Tonight, just after the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is celebrating as the Saints play their first game since winning the Superbowl. We’re taking a look at five vacation spots around the world that have suffered but managed to get back on their feet again.
Five years since Katrina, the Crescent City is back to normal – as far as tourists are concerned, at least. Hotels are open, the streetcars are running and, walking round the French Quarter or the Garden District, you’d have no idea that anything had ever happened. It’s a different story in the suburbs of course – you can take a Katrina bus tour to hear the history and see the damage (and don’t worry, it’s surprisingly sensitive).
When an IRA bomb destroyed the Arndale Shopping Centre in 1996, injuring 212 people, Manchester wasn’t exactly a tourist destination. Now, it’s England’s lively second city with top notch shopping, the ever popular gay area around Canal Street, and the thriving boho Northern Quarter. Looking at the swanky buildings housing shops around the Arndale and you’d never know the history – although the solitary post box which survived the blast provides a memento.
The economic downturn was disastrous for Las Vegas – restaurants, bars and shops closed, hotel construction came to a standstill and it killed off many shows – but this year it’s getting back on its feet. Huge development CityCenter opened last December, the super posh Cosmopolitan hotel opens in three months time, and the Tropicana has reinvented itself with a hardcore refurbishment. Restaurants and clubs (like the banging Encore Beach Club) are opening, too, and by the looks of the Labor Day crowds, the visitors are back too.
Bali tourism was hit badly when a bomb went off in 2002, killing 202 people, but now the visitors are returning – and it’s thanks, in part, to Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book Eat, Love, Pray has sparked huge interest in the island with women flocking to see her healer mentor, Ketut Liyer, and find love with their own handsome stranger.
Dubrovnik was laid siege to from 1991-1992 during the Yugoslav wars, and, afterwards, tourism plummeted. But now, things are not only back to what they were; there are more visitors than ever before. The pedestrian friendly medieval town center is a joy to walk through, although there are mementoes of the war everywhere you look – from bullet and mortar holes in the sand-colored walls to a small exhibition in the main square in memory of the fallen and the hotels on the outskirts of town that have never reopened.