NEEDHAM, Mass. - December 14, 2005 - As the one-year anniversary approaches of the devastating tsunami that took the lives of more than 174,000 in Southeast Asia, it seems that travelers have helped out and moved on. In a recent TripAdvisor survey, more than 2,500 travelers put tsunamis at the bottom of the list of greatest travel concerns.
Travelers ranked terrorism as their biggest concern by a wide margin, with 56 percent. Hurricanes were second on the list, with 16 percent of travelers choosing the violent storms as their greatest concern. Recent events in France were clearly top of mind among travelers as riots ranked third, with six percent. Earthquakes were fourth at five percent. Tsunamis tied for last with tornadoes, at just two percent each.
"It seems that memories have quickly faded of the tremendous devastation that unfolded before our eyes just one year ago," said Michele Perry, TripAdvisor spokesperson. "We're seeing that travelers are more concerned with recent events." In a separate one-question TripAdvisor poll this week, bird flu ranked as a top concern to travelers.
Despite the tsunami disaster and current concerns over bird flu, the good news for Southeast Asia is that travelers are planning to return. In fact, 75 percent of all travelers surveyed said their feelings about traveling to the area have not changed in the last year and 17 percent say they plan to visit the region within the next year. Six percent say they are actually more likely than they were a year ago to travel to Southeast Asia in the future. When asked how likely they are to travel to other recently ravaged areas within the next year, 16 percent said they are likely to visit New Orleans. Only five percent said they are likely to visit India and/or Pakistan in the coming year.
While travelers are not overwhelmed with fear about future tsunamis, they did give generously to the tsunami relief effort. Sixty-two percent of travelers surveyed said they made charitable contributions to support the tsunami relief. Hurricane Katrina support was second with 54 percent. Twenty-five percent supported the recent earthquake recovery in India and Pakistan.
Hotel Update and Latest Information
The vast majority of hotels wiped out or damaged by last year's tsunami are back in business. Travelers heading to Southeast Asia, New Orleans or other areas can get up-to-the-minute information, including recent hotel reviews, candid photographs and other commentary from millions of travelers at tripadvisor.com. Specific questions in TripAdvisor forums are typically replied to by fellow travelers within 24 hours.
For more information, contact:
Brooke Ferencsik, TripAdvisor