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Myanmar/Burma: Background, Economic Conditions, and Tourism

  • Scott Hipsher
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Abstract

Linguistic similarities indicate it is likely there was some immigration in ancient times into Myanmar/Burma from parts of India, Nepal, and Tibet. From an early time, Buddhism has been an important part of the country’s culture, and eventually, the Theravada form came to dominate. In addition to Mon-controlled civilizations, early kingdoms in the country included the Pyu, Bagan, and Ava. Military leaders who consolidated power and helped create the modern country include Tabinshweti, Bayinnaung, and Alaungpaya. Ethnic divisions have plagued the country for decades and might have been exacerbated by becoming a British colony. Upon independence, the country became a democracy led by U Nu, who tried to use a political philosophy built upon Buddhist and socialist ideals to govern the country. Dissatisfaction with the direction of the country resulted in a military-led government using the “Burmese way to socialism” as an economic foundation. The economy stagnated during the military rule which appears to be being replaced by a limited form of democracy. Despite optimism brought by the economic and political reforms, the country remains relatively poor with many challenges to overcome to accelerate economic growth. It is proposed an increased role of tourism in the country could have positive effects on economic growth and poverty reduction.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Hipsher
    • 1
  1. 1.Webster University ThailandBangkokThailand

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