Agung eruption “worse than Bali bombing”

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Bali Tourism Board

Hoteliers plead for more help from central government

Hoteliers in Bali say the impact of Mount Agung’s eruption is greater than the 2002 Bali bombing. They are pleading for more to be done to recover losses in terms of promotion.

“When the Bali bombing took place, immediately [Jakarta injected] a budget of 750 billion rupiah [today worth €47 million]. But nothing has been offered for Bali’s recovery yet,” Anak Agung Yuniarta Putra, head of Bali Tourism Office, tells TTG Asia.

Indonesia’s central government must continue promotions overseas to attract international travellers back to the island, he said.

The volcano is still active, though far less than during November, and the island’s airport has intermittently reopened. But the risk of a major eruption remains.

Haryadi Sukamdani, chairman of the Indonesia Hotel & Restaurant Association said on the sidelines of the Visit Wonderful Indonesia 2018 launch recently that hotel occupancy after the airport closure was “alarming”.

“The impact is bigger than the Bali bombing. After the bombing, the recovery process could be done right after, while today we still do not know when the eruption is going to end. With travel warnings in place and insurance companies declining protection, it is not easy to convince travellers to come under such circumstances,” he lamented.

15% to 25% occupancy
Reports reveal that the current occupancy of the association’s members in Bali is between 15% and 25%, contrasting with the 80% occupancy this time last year.

Flights to Bali have declined by 30% as a result of the eruption. Officials say this trend will into early next year if the high alert status of the volcano remains. Bali has lost around a million arrivals due to the eruption.

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