Skift Take

ASTA's new Myanmar chapter and plans for training projects with Myanmar tourism should benefit travel advisors seeking more education about an intriguing destination once off-limits for travel. However, the fact that the country engages in ethnic cleansing is raising ethical questions about visiting there at this time.

Myanmar’s end to military rule and new leadership under Aung San Suu Kyi have ushered in a new era of global tourism for the country. Among the results is the American Society of Travel Advisors’ decision to form a new Myanmar chapter and announce its intention to partner with Myanmar tourism on outreach efforts to travel advisors.

At the same time, the country’s forced evacuation of an estimated 900,000 Rohingya Muslims has tarnished the new government and raised ethical questions about traveling there. The controversy also dredges up the old thorny issues surrounding travel boycotts:  Are they effective in changing government policy or do they just hurt the local providers and stifle the flow of outside ideas? Myanmar is an intriguing destination, but should travel advisors be promoting it to their clients just now? There’s no simple answer.

For more coverage of pertinent issues, click here.

Any suggestions for the coverage you would like to see are welcome. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

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Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [[email protected]] curates the Skift Travel Advisor Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send her an email.


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Tags: travel advisor innovation report, travel agents

Photo credit: Pictured are Buddhist nuns of the Theravada (meaning the Ancient Teaching) on August 30, 2012 in Mandalay, Myanmar. ASTA formed a chapter in Myanmar. Staffan Scherz / Flickr

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