Azure Sky Travel Ltd., Yangon, Myanmar Deutsche Webseite  
   

 


There is no doubt in the tourist industry that an intact environment is a precious possession that needs special care. The slogan 'gentle tourism' is no mere eyewash: It is a fact that many tourists are rather sensitive in this respect. A rubbish heap in an otherwise beautiful countryside or next to a magnificent temple can spoil the experience completely. Therefore it is to everybodyís advantage to work for a clean environment.

The infamous resources- and countryside-devouring tourism so well known in other countries so far doesnít exist in Myanmar. One of the most clinching proofs are the numerous new golf greens in neighboring Thailand, where farmers and golf courses compete for the scarce water - the outcome is predictable...

 

We are confident to have the means to make the owners of hotels and restaurants see our point in this context: No orderly garbage disposal and sewage treatment - no clients from our side!

Please get us right: We donít expect to be able to easily arouse any environment consciousness. From our point of view it would be a great leap forward if all those involved in tourism would realize the importance of that goal. In this aspect we take great care to make sure that our contract hotels have a regular garbage disposal. The same applies to sewage treatment.

In fact the problem of garbage is a relatively new one in this country: Non-degradable garbage (meaning any garbage which cannot be eaten by livestock) was virtually unknown until the 1980s. Since then the introduction of plastic bags has put a heavy toll on the environment.

Another problem we observe is the ever increasing number of souvenir dealers. I have seen many traditional markets going down the drain: Once there was a nice market where local people sold vegetable, fruits etc; it attracted tourists and suddenly the first souvenir dealers turned up and by paying higher rents to the market authorities, they pushed the traditional dealers, which might have been selling there for decades, aside, whereas the dealers finally lost their livelihood.

We feel that we shouldnít encourage such developments and boycott those markets dominated by souvenir dealers. The saddest example of such a development is the formerly famous 'Floating Market' at Lake Inle. Nowadays you wonít find any vegetable seller there...

In this way the souvenir sellers are killing their own business, too, but unfortunately they donít realize it...therefore we hope to influence the authorities concerned to put an end to this practice.

Every tour guide in this corner of the world is aware of the problem of noise - clients who suffer from a lack of sleep are difficult clients! For me itís always amazing to see that people in Myanmar as well as in neighboring countries donít seem to have a problem with noise at all. How many times have I envied the man slumbering like a baby next to a concrete mixer on a rather busy road! Unbelievable! Therefore it is not always an easy task to make the locals realize the problem...

Nevertheless we are sure that we can contribute at least a little to make our clientís nights more quiet. Very often this requires only a minor effort achieve this goal - generators might be too close to the guest rooms; bus drivers may run up their engines in the middle of the night or guest rooms could be simply too close to neighboring houses or the next chicken shack. Not everybody is happy to participate that directly in the 'peaceful' country life!

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© 2008 Axel Bruns