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27 Dec, 2004

Tsunami Update 2: Who is Affected, and Who is Not

Destinations around Asia moved Monday to clarify their status in the wake of the deadly tsunamis, communicating with tour operators, the media and agents.

Destinations around Asia moved Monday to clarify their status in the wake of the deadly tsunamis, communicating with tour operators, the media and agents. Travel Impact Newswire joins the effort, passing on these statements from Thailand, Malaysia, Kerala and the Seychelles as well as the Pacific Asia Travel Association and National Geographic Traveler.



Laguna Phuket was spared the more serious damage reported from other areas of the island as it was protected from a direct hit by the headland to its South. Nevertheless, a wave surge swept the beaches and inundated the ground floor rooms and some of the resort’s restaurants.

Casualties were light and damage to property will be repaired as soon as possible. The beaches and lagoons will be cleared of debris and returned to full operation by tomorrow, 28 December. Of the five hotels at Laguna Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket and Allamanda Laguna Phuket were unscathed apart from damage to a small beach restaurant operated by Banyan Tree. The Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket now has only six rooms out of order, and Laguna Beach Resort 14. The Dusit Laguna Resort suffered the worst and is working to repair the 30 beachfront rooms which were flooded in the Tsunami’s wake.

Staff and guests alike have been marvellous throughout the crisis, and we thank them for their considerable support. With Laguna Phuket returning to normal, we are turning our attention to various outreach programmes to help staff and their families, and areas harder hit with a clothing and supply collection, and donation boxes for an Asian Crisis Fund being placed in the lobbies of our hotels.


THAI Increases Special Flights and Changes Aircraft Type to Facilitate Passengers in Phuket

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited announced a change to larger aircraft type and 2 special flights to facilitate passengers and the injured affected by the natural disaster, transporting them from Phuket to Bangkok.

Mr. Kanok Abhiradee, THAI’s President, said that the airline has changed aircraft types and increased flights routed from Phuket to Bangkok, to transport the injured and passengers affected by natural disaster in the South as of 27 December 2004 onwards. Change of aircraft type for flights routed Phuket-Bangkok:

– Flight TG218 departs Phuket at 1845 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 2020 hours, with a change to larger aircraft type utilizing Boeing 777-300 aircraft that equips 388 seats, 49 in business class and 339 in economy class.

– Flight TG216 departs Phuket at 2135 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 2300 hours, with a change to larger aircraft type utilizing Boeing 747-400 aircraft that equips 389 seats, 64 in business class and 326 in economy class.

Increase special flights routed Phuket-Bangkok, to transport passengers and injured:

– Flight TG SOS1 departs Phuket at 1915 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 2035 hours utilizing Boeing 777-200 aircraft that equips 358 seats.

– Flight TG SOS2 departs Phuket at 0120 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 0240 hours utilizing Boeing 747-400 aircraft that equips 389 seats.



“We are deeply saddened by this disaster that swept across the coastlines of Asia. This is a shock to us and MAH would like to express our deepest sympathy to those directly affected by this unforeseen incident,” said Mohd Ilyas Zainol Abidin, president of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH). MAH, a 30-year old national hotel association did a quick survey amongst its 13 state chapters throughout the country and the following were the findings:

MAH Penang Chapter

The impact of tsunami phenomena that struck Penang’s tourism belt of Batu Ferringhi, on Sunday 26th December 2004 was minimal as Malaysian Association Of Hotels (MAH) Penang Chapter reported that there is no damage to hotels and their surrounding areas and facilities, except to the beach front that is now undergoing cleaning up of debris which is expected to take a couple of days. “There are no casualties of hotel guests reported. The situation is back to normal as all hotels are operating as usual while tourist attractions are not affected,” commented Y.Bhg. Dato’ Eric Lim, Cititel Penang’s Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of MAH Penang Chapter.

Comments by General Managers from some Penang hotels:

“All our hotel guests are safe and accounted for as we are on higher ground.” – Mr. Lau Cheong Leong, Ferringhi Beach Hotel

“As our hotel is located on a cliff, we faced minimal damage. All roads leading to Tanjung Bunga and Batu Ferringhi are already open and ferry services are back to normal since last night.” – Mr. Joseph Kong, Copthorne Orchid Penang, Tanjung Bunga

“The impact of the tidal wave was minimal. No collateral damage, no injuries and everyone is in high spirits and we have no cancellation thus far.” – Mr. Leo Kuscher, Mutiara Beach Resort

“We were cautioned by watersport operators of the strong wave at 1.15 pm and we immediately sounded the alarm to our guests at the beach who evacuated the area and thus there were no casualties.” – Mr. B.C. Tan, Casuarina Beach Resort

MAH Kedah Chapter

MAH Member hotels in Langkawi reported that there were no casualties and no major damages to hotels or guests except at the beach front areas (eg. Cabanas, beach chairs) which are muddy and left with debris. “Hotels are currently doing a clean-up of the beach area and business is already back to normal. Of the few hotels affected, only one hotel sustained structural damage to its waterfront restaurant. However, the hotel operations are back to normal. Most of the hotels affected have closed their swimming pools for a few days until fully restored for safety and health reasons,” says Mr. Noel Vendwall, Chairman of MAH Kedah Chapter.

Some comments from General Managers in Langkawi hotels:

“We sustained no damage to the resort, no injuries or worse to the staff or guests.” – Mr. Damon Page, Sheraton Perdana Resort

“Datai and Andaman hotels were not severely affected. No guests were hurt and only damage to the sunbeds and several boats. Both hotels are fully operational” – Mr. Jamie Case, The Datai

“Our hotels were protected by an island in front which broke the waves and thus no damage was done to our hotels.” – Mr. Fernando Pareja, Holiday Villa & Federal Villa Langkawi

“Our member hotels in the affected areas took immediate action to evacuate all their guests and fortunately, all guests are safe and accounted for and there are no casualties,” said Mohd Ilyas Zainol Abidin, MAH President. “Some hotels were very lucky to be sheltered by the mountain range and nearby islands which broke the force of the tidal wave,” he added.

“Kota Kinabalu hotels were not affected by this tidal wave,” said Mr. Karel Schrijvers, MAH Sabah Chapter chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sutera Harbour Resort.

“We would like to assure the public that this will not affect the quality of service in the hotels. The hotels are already cleaning up the place and business is back to normal by this evening,” En. Mohd Ilyas concludes.



We wish to inform that Sabah, Malaysian Borneo is SAFE and NOT affected by the tidal wave tragedy. Diving in Sabah dive sites are as usual. Kota Kinabalu and our seaside resorts and hotels are safe and business as usual. Sabah is on Malaysian Borneo and situated with the South China Sea (on its west) and Sulu Sea in the east. Kindly see our website www.sabahtourism.com for Sabah Travel Advisory Update.



The following report was received from Pacific World about the situation in Malaysia.

THE DATAI: The resort was not badly effected by the tidal waves. The only effected areas is the beach. Clearing up the beach is in progress and expect to be cleared with 02 days. Other hotel facilities and amentities is in good condition. However, hotel is fully booked from now unitl 31/12/2004. With limited rooms available from 01/01/2005.

THE ANDAMAN: The beach was slightly effected and other guests areas is not effected. Hotel is full till 04/01/2005.

BERJAYA BEACH RESORT: The beach and sea sports facilities is effected with mud and debris being washed up all over the beach area. No sea sports facilities available for 03 weeks starting today 27/12/04. No irregularities to other guest areas. The resort is fully booked till 04/01/2005.

SHERATON LANGKAWI BEACH RESORT: Some damages reported on one of the restaurant – Capt’s Grill and the as well as the wooded board walk. Capt’s Grill is currently closed for repair. No damages to hotel rooms and other facilities.

PELANGI BEACH RESORT: One of the most badly effected. Mud, debris and sea water rushed through the resorts compound including the swimming pool. The front row chalet facing the sea was badly effected. The resort has no electricity, water supply and air-condition system is also out of service. The resort is currently open with very basic facilities. Many clients opts to fly out or moved to another hotel. We at the moment facing problems with limited rooms available at other hotel within the island as all hotels are in te midst of the peak season.

SHERATON PERDANA RESORT: Not effected but hotel is full till early Jan 2005.

TANJUNG RHU RESORT: One of the resort which was not effected and hotel is full till year end and early Jan. 2005

CITY BAYVIEW HOTEL: Not effected. Limited rooms availability till 31/12/2004.



The impact of tsunami phenomena that struck Penang’s tourism belt of Batu Ferringhi was minimal as we can report that there is no damage to hotels and their surrounding areas and facilities, except to the beach front that is now undergoing cleaning up of debris which is expected to take a couple of days. There are no casualties of foreign tourists reported. The situation is back to normal as all hotels are operating as usual while tourist attractions are not affected. Fortunately, it’s business as usual in Penang and at the Bayview Beach Resort. All services and facilities are available to our guests and we continue to look forward in welcoming our mutual clients for a safe and sound stay at our hotel.



Update on the individual hotels on Praslin and La Digue, which are mainly on the coastlines, as well as some of the island resorts.


La Reserve – All the rooms have been flooded and are reported to be full of dead fish and sand. There are no computers, or fax machines operational. The kitchen , restuarnt and main buildings have been affected including all furnishings, and food stores. The hotel is now closed, and clients have been reallocated to other hotels on the island. We will be sending out individual updates with regards to where your clients have been reallocated.

Paradise Sun – as of this morning, Paradise Sun, has advised that they are now closing the hotel, and all new bookings will have to be reallocated. Masons Travel is looking at the possibilities of reallocating your clients which have been booked at this hotel, and we will advise accordingly where clients will be reallocated

Acajou – no damage has been reported. The sea level did not reach the rooms or main hotel structues. The pool bar has temporarily been closed for clean up of sand and debris which had been swept up by the waves.

New Emerald Cove – The hotel did not have any effects from the tidal waves, expect for their floating jetty which had been dislodged and swept away. They are looking to have this repaired in the next few days.

Cafes des Arts – beach rooms have been flooded, clients have been relocated to Le Duc. Clients who will be arriving today, will be reallocated to other hotels.

Le Duc Du Praslin – has not been affected by the tides, but are now fully booked with reallocation of clients from other hotels, and their normal bookings.

Berjaya Praslin Beach – waves has damged their pizzaria, which is located near to the beach, however the main hotel buildings and the rooms have not been affected.

Les Villa D’Or – waves have not damaged any of the main buildings or rooms. There is some debis and sand in the gardens, which the hotel management are in the process of having cleaned.

Cote D’Or Lodge – hotel has been closed completely, due to the tides having effected the rooms as well as the main building. The clients have been relocated to other hotels on the island.

L’Archipel – the hotel has not been affected by the hotel , but hotel is now fully booked due to reallocation of other clients.

La Vanille – The hotel has only been slightly damaged on the terrace, but clients are having their meals in the mail restaurant. No other effects have been done to the hotel.

Chalets Cote Mer – hotel has not been affected and all is ok Coco de Mer – hotel has not been affected, however they are fully booked due to reallocations of clients and their normal season bookings.

Indian Ocean Lodge – waves have damaged the restaurant, but the main hotel building and the rooms are fine

Lemuria Resort – Hotel had not been affected.

Le Tropic Villa – The hotel has not been affected by the tides.

Maisons des Palmes – The hotel has not been affected by the tides

Marechiaro – The hotel has not been affected by the tides

Palm Beach – The hotel has been flooded, but there has been no structural damage. All the rooms on the ground floor have been flooded. Clients have been reallocated to the upper rooms and a make shift restaurant has been prepared on the upper floor.

Beach Villa & Amite – Beach Villa has been affected by the waves, with majority of all the rooms flooded. Clients have been moved to stay in the owners home. They are in the process of cleaning the hotel. The Amite Chalets have not been so greatly affected.

Villa de Mer – The tides have affected the beach restaurant. They have now moved the restaurant into part of the reception. The rooms are intact and have not been affected. General cleaning on the beach restaurant and garden areas is taking place.

Islanders Guesthouse – The rooms and main buildings are intact, althrough the gardens are dirty with sand and debris.


La Digue Lodge – There had been no high level of water experienced. The beach is clean and no major problems were experienced.

Patatran – No problems at all at the hotel have been reported. The water did not come up as high to the road.

L’ Ocean – There are no problems at all at the hotel as water did not come up to the road.

Paradise Flycathcer – There have been no problems at all at the hotel as water did not come up to the road


Other islands including Bird Island, Denis Island, Alphonse & Desroches, have not experienced any damages and are operating as normal

Cerf Island Marine Park – Slight damage to the jetty and to one of the boat. The hotel itself has not been affected.

Sainte Anne – The hotel has not been affected, all is ok

North Island – The hotel has not been affected by the tides, all is ok

Cousine Island – The hotel has not been affected.

Also note that ferry has begun to operate between Praslin and La Digue. This however, is not as per normal schedule but dependent on the tides. The Cat Cocos ferry from Mahe to Praslin, is now also operating with ferry leaving Mahe at 1200hrs and 1600hrs, and departing from Praslin at 1330hrs and 1730hrs. The Cat Coco schedule is expected to be back to normal by tomorrow.



Kerala remains largely unaffected. No tourist or any tourist destination has been affected till now. Till now no loss of life to domestic or international tourists have been reported. The government has taken all precautionary measures for the safety of all tourists in the coastal areas of Kerala. Additional lifeguards have been deployed across all beach destinations of Kerala as a contingency measure. Experts from the meteorological department are confident in their assessment that there is little chance of any aftershock in the coastal areas of Kerala.

To reassure prospective visitors to Kerala, the Director of Tourism has uplinked an appeal on www.keralatourism.org An email campaign to all prominent tour operators (national & international), Govt. of India Tourist Offices abroad and prominent media is already underway.

The State government is also operating a 24-hour response cell to provide information to the public. For further information please contact: +91 471 2322 547 and +91 9447 123700



BANGKOK, December 27, 2004, 1600hrs — Following the tsunami which struck Indian Ocean rim areas on the morning of December 26, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is reminding consumers in source markets that most of Asia has not been affected by the tidal surges.

The disaster only directly impacted the following destinations:-

<> India (Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh)

<> Indonesia (Sumatra only — no reports of damage to Java, Bali or other major islands)

<> Malaysia (north west peninsula Malaysia — not the east coast or Sabah or Sarawak)

<> Thailand (Andaman Sea coast only — not resorts in the Gulf of Siam such as Samui, Hua Hin or Pattaya)

<> Sri Lanka (coastal areas)

<> Maldives (coastal areas)

<> Myanmar (southern archipelago only — minimal/no impact reported at Ngapali, Chauntha, and Ngwe Saung beaches)

<> Bangladesh (minimal impact reported)

PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong said: “Fortunately, the majority of Asia was unaffected by this tragedy. Outside the Indian Ocean rim areas, the travel industry continues its normal business. There is no need to cancel trips to non-affected areas. And even some affected areas have some coastal hotels that escaped serious impact and are open for business.

PATA head office has sent PATA Executive Mr Stephen Yong to Phuket to assess the impact on PATA members in southern Thailand. Mr Yong will draw up a priority list of assistance required by PATA members.

PATA is also carefully monitoring the situation in other impacted tourism destinations. Information flows have been hindered by loss of power and phone lines in some areas.

On the PATA Web site (www.PATA.org), PATA has hosted the following important information:-

* emergency contact numbers (tour operators, hotels, embassies etc)

* latest news updates affecting the travel sector on a country-by-country basis

* PATA media releases on the Indian Ocean crisis

For updated information on the Indian Ocean crisis, visit www.PATA.org, or e-mail communications@PATA.org.



I have been concerned about my friends in SE Asia, India and Sri Lanka. The news reports here are alarming – fitting of the situation. However, I am worried about what I refer to as “media aftermath” which in this cae may leave the public with the impression that most of Asia will be devastaed an not fit for travel. Please remember that you have friends here at Traveler willing to help in any way possible. We are about to close our March issue, and will include an ad that we will create informing our readers where and how they can help. I am sure Keith will do the same on our website. Do contact us and let us know what else we can do.

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