Every year, more than 200 million people
are affected by droughts, oods, cyclones,tsunamis, earthquakes, wildres and other
disasters associated with natural hazards.Growing populations, environmentaldegradation and global warming aremaking the impacts worse, creatinggreater disasters and making the need to
nd better ways to protect people more
urgent. These events have shown the highglobal vulnerability towards these typesof disasters, and the potential impacts onhuman and environmental security. Tourism is dependent on an intact ecosystemand on institutional structures that canrespond to the needs of local people andvisitors. Therefore, disaster preparednessand management (for natural and man-made hazards) should be an essential partof any destinations’ integrated managementplan. Heat waves (such as that experiencedin the European summer of 2003), theSoutheast Asia tsunami of December 2004,changes in tropical storm intensity (such as
Hurricane Katrina), and forest res (such
as those experienced in Portugal in 2005)are all examples of how disasters andenvironmental emergencies can impacttourist destinations and holiday experiences.There have always been, and always willbe disasters. The patterns of modern lifeare exposing more communities to danger then ever before. Coastal areas will bemore and more exposed to sea rise levels,and meteorological-related disasters due toclimate change. Disaster risk reduction linkedwith efforts to climate change adaptationand improvement of living conditions areundoubtedly today’s major global challenges.
Disasters inevitably bring about crises. It isthe degree to which people are prepared for disaster that determines how vulnerable or resilient their community will be. The “Disaster Reduction throughAwareness, Preparedness and PreventionMechanisms in Coastal Settlements in Asia- Demonstration in Tourism Destinations”project aims at increasing the disaster management capacity of the mainstakeholders in three tsunami hit tourismdestinations (i.e. Kanniyakumari in TamilNadu State of India, Patong in Phuket andPi-Pi Island in Krabi of Thailand). This will beachieved by improving the local authorities’and the private sector’s ability to managenatural and man-made disasters and by
APELL, standing for Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at theLocal Level, is a process designed by UNEP to create public awarenessof hazards and to ensure that communities and emergency servicesare adequately trained and prepared to respond. This process will be
applied to the specic needs of
tourism destinations, as it has beendone for other activities or sectors,like ports and mining industry.
Disaster Risk Reduction in Tourism Destinations1