Jour­ney back from the brink

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

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

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