Planet's Burma guide 'unethical'

The TUC has called for a boycott of Lonely Planet guidebooks until the Burma edition is withdrawn from sale.

The trade union umbrella organisation says travel to Burma is unethical and helps prop up the military government.

Last year, Lonely Planet was bought by BBC Worldwide Limited, the commercial arm of the Corporation.

In a statement, the BBC said the guide book - one of 288 published by Lonely Planet - "provides information and lets readers decide for themselves".

The TUC, Tourism Concern, Burma Campaign UK and the New Internationalist have launched an online petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of the book.

New Internationalist co-editor, Chris Brazier, said: "Holidaying in Burma is one of the most unethical trips you could make, given the brutality of the current regime.

"The Lonely Planet guide to Burma should be immediately withdrawn."

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber added: "The very existence of a travel guide to Burma encourages people to visit a country they might not otherwise consider."

But BBC Worldwide said the guide "provides information to help travellers make informed decisions about whether or not to visit Burma and, should they decide to go, make informed choices on what they do when in the country.

"Lonely Planet believes that its decision to publish a guide book to Burma does not of itself represent support or otherwise for the current regime.

BBC Worldwide says it has "carefully reviewed that position and has no plans to withdraw the guide".

"It provides information and lets readers decide for themselves."

The pros and cons of travel to Burma are set out at the front of its guidebook:

It's reasons not to go include:

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi opposes tourism

The military government uses forced labour

International tourism seen as 'stamp of approval'

Money from tourism goes to the military government

Reasons to go are:

Tourism one of few areas to which locals have access

Carefully targeted spending reaches individuals in need

Locals have told travel guide authors they are in favour

Abuses less likely in areas frequented by foreigners

Insight Guides is the other main publisher with a guidebook on Burma.

It has postponed its latest edition in the light of September's violence, when pro-democracy demonstrations were violently suppressed.

Rough Guides does not have a guide to the country. In a statement, its co-founder, Martin Dunford, said: "We don't like to take moral stances when it comes to travel.

"But there are some regimes that are so oppressive that travelling there just feels wrong.

"Indeed so much of Burma's tourist infrastructure is linked to the military government that we feel tourism can't help but support the regime, however indirectly.

"We are also mindful of - and respect - Ang San Suu Kyi and the democratic opposition's call for tourists to boycott the country as a way of bringing about change, but understand that it is a personal choice for individual travellers to make."

Lonely Planet has also issued a travel advisory in the wake of the crackdown on protests led by Buddhist monks.

It urges travellers to exercise "extreme caution".

The TUC's international secretary, Owen Tudor, said Lonely Planet was being singled out because "The country's main trade union organisation and the people of Burma oppose tourism."

He denied the Lonely Planet boycott should also apply to guide books on Cuba, Saudi Arabia or other governments around the world with poor human rights records.

"Disinvestment campaigns have worked in the past, dissuading companies from dealing with Burma," he said.

"BBC Worldwide is one of 28 UK companies who have dealings with Burma and 17 of them are travel companies."

The Independent newspaper's travel editor, Simon Calder, has condemned the boycott.

He said: "It seems bizarre that there should be calls for a boycott of a travel publishing brand that has a first-class record on championing human rights and, incidentally, urging readers to be environmentally and culturally aware travellers."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Turkey calls for thaw in Ukraine - Russia tensions
Turkey calls for thaw in Ukraine - Russia tensions
Launch of Azerbaijani-Armenian border delimitation to help prevent incidents - Russian MFA
Launch of Azerbaijani-Armenian border delimitation to help prevent incidents - Russian MFA
Russia records another 88,816 coronavirus cases — crisis center
Russia records another 88,816 coronavirus cases — crisis center
Loading Bars
Latest
Situation on Kyrgyz-Tajik section of state border is stable
Three more citizens of Kyrgyzstan injured as result of conflict on border
Turkey's daily COVID-19 caseload hits new high of 82,180
3 police officers shot in U.S. Houston, suspect at large
Brazil's top court subpoenas Bolsonaro in leaked documents case
Morocco extends health emergency state until Feb. 28
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agree on ceasefire and military withdrawal from border
N.Korea confirms latest weapons tests
Kyrgyzstan evacuates 1,470 residents from villages bordering Tajikistan
Jordan says 27 drug smugglers killed at border with Syria
Turkish 'kindness train' departs for Afghanistan with 748 tons of aid
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan hold meeting on incident at border
EMA conditionally approves Pfizer's COVID-19 pill
Georgia – Uzbekistan trade turnover up
Tajikistan reports civilian casualties as result of incident on the border
Kyrgyz Border Service: Tajik side again violated bilateral ceasefire agreements
Tajik side does not cease fire and continues to pull up military equipment, personnel
Turkey calls for thaw in Ukraine - Russia tensions
Civil protection services of Kyrgyzstan transferred to emergency mode
Tajikistan pulls heavy equipment to the border - State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan
Five Tajik citizens injured in conflict on border with Kyrgyzstan
Iran, Uzbekistan to develop transit ties
Turkish Airlines' Chairman of the Board of Directors resigns
Azerbaijan's Zangilan Airport to be included into ICAO catalog
Chairman of Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council talks details of switching to HD format (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan records increase in loans issued for real estate sector
Uzbekistan shares data on interest expenses of banking sector for 2021
Uzbekistan shares data on regulatory capital of its banks for 2021
Kazakh president suggests to set up transport and logistics consortium with India
Trade turnover between Central Asian countries and India unveiled
Launch of Azerbaijani-Armenian border delimitation to help prevent incidents - Russian MFA
Azerbaijan launches engineering-geological studies in Aghdam Industrial Park
Azerbaijan's Anglo Asian Mining increases its stake in Canadian mining company
Turkmenistan and US discuss bilateral cooperation
Azerbaijan announces auction to privatize state enterprises, vehicles
Azerbaijani gymnast to participate in Trampoline Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
Turkmen Khazar consortium announces tender for tubing repair
Azerbaijan records increase in export of products by industrial zones
Azerbaijan to hold auction for helicopters (PHOTO)
European natural gas prices to fall this year
Armenian PM may visit Turkey
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan hold another meeting on "Dostlug" field
Global oil market to flip into surplus in 2022
European Azerbaijan School: IELTS Registration Partnership Agreement Between British Council and Azerbaijan Teachers Development Centre was signed yesterday (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia’s electricity exports skyrocket
Turkmenistan allocates loans to expand natural gas fields exploration
Azerbaijan Industry Bank’s assets down in 2021
“We became the first company in CIS region to receive ISO 37001 certificate”
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 3,361 more COVID-19 cases, 1,132 recoveries
Azerbaijan unveils volume of investments made in industrial zones
Swiss company eyes creating assembly line for trains in Georgia
Azerbaijani Muganbank's assets edge up
Poland’s Catholic Church marks Day of Islam
Georgia announces launch date for regional enterprise dev't program (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan to simplify civil UAV registration procedures
Azerbaijan, Iran holding talks on construction of Astara-Rasht railway - official
EBRD discloses results of its investments in Uzbekistan for 2021
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 27
Criminal case of former chief of Kazakhstan's KNB classified as "Top Secret"
Assets of Azerbaijan's Yelo Bank increase in 2021
Yapi Kredi Bank Azerbaijan ends 2021 with loss
Iran’s exports from West Azerbaijan Province increase
Demand for eSIM technology increases in Azerbaijan - deputy minister (Exclusive)
German daily COVID cases rise above 200,000, causing staff shortages
Uzbekistan’s CERR forecasts GDP growth for 2022
Kazakhstan’s modernized national security system must be ready to meet any challenges - president
SOCAR AQS, Iraqi Drilling Company ink protocol
Georgia, Azerbaijan discuss attracting tourists to South Caucasus
Azerbaijani Unibank's assets up in 2021
Iran’s POGC unveils volume of gas extracted from South Pars gas field
EIB reveals volume of investments in green transformation
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to put up gov't bonds for new auction
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price dips
Azerbaijan discloses timeframe for providing entire country with internet
Bulgaria’s Chiren gas storage project to get funding from EU
EU calls on Azerbaijani farmers to engage in more cooperation
EU companies among largest investors in Azerbaijan – EU Programme Manager
Central Bank of Azerbaijan hold regular foreign currency auction
Iran sees surge in price of apartments in Tehran
Azerbaijan talks unauthorized use of state companies' cable networks
Azerbaijan's Ziraat Bank discloses net profit for 2021
IRICA shares data on import of COVID-19 vaccine to Iran
Uzbekistan Airways to resume flights to Turkey's Istanbul
Azerbaijan sees growth in oil prices
Joint projects - good chance for Azerbaijan, Iran to develop relations further, MP says
Azerbaijan records growth of production in industrial zones in 2021
Azerbaijan talks construction, restoration of roads in liberated areas
Russia records another 88,816 coronavirus cases — crisis center
Uzbekistan shares data on potato imports for 2021
EU shares experience with Azerbaijan in development of agritourism - official
Spirits maker Diageo posts 16% rise in first-half sales
Bank of America raises base pay for top bankers
Uzbekistan places government bonds on currency exchange
Azerbaijan unveils TV & radio coverage of liberated areas
Croatia to possibly take part in demining of Azerbaijani liberated lands
Croatian Ambassador talks impact of COVID-19 on Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline project
Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan visits Baku Higher Oil School (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan plays its role in global fight against anti-Semitism and support of multiculturalism - UN official
Agriculture plays key role in Azerbaijani economy's diversification - EU official
All news