Damage to Tourism
Skipping to the damage to the economy, the tsunamis of South-East Asia have dealt a heavy blow to the tourism industry in the region. The huge losses of life suffered by Thailand and the Maldives, which were once extremely popular tourist destinations, only proved that safety measures in the above countries had been taken lightly and were inadequate.
Potential tourists would have lost a sense of security in visiting these countries, thus leading to a loss of tourism revenue. People would also refrain from visiting the countries for fear of being affected by similar incidences due to this lack of protection. Furthermore, few people would want to visit a site ravaged by the forces of nature, where countless died, for the time being, either out of respect for the dead or due to its pure eeriness itself. The governments of the affected countries would hence lose massive amounts of money which could have been otherwise used for improving the general standard of living of the people.
The impact of the tsunami on the Maldives and Phuket is expected to set the growth rate back for at least two years. It would take half to two years to rebuild the devastated stretches of beaches, which were once tourist havens, and probably even longer to attract back the tourists.
Countries which would be affected most severely would be Thailand and the Maldives, both of which are still in the developing stages and need large amounts of resources and finances to provide for an ever-growing population. This is especially for the Maldives, which relies mainly on tourism revenues to feed its people, and would pose a formidable problem.
Now, not only do all the above countries stop getting tourism revenue, they also have to fork out money and divert government spending to rebuild the resorts and hotels which were destroyed during the tsunami, which would be extremely detrimental to those who lost a lot of assets during the disaster:
Somalia, a country in Africa, would also be badly affected due to the extreme poverty and lack of government.
Banda Aceh was arguably the place which suffered the most losses during the entire event. Their road to recovery would be arduous, as the area itself is in political turmoil, with the tsunami exacerbating the numerous problems it was already facing. The greatest challenge in the long term however, for all countries, will be in making sure that the poor, especially those who fish for a living, those who are on the margins of the tourist economy and in remoter areas are helped to recover.
- The Indian Ocean Tsunami: what are the economic consequences?. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://www.odi.org.uk/tsunami/tsunami.html
- Coral reefs may take years to recover from tsunamis. The Manila Times Internet Edition. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/dec/30/yehey/opinion/20041230opi8.html
- Tsunami consequences. NewsFromRussia.com. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://newsfromrussia.com/world/2005/01/03/57689.html