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Tourism Restoration Strategy for Indian Ocean Nations


									Crisis Communications and
      Tourism Recovery
 Strategies for the Maldives

          Prof Jack Carlsen

 Curtin Sustainable Tourism Centre,
 Curtin University, Western Australia

Presentation to the BEST IV Conference,
 University of the West Indies, Jamaica

          June 16 to 19, 2005
Maldives Tourism Pre-Tsunami
Impacts of the Tsunami on Maldives
Strategic Response to the Tsunami
   Short-term strategies
   Medium-term strategies
   Long-term strategies
Implications for Tourism Destinations in
Maldives in the Tsunami Path
  Maldives Tourism Pre-Tsunami
Tourism contributed about 30 per cent of
Maldives Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
between 1999 and 2003 and about 40
percent of total taxation revenue
Almost 600,000 visitors in 2004; more
than a ten-fold increase over the 23 year
period with an annual growth rate of
above 9 percent.
In 2004 66.8% came from 5 main markets
— Italy (21.2 percent), United Kingdom
(18.7 percent), Germany (11.8 percent),
Japan (7.6 percent) and France (7.5
 Maldives Tourist Arrivals 1999 - 2004




    1999     2000     2001    2002    2003   2004

           Other Countries   Europe   Asia
     Impact of the Tsunami
Impact of the tsunami was severe, with
82 persons dead, 1,313 injured and 26
Of the dead, only three were tourists, out
of an estimated 17,000 tourists in the
Maldives on December 26th.
10,500 people were displaced by the
tsunami, and 100,000 lives were
      Impact of the Tsunami
19 of the 87 resorts were also closed due to
minor or major damage.
 Reduced bed capacity by 3,554 beds or 22
percent of the pre-tsunami level of 16,400 beds
Total cost of repairs to resorts affected by the
tsunami was estimated at USD55.5 million,
including repairs to buildings, grounds and
island infrastructure
Cost in terms of resort operations, including
cancelled bookings, staffing and supplies is
USD105.3 million
Total impact of USD160.8 million
Summary Steps to Recovery (adapted from
           Bierman 2003)

1.    Project primary messages
2.    Build solidarity messages
3.    Set out the facts
4.    Form alliances and partnerships
5.    Restore confidence
6.    Protect profitability
7.    Protect branding
8.    Offer incentives
9.    Publicise positives
10.   Report and monitor progress
Short-term Strategies (1 -3 months)

Stop cancellations due to tsunami
Assess market sentiments in major markets
Establish media monitoring services in major
markets (as MATI did during PR campaign)
Develop primary and solidarity messages
Reduce risk and uncertainty
Implement value-adding strategies
Begin summer promotions in Europe, Asian and
Oceania markets and surfing segment
Obtain funding for Recovery Marketing
Strategy Implementation
Medium term Strategies (3 to 12 months)
 Monitor market trends – source markets and
 market sentiments/intentions.
 Consider re-branding
 Revise marketing strategies for 2006
 Consolidate new partnerships and alliances
 Develop destination management capabilities
 Reputation enhancement through strategic
 public relations
 Develop crisis management capabilities
 Plan for commemorative occasions,
 dedications, memorials and acknowledgements
 Review, revise and reflect – learn the lessons
   Long Term – 1 to 5 years
Include tourism crisis management planning in
the 3rd Tourism Master plan process
Develop new partnerships and alliances
Review existing markets and target new
Focus on yield, not numbers
Implement systems for monitoring the state of
the tourism industry – annual destination and
market audits
Develop systems of communication and co-
operation between stakeholders
Implement improved education and training
     Summary and Implications
Important to focus marketing strategies
on resilient markets
Work with airlines and partners to
recover markets and grow new markets
Monitor length of stay and spend closely
to ensure profitability
Use media attention to full advantage to
relay primary and solidarity messages
Consider change in marketing,
positioning, branding and strategy

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