>Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 15:43:16 -0400
>From: Alyssa Johnson-Oro Azul <alyssa@...>
>Subject: Maldivian Tourism Sector Prepares for Future Disasters
>To: 'Potter at Island Resources' <bpotter@...>
>Happy New Year! Hope your 2006 is full of exciting new adventures, health
>Thought you may be interested in hearing about this project.
>Maldivian Tourism Sector Prepares for Future Disasters
>For Immediate Release
>Male, Republic of Maldives December 8, 2005
>The Maldives Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation with assistance from
>United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has embarked on a Disaster
>Preparedness Program for the Maldivian Tourism Sector. Following the
>tsunami, UNDP set up a Disaster Management Unit in the Maldives capital,
>Male, in early 2005 to address issues of long term disaster preparedness and
>response. In support of the Ministry of Tourism's vision to create a
>"disaster risk free tourism environment" for the Maldives, UNDP joined hands
>with the Tourism Industry and secured expert help to develop a Disaster
>Management plan for the sector.
>In August of 2005, Ms. Eleanor Jones, Managing Director of Environmental
>Solutions in Kingston, Jamaica, commissioned by UNDP, prepared the "Disaster
>Management Plan Tourism Sector". This manual suggests a results-based
>framework for disaster management planning in the Maldives.
>In November 2005, a second phase started with the training of Maldivian
>Resort staff in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response as part of
>technical assistance provided to resorts to prepare their own Disaster
>Preparedness Plans. Over 100 staff in more than 45 resorts participated in
>interactive workshops which reviewed disaster preparedness procedures and
>included simulation exercises. The project addressed a number of hazards
>that could happen in the Maldives including tsunamis, cyclones, storm
>surges, fire, and accidents at sea, among others. The workshops and
>technical assistance for resort plan development were delivered by Alyssa
>Johnson, President of Oro Azul, a UNDP Consultant hired for this purpose.
>Resorts are already experiencing long awaited 80-100% occupancy for November
>and December. This project is expected to increase traveler confidence in
>The tourism sector in the Maldives experienced over $250 million in business
>losses due to the damages from last year's tsunami. Amazingly, some islands
>didn't even realize a tsunami had occurred while other islands just minutes
>away by boat, were hit by enormous waves, flooding their islands. Luckily
>many of the tourists where enjoying breakfast at the time the tsunami hit,
>and were not in their rooms or on the beach, which hoteliers say, spared
>many tourists. The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Abdul
>Hameedh Zakariyya, stated that many resorts were damaged/partially destroyed
>by the tsunami of December 2004. Most of the resorts have been
>repaired/reinstalled and are back in operation."
>UNDP is also providing assistance in the development of the Maldives Early
>Warning systems which includes radar systems and Emergency Operations Center
>at the National and regional level.
> The Maldives has 1190 coral islands in 26 major atolls, 87 resort islands
>and 25 different protected reefs with some of the best scuba diving found in
>By Alyssa Johnson
>For more information contact:
>Rita Missal UNDP Maldives
>Ahmed Salih, Maldives Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation
>Check out our unique
>Caribbean art and gift line at
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