Voyages Jules Verne, the luxury tour operator, has announced the relaunch of tours to Myanmar. The UK-based company said it had taken the decision following the endorsement of the Free Burma movement to reopen the country to tourism.
Voyages Jules Verne will now offer a series of 14-night tours to Myanmar, including Mandalay and Bagan on the banks of the Irrawaddy, and Yangon. The trips will also include a private candle-lit dinner at an exclusively-reserved pagoda in Bagan.
David F. Pattison, Head of Product and Marketing at Voyages Jules Verne, said; “We were delighted to hear that Aung San Suu Kyi had recently given her blessing to the return of tourism to Burma but we still considered our position carefully before deciding to return to the country. There will always be differing views about Burma but it is now felt that the controlled entry of visitors will now help create and sustain jobs for locals and boost the private economy. With communication and information previously restricted, Burma is now more exposed to the outside world and opens up the possibility of two-way exchanges between foreign visitors and the ordinary Burmese people.”
Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, announced in 2010 announced that they were no longer opposed to all tourism to the country.
Senior NLD leader, U Win Tin said; “We want people to come to Burma, not to help the junta, but to help the people by understanding the situation: political, economic, moral – everything. But to have a very big cruise ship with hundreds of tourists coming in – that’s a lot of money for the regime, and so we don’t like such big business.”
The first Voyages Jules Verne tour departs in November 2011.