The International Ecotourism Society Sends Condolences and Urges Efforts to Help with Economic Recovery

The International Ecotourism Society Sends Condolences and Urges Efforts to Help with Economic Recovery

Indian Ocean Tsunami Affects Many Tourism Destinations in Southeast Asia, Ecotourism Community Unites to Support Recovery


TIES Press ReleaseWASHINGTON, DC, January 3, 2005 – The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) sends deepest condolences to its many members in the areas devastated by the Indonesian earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami. TIES, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to socially and environmentally responsible travel joins calls for the international community to generously and swiftly respond with financial and material assistance, while urging that tourism continue to the unaffected parts of the region.


"Our hearts go out to all those affected by this unprecedented natural calamity, the vast majority of whom are ordinary people, and a disproportionately high number of whom are children," says TIES Executive Director Martha Honey. "While we are still seeking news of the fate of some of our members, we have sadly received reports that some of our colleagues are among those killed and several fine ecolodges were destroyed."

Tourism, including ecotourism, is a prime economic activity in most of these coastal areas. The timing could not have been worse. The earthquake and tsunami ravaged beaches and coastal resorts at the height of the tourism season. And it came as many of these countries and communities were just beginning to recover from tourism downturns caused by civil wars, the SARS virus, terrorism, and economic recession.

In assessing the damage and mapping recovery, TIES calls on governments, the media, international agencies, and the traveling public to avoid sweeping generalities and to carefully distinguish between unsafe regions and those that were mercifully spared. One piece of the recovery will be to continue to promote international travel to safe areas in the affected countries.

Another piece will be to assist damaged areas to rebuild as quickly as possible. TIES calls on international development and assistance agencies as well as the tourism industry to create a special fund to help with reconstruction of community-based ecotourism projects, national parks, and cultural and historic sites damaged or destroyed by the tsunami.

In addition, TIES pledges to work with other organizations to promote continued international travel to the undamaged regions of these Indian Ocean countries. Over the next months, TIES will do this via our website and publications, through the media, and at travel shows and other public venues.


About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




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The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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