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Cancel trips to Bali, Foreign Office says LONDON - The Foreign Office today advised British citizens to cancel all visits to Bali and to avoid all non-essential travel to the whole of Indonesia after a devastating nightclub bombing in the popular tourist resort. "We are advising people to defer all travel to Bali and to defer all non-essential travel to Indonesia," a Foreign Office spokesman told Reuters news agency.
At least two Britons were among the more than 180 people killed in the blast. A Foreign Office spokesman said that the relatives of known British casualties had been informed. Meanwhile, UK tour operators prepared to bring holidaymakers home from Bali after the blast. Holiday companies were also arranging alternative destinations for British tourists due to visit Indonesia in the coming days.
Tourism officials put a brave face on the latest blow to the travel industry, just one year after the September 11 attacks decimated the airlines industry and tourism. "British holiday makers are extremely resilient. They will still want to go on sunshine breaks," said Keith Betton, head of corporate affairs at the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta). The Bali attacks are the worst atrocities to hit the world tourist industry since the massacre in Luxor, Egypt, in 1997 when 67 tourists were killed in a machine-gun attack on a coachload of holidaymakers. The dead on that occasion included six members of one British family.
Mr Betton said: "The scale of the Luxor massacre was so terrible that it was two to three years before UK tourism to Egypt picked up again. "But things are back to normal there and it is hoped that people will eventually start travelling to Indonesia again."
Bali is extremely popular with backpackers and usually forms a travel package along with Singapore and the neighbouring island of Lombok. The island is particularly popular with Australians, for whom it is the UK equivalent of the Costa del Sol. "I don't think people who travel long distances will be put off. It is more likely they will think about where they're going to go rather than if they're going to go," Mr Betton said. "I don't think people are going to stop travelling because of terrorist attacks. They are very committed to the holiday lifestyle."
UK package holiday numbers were down about 5% this summer compared with summer 2001, with the September 11 events slightly depressing the figures. "The summer 2002 figures were pretty much what we expected," Mr Betton said. "The Bali tragedy, hopefully, will not drive down figures."


Link to related event Related event:
Bali terrorist attack


Posted in Tourism @ 13 October 2002 00:05 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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