In light of the recent quakes in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Samoa and the total devastation in the areas surrounding Manila, Padang, and Apia, it’s important to understand what tourism will look like as these tourism hot spots recover. Here’s a look at the current relief work happening in each locale, and some speculation as to what tourism will look like in the coming year.
Nearly a third of Manila, the capital city, was under water after a devastating quake late last month. Today, news is coming in that a second quake hit the Moro Gulf off Mindanao. Recovery in the city will certainly be slow and difficult, and as the main hub in the Philippines, travel will be slow and treacherous, meaning travelers to the Philippines might be better off waiting a few months before embarking on a pleasure trip.
Two massive earthquakes rocked Indonesia. Most recently, the popular surf destination of Padang was completely brought to rubble. Several tourists — most of whom are surfers — are still missing and presumed dead, and the recovery process in this remote area of Sumatra will be very slow. Indonesia has long been a top surfing destination, but in the wake of these earthquakes and the political unrest in this part of the country, travelers may well be wary of traveling to this area — and rightly so.
My friend recently returned from a surf trip from Samoa, where she and her boyfriend missed a swell, but are now feeling just fortunate to be safe and home. The resort she stayed in has now been completely destroyed by the tsunami that hit the island after an earthquake struck offshore. Samoa, too, will be slow to recover from such devastation. Like Indonesia, the country is slowly becoming a hot surf destination, but surfers will likely head to less volatile areas in light of these natural disasters.
While tourism for pleasure may slow in all these areas, volunteer opportunities abound. Should you be interested in helping a hand on ground in one of these countries, visit one of the following websites for more information.