Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
Communication Key to Tsunami Recovery
A scene of Bali, Indonesia

The TOURCOM international conference for travel industry communicators closed in Bali on May 21, 2005 with a call to allay the fears of consumers who think it is still not appropriate to holiday in December's tsunami affected areas.

One hundred and 90 delegates from 20 countries heard that because initial crisis communications efforts had subsided, there was still a need for "varied and sustained" communications, especially as demand for travel to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Phuket region of Thailand was still well below seasonal levels.

Travel industry speakers said that the March 28 earthquake in the Nias area of Northern Sumatra and subsequent tremors caused demand for Indian Ocean destinations, which had been returning, to decline again.

An Indonesian dancer in Bali
Summarising the conclusions from the two-day event, Mr Thamrin Bachri, Deputy Minister for Capacity Building and International Relations in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia, said that national tourism offices (NTOs) with limited budgets should use public relations techniques and the Internet more than advertising, which tended to be expensive.

Nevertheless, he said tourism officials and the private sector should work together to lobby for additional funds for marketing and communications. Mr Bachri said national tourism offices who did not have dedicated communications departments should get one and optimize it.

Speakers also called for more communications training for young tourism professionals and said tourism departments should build strong relations with the media in good times and not just in times of crisis.

Addressing the delegates in a crisis communications session, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Director-Communications, Mr Ken Scott, said that in times of crisis, travel industry communicators must be flexible, honest, innovative and fast. Maps should be quickly created and distributed to show the limited geographical impact of crises such as the tsunami, SARS or bird flu. At a suitable time, testimonials from travellers recorded on site should be used to restore consumer confidence, he said.

Traditional dance performance in Bali, Indonesia

In a video message to the delegates, the UN special envoy for tsunami-affected countries, former US President Mr Bill Clinton said, "Part of our task in to convince people around the world that so many places in the region have been rebuilt and are ready to accept tourists today."

"The public will come to realise how many tourist destinations are even safer and more welcoming than they were prior to the day the tsunami struck" he added.

Mr Bachri said future TOURCOM gatherings should explain the power of new technologies to marketing professionals in the travel industry and include Pacific Island participation. (






The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange