Seeking first-hand knowledge of the security situation in Bali, top executives of the Council of Australian Travel Operator (CATO) conducted an inspection to Bali November 21-24, 2002.
Coordinated by Garuda Orient Holidays and Bali Discovery Tours, the leaders of the organization representing Australia's travel tour operators paid calls on Mr. Ross Tysoe, the Australian Consul based in Bali; representatives of Bali Village, the Bali and Nusa Tenggara Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Chapter, and Bali Tourism Board; various members of the Casa Grande - the association of four and five star hotels in Bali; ranking representatives of the Indonesian police force; paid a visit on the Bali International Medical Center; and made an emotional respectful visit to "ground zero" – the scene of the deadly terrorist attack of October 12th.
Traveling in the entourage were Mr. Peter Daily, Chairman of CATO; its Vice Chairman Mr. Michael Hay; Mr. David Baker of David Baker and Associates the company providing a communication link back to the Australian press and public for CATO; and Mr. Ian Norris, the CEO of Garuda Orient Holidays in Australia.
Meeting with the delegation before their return to Australia, www.balidiscovery.com learned how impressed the representatives of CATO were with the commitment of the Balinese people to rebuild their tourism-based economy in the wake of the October 12th terror outrage. Equally impressed with the cooperation of local police authorities and the team of international investigators who are succeeding in apprehending the perpetrators of the attack, during a meeting with police the CATO members learned of security measures in place to minimize the possibility of a repeat attack and received the assurances of safety for Australian visitors from the Island's Chief of Police.
Australian tourism to Bali generates some US$350 million in foreign exchange each year for Bali. Prior to the terrorist attack, Bali represented Australia's number one choice as a foreign holiday destination.
Based on their findings during the inspection trip, the CATO delegation indicated they would be returning to Australia to redouble the efforts of their organization to quickly restore the health of the Bali tourism economy.
The photo shows Mr Michael Hay the Vice Chairman of CATO on the left and
Mr Peter Baily, the Chairman of the organization on the right.
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