Tourism development in Thandaung Gyi. A grounded theory study on tourism development

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This thesis seeks to understand the process of tourism development in Thandaung Gyi, Myanmar, within the context of the region’s economic development and ongoing peace process. Thandaung Gyi was secluded for decades as civil war raged in the state. Following the signing of a 2012 ceasefire agreement, formerly conflicting parties joined forces with (international) NGOs to identify the state’s strengths and to stimulate its economy. In this process, Thandaung Gyi was found to have a high potential for tourism development. This research project was developed during an internship at Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute and in response to the institute’s involvement in the development of tourism in Thandaung Gyi. The aim was to gain insights into the experiences, views, ideas, and concerns of local stakeholders and NGOs with regards to the tourism development. A grounded theory approach was used to tackle the subject. Interviews with local stakeholders and members of NGOs resulted in an extensive data set. The analysis of this data showed that, despite numerous challenges, the – at times complicated – cooperation between the formerly conflicting parties has ensured that the development of tourism in Thandaung Gyi can be seen as a development tool that has successfully elevated the region’s economy.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen