via Sarawak Tribune, 28 Sep 2019: It’s not often that I become the news; at last week’s International Archaeology Conference in Sarawak I spoke about the myth of sustainable tourism and how sites need to enforce stricter penalties on tourists who behave badly. The example I quoted was from the woman who was jailed for refusing to remove her shoes while visiting Bagan.
The state government should implement and strictly enforce ground rules pertaining to the proper management of archaeological sites.
Thailand-based senior specialist in archaeology Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan said that with these imposed regulations and repercussions, the development of the archaeo-tourism sector could be carried out more effectively and responsibly.
He opined, “I know it is not easy in the tourism industry to set such rules to the extent of jailing a wrong-doer. However, perhaps it must be done once so that no one else will repeat the mistake in the future.”