Letter: Ethical holidays

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TOURISM CONCERN is misrepresented in your ethical tourism article ("Sun, sea and a little ethnic cleansing", 14 November). While we strongly urge tourists and all involved in the travel industry to weigh up the ethical considerations of tourism, we do not advocate boycotts, agreeing with David Abraham that they often hit the wrong people the hardest. That's why we suggest that, in places such as Indonesia, people should visit small-scale community-based tourism enterprises that support local people rather than human-rights abuses (listings on the Community Tourism Directory at www.gn.apc.org/tourismconcern).

Burma is different, as Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of the country, has expressly asked tourists to stay away. This makes obsolete the argument that the final decision should be left to the client. Who are we to put our opinions and needs above those of the people of Burma? We all have a responsibility to address these issues and make ethical considerations a central part of our holiday planning.

PATRICIA BARNETT

Tourism Concern

London N7

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