Travel BirmaBurma Travel
Assessing whether a goverment is good enough to make it fit for the tourist industry involves potentially inconsistent, prejudice and fraud. Better, I have always thought that we should make all our journeys as responsibly as possible and let our customers choose whether they want to go to a certain destination or not.
However, at the end of last year there were ( albeit manipulated) polls, the general surrendered control to a "civilized" regime and eventually freed Aung San Suu Kyi - the democratic ruler - from home detention. Then Aung San Suu Kyi abandoned her resistance to the tourist industry and argued that as long as it is managed in a responsible way, the tourist industry can be a favourable attitude to changes.
However, how simple is it to travel in a responsible manner? What does the traveler ethics do to ensure that the amount of travel expenses he or she spends will reach the normal population? I' dicided to find out before I brought our program into the state. They cannot help funding the state to some degree; with a 10% levy on most things, it is unavoidable that some means will find their way into their till.
However, if you are wise and are avoiding these properties, which belong to either the goverment or its preferred pals, it is possible to keep this amount to a bare minimum. However, if you are wise enough to stay in a hotel that is not for you. Having worked here for five years, I asked her what she thought about the tourist industry and whether reservations were rising or falling.
"We are very lucky. More tourists." "He said, the only men who are suffering are men... no one else." There were only 9,000 rooms in the whole of Bagan, 700 in Bagan, and if too many visitors came, the facilities would not be able to handle them. There was one thing for sure, even in the low seasons - with many kind tugs trying to buy me everything from Buddha's head to locusts, it was clear that many common folk live off touring.
While I cannot know the real scale of the abuses the authorities have caused to the peoples of this beautiful land, or how much they make by our being here, I can be sure of three things. Firstly, this administration is not in office because of the tourist industry; in comparison with the incomes it receives from wood, olive groves, natural resources, precious stones and farm export, the amount of tourist revenue is negligible.
Secondly, I have no doubts that the overwhelming bulk of Burma's populace wants to see visitors; a friendlier and friendlier populace that I have not yet found. Finally, it is clear that a large number of normal civilian populations, both directly and also indirectly, profit from our attendance.
In fact, one can argue that absenteeism makes the land and its peoples more insulated and fragile. While the program is well administered, avoiding publics and holding privately face-to-face encounters with allied parties, it is a crucial point both in its policy stance and in that of the new state.
However, as long as I am confident that Wild Frontiers can provide our customers with an interesting adventure and thus also benefits the common folk of this lovely land, we will be offering Burma as one of our goals from 2012.