Destinations Reborn

Article excerpt

Byline: Claire Martin

Natural disasters can wreck travel hotspots--but not forever. tourism helps with recovery and can honor what's been lost.

When viewing images of Japan's destruction, it's almost impossible to imagine landscapes that now look like war zones ever being inviting again. But the story of destruction and renewal is as old as Jerusalem. From the grapevines cropping up in Chile's Maule Valley following last year's massive quake, to the boats docking on Montserrat after deadly volcanic eruptions began there in 1995, destinations felled by nature do have a way of springing back. "Tourism is one of the healthiest and simplest injections of funds into places that don't necessarily have a business plan," says Robert Young Pelton, author of The World's Most Dangerous Places. Here's are four comeback spots where tourism has helped speed recovery.

Chile

The country's emerging Maule Valley wine region suffered an 8.8-magnitude earthquake a year ago. Now, with roads (and wineries) mostly back--and up to rigorous building codes--the area is luring travelers again.

Grenadines

The Grenadines are often swiped by storms, though until Hurricane Tomas came along last fall, the 18-island chain hadn't taken a direct hit. …