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.
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— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor
Travel Association Forms Myanmar Chapter But Will the Government Benefit? ASTA’s new Myanmar chapter and planned partnership with Myanmar tourism will give travel advisors new opportunities to learn about an emerging destination. However, it also raises ethical concerns about supporting a country that engages in ethnic cleansing.
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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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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