The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Paris Chapter and its counterpart in Bali established a telecommunication link between Bali and Paris on Thursday, December 19 permitting a direct teleconference dialogue between the travel industries of the two nations.
Indonesian industry participants in the dialogue included the Minister for Culture and Tourism, Mr. I Gde Ardika; the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority, Dr. Professor I Gde Pitana Ph.D.; and the spokesman for the Bali Provincial Police, Brigadier General Edward Aritonang. Also participating in the teleconference discussions were members of France's travel industry joined in Paris by Indonesia's Ambassador to France.
The live-link commenced at 1715 hours Bali time allowing a relaxed exchange of ideas between travel practitioners in the two countries.
The Indonesian speakers reviewed the success of the police in the investigation of the October bombing and the large number of suspects now slated to be brought to justice. The heightened security precautions in place at Bali gateways and major tourism attractions were also emphasized.
Minister Ardika used the opportunity to underline the role of Bali in Indonesia's total tourism product, describing Bali as the locomotive that drives other tourism regions. Accordingly, the Government has committed some Rp. 100 billion (approximately US$ 113,000) in emergency funds to assist Bali's recovery with US$ 30 million allocated for tourism in the 2003 budget.
The live up-link via satellite was made possible through the support of Indosat.
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