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President Questions Relevance of Travel Bans

President Suggests Travel Bans Time is Past and Calls on Industry to Actively Promote Tourism.

Bali News:
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In an article carried in the May 22, 2003, edition of the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, President Megawati Soekarnoputri has said that there was little point in foreign nations publishing individual travel bans in the face of a threat from terrorism that is evenly spread across every nation of the world.

Ms. Yanti Sukamdani Harjoproakoso, the Chair of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) quoted the President following a meeting with the nation's chief executive to discuss the currently dire straits of the nation's tourism industry. According to Ms. Sukamdani, quoting the President, "with terrorism now representing a threat to the entire world it is now time for the governments of various nations to abolish the travel bans which inhibit the progress of the travel industry. With or without the travel bans, terrorism remains. What's needed is enhanced security."

Reflecting the President's recommendations, the PHRI and the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) have traveled to a number of western capitals to lobby for the removal of travel bans affecting Indonesia. According to Ms. Sukamdani these efforts have seen a number of travel bans either removed or down graded.

According to the PHRI Chairman, the President also called on Indonesia's travel industry to seek out new markets and actively involve themselves in promotional activities.

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