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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Tsunami-hit Asia appeals for tourists

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Tsunami-wracked Asia has a new appeal to would-be helpers: Take a vacation.

"If you have not planned a visit, please consider booking a trip. If you wish to make a difference, visit," the president of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association, Peter de Jong, said in a recent appeal to travelers.

Images of the killer waves crashing into Asian beach resorts have badly spooked the tourists those areas rely so heavily upon for income. The tsunami that took more than 150,000 lives devastated Indonesia's Sumatra island, but also wrought havoc on tourism-dependent coastal communities in Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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