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There was intense media coverage of the catastrophe, as the magnitude of the disaster became known. The total number of people dead may never be known for sure and estimates vary between 150,000 and 250,000. In addition to the loss of life, there has been harm done to peoples' livelihoods and relief efforts are now starting to focus on recovery strategies.{}

Conference held Wednesday, 4th May 2005

London Metropolitan University, Holloway Road, London N7 8DB

An earthquake off the northwest coast of Sumatra caused the tsunami of 26 December. This was the largest tidal wave in this region for the last 200 years and it has brought devastation to thousands of miles of coastline in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. There was intense media coverage of the catastrophe, as the magnitude of the disaster became known. The total number of people dead may never be known for sure and estimates vary between 150,000 and 250,000.

In addition to the loss of life, there has been harm done to peoples' livelihoods and relief efforts are now starting to focus on recovery strategies. The UK's largest research centre on tourism at London Metropolitan University hosted a conference on one of the Indian Ocean's most important industries. The conference examined not only how this tourism may be re-built and jobs restored, but also raised questions about what tourism can do to help. It also asked whether any lessons can be learned from the tsunami disaster for the way coastal tourism is developed in the future. The conference also analysed how tourism has been factored into the needs assessments of the various aid agencies, notably the World Bank and EuropeAid.

Speakers and Titles:

  • Raoul Bianchi, Introduction
  • Michael Hitchcock, Importance of Tourism in South and Southeast Asia
  • Jonathan Karkut, Tourism: Geological Considerations
  • Simon Jennings, Managing Extreme Events: Implications for Tourism
  • Michael Crawford, Post Crisis Nutrition: Can Tourism Help?
  • Tricia Barnett, The Tourism NGO Perspective on Recovery Strategies
  • Denise Cole, Best Practice in Crisis Marketing
  • Michael Hitchcock, The World Bank's Needs Assessment and Other Aid Agencies
  • Discussion: Rebuilding Tourism after the Tsunami Disaster
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