2014 was a terrible year for aviation in South East Asia, with three fatal crashes involving Malaysian-owned carriers, and a combined loss of 699 lives. Not surprisingly, concern has increased about safety standards, particularly in light of how congested the skies have become over the region.
It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of tourists do not choose their holiday destinations based primarily – or even partly – on ethical criteria. Even during the darkest days of repression in Burma (Myanmar), hundreds of thousands of visitors still went there every year.
We believe strongly that tourism can be force for good in the world, but for that to be the case, people need to travel with their eyes wide open. It is our hope that this guide will help inform travellers about the ethical strengths and failings of the ten countries which make up Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations).
In deciding our rankings, we have considered a whole range of criteria, including democratic vibrancy; freedom of belief, whether religious or political; levels of economic, racial and gender inequality; official corruption; and care for the environment. (See Main sources below for more details)
Overall, we have given as much weight to the direction of movement – whether the situation is getting better or worse – as to the present reality. Independent travel has taught us that it often the journey which is just as important as the destination. Continue reading 2015 ethical travel guide to South East Asia