The APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism (AICST) has proposed a series of measures to assist regional tourism operators to recover from the damage caused by the recent tsunami.
The AICST measures that were presented to the Post-Tsunami Emergency Task Force Meeting are also intended to increase the capacity of regional tourism operators to deal with future crises.
Following the meeting AICST Executive Director, Mr. Ian Kean, said that Governments and the tourism industry must learn from the tragic Boxing Day Tsunami.
"The extent of this disaster on tourism was previously unimaginable and the outcomes and experiences from it need to be studied so that we can be smarter in the future," Mr. Kean said.
"AICST is prepared to contribute to the work of the task force through the development of enhanced risk management procedures for crisis management for regional tourist destinations.
"This will build on the 2004 Tourism Risk Management report undertaken by AICST in partnership with the WTO and PATA, to include lessons learnt from the tsunami disaster. AICST can develop materials in a range of languages for use in training workshops for government and industry representatives.
"AICST can also contribute research resources to provide new information to enhance preparedness and management in the event of future crises."
The Post-Tsunami Emergency Task Force Meeting was organized by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) working with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and AICST to develop a course of action for the recovery of tourism following the tsunami disaster.
The Technical meeting of the Task Force took place in Phuket, Thailand on the 31st January and was attended by 150 people from government, non-government and private tourism organisations. The Task Force Meeting was followed by an emergency meeting of the World Tourism Organization Executive Council on 1 February.
The Emergency Meeting of the WTO Executive Council, with AICST and PATA as observers, adopted the 'Phuket Action Plan' covering a range of activities under five operational goals:
Marketing and communications
Additional details on the "Phuket Action Plan" are available on the WTO Website: http://www.world-tourism.org/tsunami/eng.html
Information is also available on the Indian Ocean Recovery News page of the PATA Website: http://www.pata.org/patasite/index.php?id=1112