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Project Overview  |  Itinerary

Tourist destinations like Phuket and Krabi, on Thailand's west coast, have dedicated tremendous resources to repairing the damage caused by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Despite near-complete repairs to the tourism infrastructure, tourists have not returned.

Phi Phi Don Island suffered a tremendous amount of damage and loss of life in the tsunami. While one side of the Island experienced very little physical damage and is welcoming tourists back to its pristine secluded beaches, the land and waters of Tonsai Bay were devastated. Organizations such as Phi Phi Island Dive Camp and HIPHIPHI (Help International Phi PHi) have put an incredible amount of effort into cleaning up and restoring Tonsai Bay; however, a great deal or work remains. Volunteers are needed immediately to help with cleaning up the streets, rebuilding the shops, and removing debris from the bay (snorkeling and scuba).

By joining the SpringBreakRelief.org Mission of Hope, you will be giving these communities what they need most: JOBS. We have arranged for our participants to be able to volunteer with HIPHIPHI and PHI PHI Island Dive Camp, but there is no requirement to volunteer for these recovery projects as part of this mission. We do ask that you commit to helping collect data for the research project, which should take no more than 10 hours. We expect volunteers to spend the remainder of their time engaging with locals and spending time learning about the Thai people and culture.

The research project is being conducted by University of Washington Graduate student Ben Brigham and focuses on the effects of the tsunami on tourist destinations in Thialand.

Title: Destination Recovery: a case study of Thailand's Coastal Tourism Destinations in the aftermath of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Abstract- Tourist destinations are subject to many kinds of disaster, both natural and man-made. There are three commonly accepted stages in a disaster: Relief, or what happens immediately following a disaster when medical emergencies and immediate relief of human suffering is the focus, Recovery, or the time when the primary infrastructure has been restored but communities are still experiencing social, economic, and environmental impacts, and Redevelopment, which is when the social and economic conditions have returned to normal and the focus is on sustainable redevelopment. Much research has been done on what happens immediately after (Relief Stage), and on planning for a year or two after the disaster occurs (Redevelopment Stage). Butler proposed a widely-accepted model of a tourism lifecycle; I propose that a disaster interrupts that lifecycle, inserting a window which is divided into the three stages of a disaster. This thesis will focus on what happens in a tourist destination during the Recovery Stage. In addition to completing a thorough literature review, I intend to perform Amenity Assessments of Thailand's Beach Destinations and to administer a short survey to at least 100 tourists who visit Thailand's beach destinations during the Recovery stage. The goal of the survey is to learn about the tourists who visit a destination during the Recovery Phase and what amenities they are interested in. Tourists will be recruited in public areas and will not be asked for any personally-identifiable information at any point. The survey will consist of questions which focus on what demographic participants belong to, their motivations for traveling on this trip, their experience, and destination design.

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