If You Want To Help Us, Book Your Trip Now

7th Jan 2005

Based on its assessment
of tourism infrastructure in tsunami-affected areas, the Pacific Asia
Travel Association wishes to emphasise that most properties and
attractions in Indian Ocean destinations have sustained little or no
damage. Of PATA’s 45 Asia Pacific member countries, the coastal area of only eight
were affected by the tsunami. Of those eight destinations, only the
Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand suffered significant travel sector losses.

PATA believes that to support the speedy recovery of destinations, local
employment and local self-sufficiency, consumers must be encouraged to
proceed with their travel plans to the region. PATA President and CEO, Mr
Peter de Jong, said, ‘‘The human loss of this tragedy is unprecedented.
However, the negative impact will only be exacerbated if tourists cancel
or postpone their visits. Now more than ever, Indian Ocean countries want
you to come visit. Not only will tourism maintain jobs and boost local
economies, it will also be a sign of support and solidarity, giving new
hope and confidence to those who have begun to rebuild their lives and

Mr de Jong added, ‘‘If you have not yet planned a visit, please consider
booking a trip. If you wish to make a difference, visit the many safe and
intact parts of the affected destinations. The money you spend and,
importantly, the hearts you touch, will make a difference.’’

PATA says the following key messages are important:—tourists are
welcome and needed—if you really care about our destination—come
visit us—tourists’ enjoyment of a destination will be tangible support
for its recovery—you are assured of a very warm welcome

Parts of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia have
experienced minimal damage to their travel and tourism infrastructure.
Parts of the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand have incurred damage to some
tourism infrastructure, but the damage is local and rapidly being fixed.


All airports in tourism-related areas in the tsunami-affected countries
are operating normally.

PATA encourages all travel professionals, travel agents, tour operators
and media to clearly communicate the facts to potential travellers and
encourage bookings.


Of the island nation’s 87 resorts, 64 are currently operational. Many of
those that have been damaged are expected to be operational within a
matter of weeks or months. Only a handful of resorts have sustained
considerable damage. For specific details on affected resorts, please
refer to:
http://www.visitmaldives.com.mv/mu/latest/update_situation_assessment.php .


Of Sri Lanka’s total hotel supply of 244 properties, 183 remain fully
operational. The hardest hit districts of Sri Lanka include: Ampara,
Hambantota, Galle, Kalutara, Matara and Trincomalee. A detailed listing of
the condition of hotel properties and their respective conditions is
available at: http://www.contactsrilanka.org/list_oftourists.htm .


The damage to Thailand’s tourism industry is exclusively confined to the
southern provinces adjoining the Andaman Sea: Phuket, Phangnga, Krabi,
Ranong, Satun and Trang. Within these provinces the impact was varied and
highly localised. Many places are operating normally. The remainder of
Thailand’s tourism destinations were untouched by the tsunami and remain
fully operational. The majority of tourism infrastructure in Phuket
remains intact with only 10 percent of total rooms inventory impacted. The
following recommended update by the Tourism Authority of Thailand provides
specific details on which hotels remain operable and which have sustained
minor or major damage. http://www.sawadee.com/tsunami/hotels.htm .


The PATA Foundation Tsunami Recovery Fund, launched on December 30, 2004,
directly helps rebuild skills and livelihoods of tourism workers in
tsunami-affected areas. The Fund has a strong people-first focus on human
resource development and training. The Fund is administered by the PATA
Foundation, the charitable arm of PATA which has successfully disbursed
funds to tourism related conservation projects for the last 20 years. The
Foundation enjoys US tax-exempt status. To find out more about the Fund or
to fill out the pledge form and help rebuild livelihoods, visit
http://www.pata.org/tsunami .


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