While bookings from Australia are still some 15-20% below peak visitor levels, many Australian wholesalers are reporting strong booking activity over the coming months. Australians, once the single largest group of foreign visitors to Bali, has slipped into third ranking, falling behind Japan and Taiwan, following the terrorist attack on a Bali night spot in October of 2002.
Seeing is Believing Familiarization Trip
In order to restart the strong flow of Australian visitors back to Bali, twelve Australian travel wholesalers and four airlines connecting Bali and Australia joined efforts to host a "Bali – Seeing is Believing!" mega-familiarization – a tour de force of Bali by 200 Australian travel agents and journalists. In all, some 12 separate itineraries were designed by the wholesalers using 35 different hotels, 430 different transfers, and visits to 50 different tours and attractions.
The core itinerary was based on leaving Australia on November 2 and returning home on November 8. In order to accommodate varying airlines schedules and the needs of the agents, departures actually commenced from Australia on November 1 with the last arrival in Bali on November 5. The final departure from Bali was on November 10.
On the evening of November 6, the 200 participants and their escorts, plus 100 representatives of tourism companies in Bali, came together for a cocktail reception at the Sheraton Nusa Indah - soon to be re-launched as the Westin Resort - followed by a gala dinner at the Nusantara Ballroom.
Commenting on the event, Mr. Kerry Timms, Sales Manager for New South Wales and Australian Capital Territories for Garuda Indonesia, said: "Bali is the gateway through which Australians will discover the rest of Indonesia. First we need to restore numbers to Bali in 2004 and then work together later to open up the rest of Indonesia for Australians. Tourism is a great industry for spreading mutual understanding, adding to prosperity and ensuring peace for all into the future."
Seen in the picture featured at balidiscovery.com is Minister for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. I Gede Ardika, with Mr. Michel Cottray, General Manager of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua and friends.
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