Many Southeast Asian countries have encouraged the tourism business as an important economic growth generator and have gained profits. Endowed with many physical, historical and cultural resources, Myanmar has also promoted the tourism business as a means for economic development, especially after adopting the market oriented economy in 1989. Apart from well-known places like Bagan and Inlay Lake, Mrauk-U, an ancient capital of Rakhine in the western part of Myanmar, is one of the most interesting tourist attractions because of its ancient pagodas and old palace ruins. Through tourism, not only the local economic development of Mrauk-U, but also the tourism sector of Myanmar can surely be promoted.
At present, Mrauk-U is encountering many problems in developing tourism business. To solve these problems to a certain extent, what Mrauk-U needs now is the tight social coherence among the tourism related businessmen to have more self-support and decision making power to somehow resist the undesirable delay of government institutions in taking action for tourism development. This study is to point out the need of social coherence by creating a strong local tourism management organization, and to suggest how to organize it. Thus a primary investigation is made to understand the actual situation of tourism in Mrauk-U, with the aim to provide valuable suggestions for further tourism development which ensure the socioeconomic development of Mrauk-U with least negative effects.
The Rapid Appraisal method is mainly used. Although the general credibility of this method is low as compared to formal survey methods, its strength is that it can rapidly generate relevant information with relatively low investment of resources. Besides, it can provide in-depth understanding and information that is reliable and useful for an analysis of the situation.