Should I Travel to BurmaShall I go to Burma?
Are we still going to Burma?
The United Nations, which describes the recent violent events in Burma (Myanmar) as a "textbook example of ethnical cleansing", currently has no formal sanction against travel to the state. Tatmadaw militaries assume that Rohingya Muslims are "extremists". Burma's anti-Rohingya initiative was launched in 2012, one year after the beginning of Burma's democratization process.
"A lot of the population arrives starving, tired and without meals and water," Mark Pierce, regional manager of Save the Children, said to The Telegraph. Myanmar's US embassy assured travellers that there are no greater risk for foreign nationals, but they recommended that they avoid the state of Rakhine in the north.
Travel agencies are still divided when it comes to conducting travel to the state. None of the other travel agencies, such as Melbourne-based small group co-ordinator Intrepid Travel, have canceled any of their plans to travel to Burma. It is aware that the cancellation of itineraries can have a negative impact on the municipalities they are in.
"What is obviously terrible in Myanmar is what is going on, but we are not asking for a blackout because we do not see how this could help the locals," Intrepid's North America RD Leigh Barnes commented. The largest part of Burma's domestic revenue is generated by the export of precious stones, such as robin.
But since the arrival of bulk tourists in 2008, however, it has been playing an important economic part. "And we think it would harm the lives of the congregations we are in. However, I recall that in the three month period since the reopening of the land for travellers six years ago, the prices of hotels have tripled and so far we have seen a constant demand," said Mr Barne.
In Burma, two of the most popular tourism destinations are in the state of Rakhine, where violent events have disturbed livelihood. But with the Rohingya's present flight from the area, a visit to these two touristic sites is totally out of the question. 2. In spite of the advices of travel agencies and embassies, the traveler is in the end the victim of the ethical predicament.
In the 1990' travel agencies and travellers were confronted with a similar mystery. In spite of the penalties that reduced the military's influence on the land, the executors still had government oversight, which means that all income from the tourist industry went directly to the army. "Myanmar's rough 1996 visit to Myanmar marked the military's attempt to benefit from tourists," Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch's Assistant Asia Department, tells Skift.
Businesses such as Responsible Travel - a UK-based reservation site focusing on showing travellers the true cultural and community impact of their behaviour - have now completely blacklisted the city. "It is the only nation where the democratic leaders who were later placed under home detention have called for an embargo on global tourism," CEO Justin Francis said in a newsmagazine.
For the first time a copy of this product was published on our affiliate site Travel Wire Asia.