If you are considering a trip to Burma/Myanmar then I highly recommend checking out a good friend’s website – Tourism Transparency. This organisation is a small, independent group of active campaigners who are aiming to educate tourists to Burma about responsible travel.
As trips to Burma are becoming increasingly more popular, it is important in my opinion, for tourists to have some idea of the political situation in the country. Just because the borders are opening up and some sanctions have been lifted does not mean that the country is prepared or ready for the huge influx of visitors. In addition, it should not be assumed that money spent in the country is helping the citizens as much as it could be. Many of the tour operators, guesthouses, transport options and even restaurants are owned and run by the government which means your tourist dollar is bypassing those who need it most.
The website is home to a lot of political and tourism information about Burma including maps of restricted areas , Do’s and Don’ts for Tourists (campaign is advertised at Yangon Airport!) , information about independent tourist operators such as guesthouses, and practical information such as visas, money and transport.
Mick and I have known the founder of this organisation, Dr. Andrea Valentin for a long time and can vouch for her dedication, compassion, attention to detail and her independence. The group wants to get the people of Myanmar to get the benefits that the tourism dollar can offer and for tourists to think about the local people. Everyone can get positive outcomes from increasing tourist numbers, it just has to be considered properly.