Hotels and Tourism Ministry takes measures to prevent economic monopoly on Taninthayi islands

Soe Min Htike

Hotel and tourism services on the islands of Taninthayi Region are being provided in line with the instructions of relevant government ministries, while the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is also taking systematic measures to prevent companies' monopolisation, said Union Minister Ohn Maung.

During a parliamentary session of Upper House held in Nay Pyi Taw on September 5, MP Dr Khin Maung Win from Taninthayi Region Constituency (11) called for the implementation of community-based tourism (CBT) projects on some islands of the region where a minority of Salon tribal people, whose population is sharply declining, live.  He also questioned about any plan to prevent hotel and tourism entrepreneurs from monopolising the land, beach and coastal areas of those islands.

The minister said for the implementation of CBT projects, pilot projects are being implemented in Sanhla Village in Launglon Township, Dawei District. More projects will be implemented in Donnayungmai Village, Kyunsa Township, Myeik District, and Makyongalat Village, Kawthoung Township, Kawthoung District. The operating companies on the islands are working in line under the permission of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

He added that the leasing of land plots under the permission of MIC  while land lease agreements and BOT system are going with the approval from the region government and the Hotel and Tourism Ministry.

Salon people live on boats and they earn their living by catching fish, see leech and other marine creatures. There are pure Salon people and Kayin-Salon, Mon-Salon, Bamar-Salon and PaO-Salon people living on the islands of Kawthoung District. There are only about 315 households with 1,258 people.

Under the permission of MIC, nine companies are operating on 12 islands of the region. They have signed agreements related to land leases, construction of hotel buildings and BOT process with the region government. Now, only construction tasks are going on those islands, and the ministry is taking measures to prevent their monopoly, said the minister.

The ministry recently coordinated matters related to the construction of a hotel resort by Mokan International Co Ltd in Jaohn Village on Phila island in order not to cause land problem.