those who are getting involved in tourism but also those who are not concerned with tourism directly, such as farmers, construction workers, fishermen and others.
Before tourism was booming, most local cottage industries were dying. Now that tourism is booming, they all become alive, especially lacquer ware, earthen wares, wood carving, tapestry, parasol making, hand weaving; the ten traditional art and crafts – and musical instruments as well.
But there are also some disadvantages from tourism such as culture erosion. Prices are rising and spoil the environment and people. We can compare the advantages and disadvantages of tourism. If you compare one region where tourism is booming and one region that is not concerned with tourism, there is a big difference between them. The tourism one has incomes, living standards, education, infrastructure, more people who can speak English, knowledge, environmental awareness and international relationship.
We also come to know how to love the country, how to preserve the culture, customs, traditional religion and environment.
I used to be a teacher and my income didn’t cover the cost of the family. When I became a tourist guide, it made a big difference. The benefit is not only to my family, but also my relatives, my friends and my neighbors. My colleagues also are getting a big benefit from tourism.
Mr. Nyi Nyi Naing
Inle Lake area, Shan State
The Myanmar General Election 2015 is scheduled for November 8th 2015 and will form an important landmark for the future of Myanmar and people working in the Burma tourism industry.