Understanding Travelers Philanthropy


Contra Costa Times: Public Relations Consultant to Myanmar Dictatorship
March 30, 2008, 9:11 pm
Filed under: 1, 100friends, Altruistic Travel, altruistic traveler, authentic travel, barack obama, Blogroll, business philanthropy, changemakers, conscientious travel, Conscious Commerce, contra costa times, Corporate Donor Philanthropic Travel Services, Corporate Donor Travel, Corporate Donor Travel Service, corporate giving, CORPORATE RESPONSIBITY (CR) INITIATIVES, CSR, do good travel, Doing Good in Society, EcoTourism, EthnoTourism, Exquisite Safaris, Family Philanthropy, geotourism, givebackgetaways, Giving Back, giving back travel, good corporate citizens, good intentions, goodwill travel, kenya safari, Kerala Declaration on Responsible Tourism, Luxury Travel, Luxury Travel with a Conscience, make a difference, marc gold, mission travel, multigenerational travel, new philanthropists, non profic connections, Peace through Tourism, philanthropic adventures, philanthropic advisory services, philanthropic intent, philanthropic minded vacation, philanthropic tourism, Philanthropic Travel, Philanthropic Travel Foundation, philanthropic travellers, philanthropic trip, Philanthropic Vacation, philanthropy, resource for caring travelers, Socially Conscious Philanthropy, spiritual tourism, strategic community involvement, Sustainable Travel, tactical philanthropy, The CSR/CR Corporate Philanthropy Challenge, Tourism as a Global Peace Industry, travel agent, Travel Connoisseur, Travel Matters, Travel Philanthropy, travel right do good, Travelers Philanthropy, travelers philanthropy best practice, travelersphilanthropyconference, volunteer vacation, volunteerism, Voluntourism, why travel matters, World Peace Travel | Tags: , ,

Enlightened and informed consumers must ask Contra Costa Times and any other publication that chooses to turn a blind eye to torture, rape and cold blooded murder: What part of the Burmese people’s enslavement don’t you understand?

A March 30, 2008 article in the Contra Costa Times online magazine aPARENTly Speaking has overlooked the reality of traveling to Myanmar/Burma completely. Regardless of the philanthropic intent of the family trip described in the article, travel to Myanmar and donations to un-vetted charitable organizations facilitated by Myanmar based travel agencies is not in the best interest of the Burmese people who live under mortal fear every moment of their life.

FACTS:
The Myanmar government and intelligence services control everything in every corner of that country with an iron fist.

They do not just punish the individual who runs afoul their policies, they punish the entire extended family.

There is no business or registered non-profit in Myanmar that can operate without supporting the government of Myanmar.

Everyone in Myanmar lives in the reality that at any moment any night they can receive a knock on their door and be taken away for years of harsh imprisonment and death without a trial.

Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel has never sent a client to Myanmar.

Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel does not organize travel to Myanmar. Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel has traveled to Myanmar on a fact finding mission and have supported a vetted non profit organization that brings much needed fresh water to a community there.

Exquisite Safaris statements on Burma

To publish this article without these facts amounts to a public relations coup d’etat for the Myanmar government’s efforts to crush human rights and stimulate tourism under the guise of Philanthropic Travel, and enhances its efforts to raise hard currency and continue its ruthless violence against the Burmese people, environment and democracy/freedom.

It is naive at best and irresponsible at worst for Jackie Burrell and the Contra Costa Times to have published their article encouraging ‘exotic travel in Myanmar,’ without disclosing the reality of current affairs there. Common sense and responsible journalism should have dictated that Jackie Burrell and Contra Costa Times include the brutal reality of life in Myanmar and the ongoing human rights abuses of the Myanmar government.

Anyone considering travel to Myanmar –with philanthropic intent or not – should first inform themselves of the human rights situation in Burma. There is no question that Philanthropic Travel of this sort is beneficial for both travelers and hosts in many countries around the world.

However, Burmese travel agencies are nothing more than agents of revenue generation for the brutal Myanmar dictators. Once again, the Contra Costa Times story does nothing to tell consumers about the genocide that government has been executing against its own Karen ethnic group in the north. Un-informed travelers enable Myanmar to raise more money in hard currency as tax revenue (used to starve people, burn villages and rape women) than the philanthropic travel donations that family may have raised and donated to the unvetted “Hungry Duckling Project.”

I wish the situation in Burma could be solved by “donating a duck, sack of rice or row of soil,” as suggested by The Hungry Duckling Project. However, before being convinced either by their oversimplified reason for traveling to Burma today, or their belief that a “purchase of a bag of bird feed from the little kid hanging around the boat rental on the Inle Lake or a piece of a sugar cane on an elephant ride can make his day or maybe his week,” will help bring human rights and a representative democracy to that very child or his children is bordering on delusional.

International pressure must be brought to bear against the Myanmar government. Concerned citizens of all nationalities should join in solidarity with the Burmese people by joining organizations like the US Campaign for Burma and Burma Campaign UK.

Consumers must demand responsibility from the travel industry -it is time to put the human rights of indigenous people over profit.

Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel has traveled to Myanmar on a fact finding mission and have supported a vetted non profit organization that brings much needed fresh water to a community there. However, Exquisite Safaris does not organize travel to Myanmar at this time.

*****
WHY WON’T THE CONTRA COSTA TIMES PUBLISH OUR COMMENT CITING AUNG SAN SUU KYI’S STATEMENT ON BURMA TOURISM?

Read the Contra Costa Times unpublished comment referenced below: President-elect Aung San Suu Kyi (under house arrest the past 18 years) calls on tourists to stay away from Burma.”

CORRECTION:

Exquisite Safaris Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More:
Continue Reading the ongoing dialog at Contra Costa Times
Contra Costa Times: Public Relations Consultant to Myanmar Dictatorship
Exquisite Safaris statements on Burma
Tell Your Rep: UN Must Reject Burma’s False Constitution
Campaigning for Human Rights and Democracy in Burma
United States Campaign for Burma
Bush announces more Burma sanctions: USA Today
Take Action for Burma Democracy: Philanthropic Travel
Freedom for Burma: Myanmar no more
Burma: Hopes Burn Brightly
Burma: Mystic Ball and the Sport of Chinlone
Philanthropic Travelers provide clean water in Burma
New York Times on Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel
ArabianBusiness.com: Philanthropic Travellers
Travel Connoisseur Magazine on Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel

Philanthropic Travelers:
The The One’s Who Do: Visionary Philanthropic Travelers
Visionary Philanthropic Traveler Marc Gold 100 Friends Project
Visionary Philanthropic Traveler Chellie Kew
Milton & Fred Ochieng: Philanthropic Travelers
Jane Kaye- Bailey: Philanthropic Traveler
Richard Branson: Philanthropic Traveler
Angelina Jolie: Philanthropic Traveler
Oprah Winfrey: Philanthropic Traveler
Palm Beach Life Magazine: Philanthropic Travelers

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