Phuket recovery impresses Sri Lankans

PHUKET CITY: Government officers from Sri Lanka, on a three-day fact-finding visit to Phuket and Phang Nga, declared themselves impressed by the speed with which the region is recovering from the tsunami.

The 17 officers from tsunami-affected areas of Sri Lanka are here to see if the experiences of Phuket and Phang Nga could be used to help their own regions rebuild after the tsunami.

At the Royal Phuket City Hotel yesterday, the group’s leader, Voravage Chonlasin, a training specialist from the Asian Institute of Technology, said the group had learned that Phuket was recovering so quickly because of the government’s policy of attracting businesses back to tsunami-affected areas, although good cooperation between local authorities and communities had also been a factor.

He continued, “We know the priority is to boost tourism, and to be fast and proactive in doing this.

“Preparation is key here, as well as solving problems point by point as they arise.

“The team members are especially impressed by the Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM) and the way officers have worked so closely with local people.”

K. Voravage added that the Sri Lankans felt that, despite the amount of help offered to their country, it was still making slow progress in recovering from the tsunami, because of a lack of cooperation and the slowness with which money was being released.

Phuket News
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