Achieving Sustainable Community-Based Tourism in Rural Myanmar: The Case of River Ayeyarwaddy Dolphin Tourism

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Community-based tourism is recognised as being a potentially important means by which economic development can take place in rural Myanmar. One particular project in this vein is the dolphin-based tourism organized at six villages on the River Ayeyarwaddy in the northern Mandalay division. Qualitative research featuring personal interviewing of international tourists and service providers in the region indicated the potential for this project but also the formidable problems of poor connectivity and service provision that will need to be overcome to achieve success. The threats to the dolphins concerned and the indifference with which they are treated by many community members suggest real threats to the sustainability of the project as a whole.

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