Sri Lanka: Embassy of Sri Lanka, (202) 483-4025, http://www.slembassyusa.org .
Indonesia: Indonesian Consulate General, at (213) 383-5126 or http://www.embassyofindonesia.org . Also see http://www.usembassyjakarta.org .
Thailand: Tourism Authority of Thailand, (323) 461-9814 or http://www.tourismthailand.org . Also see http://www.mfa.go.th .
Myanmar: Embassy of Myanmar, (202) 332-9045 or http://www.myanmar.com .
Maldives: Go to http://www.visitmaldives.com .
Malaysia: Tourism Malaysia, (213) 689-9702 or http://www.tourism.gov.my .
Keeping an eye on illnesses
Despite the growing concern about disease in parts of Asia devastated by a catastrophic tsunami, the World Health Organization says any epidemics are unlikely to spread beyond hard-hit coastal regions.
"This is only in the affected area," said Dr. Dana Van Alphen, disaster advisor for WHO's regional office for the Americas, in Washington. She said travelers should be concerned only if they are bound for places where clean water for drinking and bathing is in short supply. Otherwise, she said, "I wouldn't worry."
The WHO website, http://www.who.int , carries country-by-country updates on the places affected by the tsunami and the health dangers associated with its fallout, including respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases.
Van Alphen also advised Asia-bound tourists to consult the travelers' health section of the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, http://www.cdc.gov . Although no tsunami-related information had been posted as of the Travel section's deadline Tuesday, the site does include warnings about disease outbreaks worldwide and information about cholera, dengue fever, malaria and other travel-health concerns.
If a tour
As the situation develops, some tours will undoubtedly be affected.
"As with 9/11 or with any major disaster, each operator has their own individual policy" about trip adjustments, said Bob Whitley, president of the U.S. Tour Operators Assn., which consists of 138 tour operator "brands" and moves about 10 million people a year.
Some of the operators "will offer credit, some will give refunds," he said. "It's important to look at the cancellation policies. Something like this clearly is force majeure. Tour operators will do the best they can."
If you encounter problems, contact the travel agent who sold you the package, he said. If that doesn't work, contact the association at information @ustoa.com. Also see the website at http://www.ustoa.com .
— Times staff