The Tsunami and Tourism: A Comment

The tsunami of December 26th 2004 had a devasting impact on the coastal regions of the countries around the Indian Ocean, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale

Richard Sharpley

2009

Scholarcy highlights

  • The tsunami of December 26th 2004 had a devasting impact on the coastal regions of the countries around the Indian Ocean, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale
  • Almost 300,000 people lost their lives, widespread damage was caused to infrastructure, transport and communication networks, ecosystems and livelihoods throughout the affected region and, overall, the economic cost of the disaster is expected to exceed $10 billion
  • The global response to the disaster was unprecedented both in its scale and immediacy. This response was primarily driven by the fact that thousands of western tourists were victims of the tsunami, transforming the event into a truly global disaster
  • Noting that the tsunami served to highlight the dependency of many of the affected regions on tourism and, the vital importance of attracting tourists back to those regions, it suggests that, attention will undoubtedly be focused on the management of the crisis, tourism played a positive role in that it united the world in its response to the needs of the communities devastated by the tsunami

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