Australian Tourists to Bali Unaffected by Travel Advisory
Australian tourists on holiday on the Indonesian island resort of Bali have said they remain unaffected by a travel advisory issued following an increase in tensions due to the recent wiretapping controversy.
“We are in no way affected by the travel advisory. The wiretapping is even embarrassing Australia,” said Melissa Matheson, a tourist from Perth, Western Australia, at Kuta Beach on Saturday.
She added that the tension between Indonesia and Australia is an inter-governmental issue which did not prevent her from visiting Bali, which she calls her second home.
Melissa said she did not care about the travel advisory, which was issued by Australia on November 21, 2013, but expressed hope that Prime Minister Tony Abbott would apologize for the wiretapping incident to the Government of Indonesia.
“Australia must be responsible for the wiretapping incidents, particularly from the political aspect,” she noted.
Besides Melissa, Jim Ward, also a tourist from Western Australia, said he was not concerned about the travel advisory.
“I am not afraid. I feel comfortable here,” said Jim, who said this was his sixteenth visit to Bali.
The Indonesian tourist resort island of Bali will continue to be safe for visiting Australian tourists, despite strained relations between the two countries, a tourism operator has said.
“The Australian government’s travel advisory issued for citizens visiting Indonesia is a normal thing,” Made Sudana, a tourism operator, said on Friday.
He said it was reasonable for all countries to warn their citizens doing business in or traveling to countries, with which they had strained relations.
However, Australian tourists should find it convenient and safe to stay in Bali, owing to the fact that Bali’s residents are known to be friendly and respect their guests.
Sudana expressed his conviction that strained relations between Indonesia and Australia would not affect Bali’s tourism in the near feature.
The two countries have often experienced ups and downs in their relations, but Australians have continued to make tourism visits and indulge in business activities in Indonesia as usual.
He said it was understandable if it seemed that both countries needed relatively more time to normalize their relations.
Sudana pointed out that up till now, many Australian tourists still considered Bali’s beaches as their favorite tourist destination.
After all, Bali is geographically nearer and Australian tourists feel it is safe and convenient to visit the province, he added.
Data from the Tourism Service of Bali showed that the number of foreign tourists visiting Bali during the January to October 2013 period had touched 2.6 million, or an increase of 12.19 percent from the same period last year.
Of the total number of foreign tourists visiting Bali during the January to October 2013 period, 668,902 or 25.03 percent were Australians.Filed under: Headlines