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Pacific Asia Travel Association

PATA hails rapid response to quake

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) sends its condolences…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) sends its condolences to the people of Nias Island and nearby areas in Northwest Sumatra following the March 28, 2005 earthquake.

PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong said: This is a cruel blow to people who have suffered enough, just as they were rebuilding their communities after the December 26 tsunami. It is imperative that travellers continue with their travel plans and support destinations in Southeast Asia. The money they spend and the hearts they touch mean a lot to people who are currently rebuilding their lives.

Mr de Jong said PATA takes heart from three factors following yesterday`s earthquake:

  1. the speed of the response from authorities in coastal areas across the region
  2. the fact that there was seemingly only minimal change in wave patterns at sea, and
  3. few if any areas outside Nias suffered structural damage.

PATA is in contact with its travel-member organisations in the region. They will report to PATA any change in traveller sentiment and travel patterns as a consequence of the latest earthquake.

Mr de Jong said: It is important that the latest setback does not disrupt the physical and psychological reconstruction process underway in travel-dependent communities in the region.

PATA requests that media reports on the new quake should be factual and specific to the affected location. The area of damage is extremely localised. Mr de Jong said: The media`s role in accurately describing the limited extent of destructive impact is important in preserving consumer faith in travel and tourism to Southeast Asia destinations.