Four companies come off ‘Dirty List’
The Burma Campaign UK today welcomed news that two more travel firms have dropped Burma from their 2004-2005 brochures. As a result Magic Of The Orient and Explorers Tours have both been removed from the ‘Dirty List’ of companies directly or indirectly funding the regime in Burma. They follow the announcement by Carnival Corporation/P&O two months ago that it is ending cruises to Burma.
Two publishers have also been dropped from the list as they have stopped promoting tourism to Burma. Highbury House Communications has stopped facilitating tourism on its travel website, and Oddessy Guidebooks have informed the Burma Campaign UK that it has no current plans to produce another guide to Burma. The last guidebook was published in 1999 and is no longer widely available.
“This is welcome news,” said Anna Roberts, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “It continues the steady flow of travel companies ending their involvement in Burma. The British public are boycotting Burma as they know travelling there helps fund the military dictatorship. Travel companies that have refused to pull out for ethical reasons are being forced to pull out for economic reasons.”
Swiss travel company Kuoni is not now expected to return to the ‘Dirty List’. Despite telling the Burma Campaign UK last year that is was ending tours to Burma, Kuoni subsidiaries in the US and Germany continued selling tours to Burma. Another subsidiary was also considering tours to Burma in their 2004-2005 brochure. German subsidiary Euro Lloyd is now stopping tours to Burma, and US subsidiary Intravel will end tours from October 2004. A review earlier this year led to Kuoni deciding not to resume tours to Burma.
Burma’s democracy movement has called for a tourist boycott of the country. In no other country are human rights abuses and tourism so closely linked. Slave and child labour was widely used to build tourist infrastructure. Burma’s regime claims it earns $100 million a year from tourism. It spends around 50 percent of its budget on the military. The Burma Campaign UK is publishing an updated version of its ‘Dirty List’ on August 24th. More than 20 companies from the travel industry are expected to be on the list.
For more information contact Anna Roberts, Campaigns Officer, on 020 7324 4711, or Mark Farmaner, Media Officer, on 020 7324 4713