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Hotel industry expansion and sustainable development: A case study of Inle Lake, Myanmar

Harald Buijtendijk
Kristina Tschunkert


This article examines how international hotel industry expansion affects sustainable development in the context of least developed countries. The study focuses on power asymmetries in the governance processes of hotel value chains. First it develops a model to analyse these processes. Subsequently this model is used to present a case study of Inle Lake, Myanmar. The results show the relations between hotel industry growth, economic development, and sustainability in the particular governance setting of this destination. The analysis sheds light on how actors purposely produce and maintain strategic situations in which the interests of particular actors are protected at the costs of many others. In conclusion we therefore argue that practitioners and academia should direct their efforts at creating (knowledge about) governance arrangements that enable genuine community involvement in decision-making processes related to hotel industry expansion.

Keywords: hospitality industry, sustainability, power asymmetries, value chains, governance, least developed countries, south-east Asia