Poll: Would you travel to countries with repressive governments?

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Thread: Poll of the Week: Repressive Governments

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Poll of the Week: Repressive Governments

    Countries such as Burma/Myanmar, China, Syria and North Korea pose an ethical quandary for travelers: will spending your tourist dollars there help keep a repressive government in power, or do the benefits of travel outweigh the potential problems? Vote in our poll and tell us how you feel about traveling to countries with repressive regimes.
    Last edited by SarahS; 10-22-2008 at 11:04 AM.
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Repressive Governments

    Hmm, put me down for a solid maybe. I think tourism has the power to help or hurt -- perhaps even both at the same time. If you do decide to travel to a place with a repressive government, I think it's your responsibility to do your research ahead of time and figure out how you can do the least harm and the most good during your trip. Supporting local businesses and avoiding state-run hotels is probably a good start. I also think that spreading the word about a place once you get home and breaking down some of the stereotypes that tend to build up around these sorts of countries is one of the most important things you can do as a traveler.

    I'll get off my soapbox now.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Repressive Governments

    I think cultural exchange is a good way to positively affect the world. The most repressive regimes are the ones that keep their citizens isolated from other cultures and encourage hatred and fear of "the other." It seems possible to undermine a government of isolation and repression (on a small scale) by traveling freely and showing the locals that they have lots in common with foreigners from around the world. Although I wouldn't put myself in danger by attempting to travel to, say, Iran, I would be happy to travel to countries like China, Russia or Cuba.

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