We are delighted to share the news that our first local social enterprise in Bagan, Three Treasures Responsible Tourism, was selected to receive a 2016 Tourism Innovation Award from the UK AID Business Innovation Facility (BIF) Myanmar, as part of their Product and Package Innovation Competition (PPIC). The award is intended to recognize, support, and promote new tourism products and packages that improve local livelihoods through job creation, community-based tourism, and environmental management practices.

Tour company as start-up social enterprise

We set up Three Treasures Responsible Tourism in Bagan in April of 2016 as a local social enterprise. We create jobs and improve livelihoods by bringing marginalized members of the community into the tourism industry in a responsible way.

Collaboration with communities

As a start-up social enterprise, Three Treasures works in collaboration with these stakeholder communities in Bagan, West Pwa Saw, Na Jo Ai and Kyaukpadaung villages to provide training and develop new community-based tourism experiences for guests. Three Treasures is expanding the range of products available to tourists as well as the income opportunities for locals, providing higher-value experiences that allow us to create more living-wage jobs for more people.

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences with locals

The business idea is attractive to tourists because it offers more than sightseeing. Based on the market research we conducted with local agents, hotels, and guests in the Bagan area, many visitors were tired of pagoda sightseeing tours. The feedback we received was that guests wanted to interact more with local people, learn about their ways of life and participate in hands-on activities. Three Treasures has created a unique set of activities for visitors to Bagan such as Buddhist culture and meditation, walking tours, bamboo crafting, street photography, and cooking classes. Visit their website at myanmar-treasures.com or their Facebook page to see all they offer.

To have our first social enterprise recognized within its first operational year was the result of dedication and effort. Thank you to all involved, both our local stakeholders in Bagan and the team at BIF in Yangon.

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