Ecoburma

EcoBurma is a non-profit project run by the Czech non-governmental organization Burma Center Prague that seeks to promote responsible travel to Burma through awareness-raising and capacity-building.

Our Approach

  • Empower People: We want locals in Burma to have the capacity to identify issues related to tourism and the strength to defend their rights.
  • Contribute Stories: We want to change the way people travel to Burma by raising their awareness. We won’t achieve this through classroom lessons, but through stories from travelers and locals.
  • Own Your Choices: We want you to make an informed decision about your trip to Burma, in every detail. The choice is yours.

An integral part of our concept consists of capacity building for Burmese individuals and civil society organizations. We wish to empower participants with the necessary skills to identify and describe issues related to tourism and with the self-confidence and experience to represent the rights of their people towards the authorities, corporations, and foreign partners. We will also connect them to international networks to help them to efficiently tackle the issues.

We are not a tour operator, but our advice encourages tourists to respect local customs and culture, and to choose options which contribute to local prosperity.

We highly recommend responsible travelers to stay in smaller, locally-owned hotels and Bed-and-Breakfast establishments.

Eating and drinking in local restaurants and tea shops is a great way to support local businesses. Even if you are only staying in one place, do explore different joints and spread your money around. While luxury hotel buffets may look appetizing, chances are these  are “Western” cusine. Ask yourself, did you travel this far to have pasta or steak for dinner?

Have fun and mind the impact of your actions! Choose shopping in small local shops over shopping malls and hotel gift shops. This way, you will be supporting local people rather transnational corporations or former army generals.

Your money will not trickle down to all the people in Burma. So please consider supporting projects that help Burmese in exile and those living in remote areas. Want to help some of the most vulnerable people in Burma? You can donate money to monks or churches. Monasteries form an important part of the non-state-owned social system.

Try to add variety to your list of destinations – mixing popular sites with lesser-known ones.

We encourage all tourists to consider the impact their visit might have on the environment. Ecotourism is a catch phrase that is becoming more and more popular. You might want to do some independent research to confirm if a planned destination really meets your criteria for an ecotourism site. 

Contact

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About the author

Peter Bishop

Peter Bishop – Programme Manager Tourism Concern. Peter became a trustee of Tourism Concern in 2006, stepping down in 2009 in order to work on projects including our DFID-funded ‘Empowering Coastal Communities’ project, the Gap Year and International Volunteering Standard, and research into employment conditions in all-inclusive hotels.

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