Holidaymakers Urged to Support Tourism Concern’s Call to Boycott Burma Tourism
Tourism Concern, the British based based campaigning organisation, has recently highlighted in their report, that UK Tour Operators are apparently using businesses that are linked to the current military regime in Burma. They provide us with an insight into the method by which tourism is developed, for example the building of tourist infrastructures through forced labour, and in some cases, ’land grabs’ have taken place, causing the displacement of over a million people. Tourism Concern highlight the existence of EU Directive 194/2008 which places a prohibition of trade with organisations or individuals within Burma. Regrettably, it would appear that the British Government has yet to fully implement this Directive into UK Domestic Law.
Tourism Concern, amongst other organisations, has called for the holidaymaker to boycott travel to Burma.
Burma’s appeal is tarnished by ’torture that has become an institution’, suppression of fundemental rights, media control, denial of freedom of association or assembly, denial of trade unions, religious repression, detention of protestors, and disappearences. The evidence for these activities is also made clear by The Burma Campaign and Amnesty International. Importantly, the Burma Campaign raise the important issue of either non-existent or invalid travel insurance - this is an issue that HolidayTravelWatch has highlighted within its article on travel insurance and the risk destination. It is a warning that any intending holidaymaker to whatever destination should heed!
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of Burma, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1991, who has been under house arrest since the election of 1990, has stated that supporting Burma through tourism is, "tantamount to supporting the regime’.
Within that report there are also expressions from local people that they need the hard earned currency that tourism attracts. This issue was also recently reported within Travel Mole, with contributors within the comment section advocating the need to support the Burmese people, whilst offering the opinion that they considered that the Tourism Concern report was incorrect.
Frank Brehany, the Senior Consumer Advocate for HolidayTravelwatch states,
“Whilst I have every sympathy for a company wishing to freely carry out its business, there must surely be a flip side to this particular coin? No amount of tourist income or trade will change or influence this regime to move toward democratic and human rights principles. My sympathy also extends to the long suffering Burmese people and the shackles that they bear. The actions of the Burmese Authorities toward its people should not receive succour or support. I have no hesitation in commending the actions of Tourism Concern, The Burma Campaign and Amnesty International. Holidaymakers must be guided by clear information and their conscience - for the present, British holidaymakers should boycott this destination and the British Government should take action to urgently implement the provisions of EU Directive 194/2008”.
- Contact Information
- Frank Brehany
- Senior Consumer Advocate
- Contact via E-mail
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