Journey back from the brink
THEefforts of Christchurch residents to bring the city back from the brink after two devastating earthquakes are inspirational. Helen Anderson’s P6 story bears witness to the tenacity, creativity and spirit of NewZealanders, whose make-do mentality has brought a new lease of life to the city.
Christchurch is not the only destination to bounce back against the odds. Bali, Sri Lanka and Japan are just a few of the places where tourism flatlined after recent cataclysmic events, but which have recovered thanks to the determination and drive of their residents.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings and, despite wounds that remain raw, tourists have been drawn back by the gentle Balinese spirit. Sri Lanka has likewise gone to great lengths to win back the confidence of those whoflocked there before the 2004 tsunami and subsequent worsening of the civil war.
Japan, meanwhile, is wooing Australians after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, establishing the AustraliaJapan Tourism Exchange. Japan National Tourism Organisation president Ryoichi Matsuyama will launch the effort this week when he arrives to meet senior Australian tourism officials.
But it’s not only industry bodies that are in a position to help these struggling destinations. By putting your money where your mouth is and continuing to visit such holiday spots, you too can help. There are often excellent deals to be had, with hoteliers, airlines and other operators pulling out all the stops to increase visitor numbers. With some careful and considerate holiday planning, everyone can benefit. Check DFAT’s smartraveller.gov.au website for the latest travel advisories and, if planning to visit a high-risk area, register your travel plans with the site.
Susan Kurosawa is on assignment.
Tourists have been drawn back by the gentle Balinese spirit and by the island’s beach paradise appeal