Following the devastating Asian Tsunami, there is an urgent need to rebuild the affected countries. Weeks after the wave struck, there is still much to be done to help the locals, whose lives have been ruined by the natural disaster. The countries rely immensely on income generated by tourism and the regions urgently need to restore normality as quickly as possible in order to sustain the local economy. The Tourist Boards from some of the devastated regions will be at Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show to provide important advice and information about travelling to the affected areas. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Indian Tourist Board and the Sri Lanka Tourist Board have issued the following statements to help restore public confidence:
The Tourism Authority Of Thailand:
The provinces of Phuket, Phang-nga, and Krabi were the most affected by the Tsunami. Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, was hit on the west coast; however, other beaches on the island such as Panwa as well as small islands nearby like Ko Maprao and Ko Rang Yai are still conducting business as usual. Only some facilities within the affected regions have received some structural damage, and we anticipate that they will be repatriated and in full operation once again within a couple of weeks.
This event has not had any effect on other major beach destinations in the country such as Pattyaa, Ko Samui, Trat or Cha-am and Hua Hin which we know are very popular among both Thai and international tourists. Destinations and attractions in other regions such as the North and Northeast also have a diversity of tourist products and services awaiting visitors. We hope that Thailand will have an opportunity to welcome you again soon.
The Sri-Lanka Tourist Board:
The impression that has been created over the past two weeks is one of a devastated country whose tourism infrastructure has all but been destroyed. This is not the case at all. And now it is time to put things into perspective.
We are not trying to paint a bright picture for the sake of tourism, just tell it like it really is. In addition, by providing a concise, no-nonsense and up-to-date view of our island, we can help restore confidence in the tourism industry, which is integral to the rebuilding process of Sri Lanka.
India as such is almost unaffected as regards to tourism. However as a result of the Tsunami, there have been a few cancellations reported by some tour operators in the UK.
The Indian Tourist board have reported India is safe for foreign tourists and damage has been limited to the area inhabited by the local fishermen near to the coastline.
The government has deployed additional life guards in Tami Nadu and Kerala at all popular beach locations to ensure the safety of all the tourists in these areas. It has also taken the decision to be part of an International Tsunami Warning system to help minimise loss of life in the eventuality of a similar disaster.
The Destinations team would like to extend their deepest sympathies to the victims, families and communities affected by the tragic events of the Asian Tsunami.
Concern Worldwide are a member of the Disaster Emergency Committee, and will have a presence at the Destinations show on stand AP39 (London) AP33 (Birmingham). To make a donation, or to find out about the current situation and other ways in which you can continue to help, visit their stand or to make a donation immediately, visit the following websites: www.concern.net
or call 0800 410 510.