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John Potter
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      01-28-2005
The following is from Jan Goyvaerts in Thailand who produces my text
editor, Editpad. The situation he describes contrasts a bit with news
reports.

One month after the tsunami
===========================

As you probably know, we are based in Thailand, one of the
countries that was directly affected by the tsunami caused by a
major underwater earthquake in the Indian ocean on December 26th.

Thanks again to everybody who expressed their concern for our
safety. Where we live, Ubonratchathani, is a province in
North-Eastern Thailand, bordering with Laos and Cambodia. We are
over 1,000 miles away from the devastation on Thailand's West coast.
All our friends and relatives are safe and accounted for, and our
business is unaffected.

It's heart-warming to see the international relief effort that has
been put in place. I am sure the various NGO's will put all
donations to good use. However, many of the countries affected by
the tsunami rely heavily on tourism to keep their economies
healthy. This is particularly true in Thailand. The west
coast, which was hit by the waves, is a popular destination for
tourists from around the world. Phuket, the largest island off
Thailand's west coast is the best known and most popular destination
in that area.

The situation in Thailand is nothing like the pictures you may
have seen on TV, showing villages that were leveled entirely by
the sea. Thailand's west coast is quite mountainous, which kept the
effects of the waves limited to the immediate beach or oceanfront
area in most places. In some areas, with steep cliffs over 10 feet
above sea level, there was no damage at all.

What this region needs most is for the economy to keep rolling.
With many tourists canceling or postponing their trips, many business
owners face difficulties meeting their obligations with
financial institutions. The tourism authority of Thailand (TAT)
reports that 80% of the hotels in Phuket are fully operational. Of
the popular tourist destinations, only Khao Lak and Phi Phi suffered
extensive damage.

I'm sure your local travel agent will be able to offer you
some excellent last minute deals for vacations to Thailand.
Weather-wise, February is an excellent month to visit. Now might
be an excellent opportunity for a nice tropical vacation. It'll
probably be the only chance you'll ever get to visit Phuket in
the high season (November through February) without being overrun by
hordes of tourists.

As is often the case with Nature, when something is
destroyed, something else is created. Tourism officials report that
the natural environment around Thailands west coast was minimally
affected. In fact, some areas noticeably improved as if the
waves cleansed the underwater environment. The water quality at
dives sites around Phuket and the Similans and Surin islands
reportedly resembles what it used to be 20 years ago, before mass
tourism discovered the area.

That's it for this month. Thank you for using our software, and
see you next month!

Kind regards,
Jan Goyvaerts.

 
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Gordon
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      01-29-2005
On Sat, 29 Jan 2005 11:11:11 +1200, John Potter wrote:

> As is often the case with Nature, when something is
> destroyed, something else is created. Tourism officials report that
> the natural environment around Thailands west coast was minimally
> affected. In fact, some areas noticeably improved as if the
> waves cleansed the underwater environment. The water quality at
> dives sites around Phuket and the Similans and Surin islands
> reportedly resembles what it used to be 20 years ago, before mass
> tourism discovered the area.


Right, so nature flushed out all that human made crap. What steps will the
country to ensure that it remains like this in 20 years time?



 
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