BOUNCE BACK SRI LANKA
Boxing Day 2004, the world watched in shock and disbelief as the devastating effects of the tsunami unfolded. ElderTreks sadly canceled 2 departures to Sri Lanka. We have been keeping a close eye on the progress of Sri Lanka relief efforts ever since, in addition to making a donation to the Tsunami Relief Fund.
The Sri Lankan government has responded quickly by launching a US $320 million "Bounce Back" campaign in an effort to fast track recovery. International organizations from around the world are assisting with the design and implementation of long term reconstruction programs with donations so generously provided by people from all over the world.
In just a few short months, most of the country's coastal hotels have re-opened, roads have been cleared and power and telecommunications have been restored. The interior of Sri Lanka, including Kandy, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa have not been affected.
Locals and visitors alike are playing a special part in the revival of the tourism industry, which in 2004 had just posted a record year. In many villages banners hang from electricity poles or trees with notes saying "thank you for your support". They don't know the individuals who helped them but they do know that someone cared. Our hearts go out to all the people affected by the tsunami.
A WORD OF THANKS... to all the people who called ElderTreks office after the Tsunami to ask about the welfare of our tour leaders. We were relieved to report that they were all safe. Your concern was remarkable -- thank you!