Myanmar will always hold a special place in our hearts. Its people, its beauty, its landscapes…
Over the past three years, the people of Myanmar have dealt with the loss and tragedy of both a global pandemic and a military coup. Throughout these tumultuous times, we needed to support our former staff and help them get through this challenging period.
Just like everywhere else, the entire Myanmar tourism industry suddenly halted in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, leaving hospitality professionals across the nation without any income to feed their families.
Then, in February 2021, after ten years of democratic rule, the Myanmar military arrested the democratically elected government and took control of the country. In the following months, more and more violence erupted, throwing the nation into a spiral of terror, plummeting the economy and quelling all hope for a revival of international tourism.
This tragic course of events left us with no choice: we had to find a way to help our former staff and our extended family. This is how “Myanmar We think of You” came to be, a modest show of support in a time of need, to help those who not only worked for us but, most importantly, were integral to our success.
Why we did it?
– Impact of Covid on Myanmar
Myanmar’s economy felt the impact of Covid right away. The tourism industry, which had already begun to cool down before the pandemic, suddenly shut down. Tourists were no longer flying in, and all those dependent on the travel industry soon found themselves out of customers and thus out of work. Guides, hotel staff, and street vendors, along with their families, were suddenly confronted with an uncertain future and without a means to make a living.
– Dealing with the coup
The military coup on February 1, 2021, effectively ended the democratic transition undertaken by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. Her rise to power, following years of the house of arrest, had marked the country’s opening, propelled Myanmar into a new era and paved the way to becoming a tourism hot spot. However, with the coup, the situation became much more difficult.
The security situation quickly became unpredictable and liable to changes without notice. Conflict, protests and violence flared across the country, with some regions even subjecting to airstrikes and armed conflict. In urban areas like Yangon and Mandalay, shootings and targeted explosions became common occurrences. The dire situation quickly became much, much worse.
The military’s indiscriminate artillery and airstrikes injured and killed civilians, damaged villages, including schools, and forced thousands to flee. International sanctions, a halt in foreign aid and the withdrawal of foreign investors pushed Myanmar to the brink of economic collapse.
What we achieved
Thanks to our “Myanmar, We think of You” initiative, we collected donations and provided financial support to our former colleagues and their families. All the gifts we accumulated throughout the campaign were routed to the NGO Colours of Life, which distributed 100% of the proceeds in Myanmar.
With the travel industry picking up again across Southeast Asia, we’ve been able to re-hire some of our former team members while others have secured opportunities elsewhere. Now that every dollar donated has been distributed and our extended family is back at work, we have decided it was a good time to suspend the campaign. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly.
As soon as Myanmar is considered safe to travel by European and North American secretaries of Foreign Offices, we will be delighted to announce the relaunch of Easia Travel Myanmar. It is still impossible to predict any deadline, and we will keep you updated.
We can not begin to thank everyone enough for their financial support. The money donated significantly impacted the lives of dozens of people, helping them get through tough times. It is heartwarming and encouraging to know that Easia Travel has gathered such a caring community of travel professionals.