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J.-P. Mas : "Boycotting the Maldives, maybe a good idea only at first sight ..."

Carte Blanche to the President of SNAV


The heavy debate on the issue of the death penalty in the Maldives last week launched by Jacques Maillot continues. The reaction of professionals and especially tour operators to the news seemed too quiet to some observers. Others, however, believe that this was the right reaction. We had not heard Jean-Pierre Mas’ opinion on this issue. We now have it with this Carte Blanche. However, the debate is far from over…



J.-P. Mas : "Boycotting the Maldives, maybe a good idea only at first sight ..."
In the Maldives, the death penalty may soon be applied to children.

This obscurantist process is appalling!

Jacques Maillot, in a burst of generosity, has advised travel professionals to boycott the Maldives.

Let’s avoid jumping to conclusions and getting mixed up: It makes complete sense that we should refuse to work with an institution that facilitates child prostitution.

We condemn and boycott such a project because we reject pedophilia, which is a criminal offense.

By boycotting a country, we position ourselves, in a way, as mentors and representatives of our clients’ values and morals.

While it is our role to inform our clients on the new provisions of the Criminal Code of the Maldives that violate human rights and international treaties, it is not in our right to control their travel decisions. Our clients are free.

Refusing to travel to a country because of its practices or the heinous nature of the system is within the free will to choose of the individual.

This is why I never went to South Africa during apartheid: it was a personal choice.

Similarly, I have long refused to go to Burma: it was a mistake. While tourism may currently enrich the generals of the junta, it also helps families live better.

A circulation of individuals translates into a favorable flow of ideas.

By refusing to go to the Maldives, I express my disapproval regarding the obscurantist evolution of this country. Imposing my personal choice to my clients would mean limiting their free will.

Furthermore, I would quickly be confronted with the dilemma of defining the causes for boycotting: in countries where thieves get their hands cut off, those where adulterous women are stoned to death, those that fatally punish homosexuality; countries where opponents languish in jails, those who do not respect the democratic process, those who oppress minorities, those who limit access to social networks, mafia-run regimes...

Jean-Pierre Mas
President of the National Union of Travel Agents

PS: The SNAV and SETO jointly wrote to the Minister of Tourism of Maldives to warn about the fact that this decision will hurt the image and tourist development of the country.

Written by Editorial Board translated by Joséphine Foucher the 27/05/2014
Read 933 times

Tags : maldives

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