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Dear Mr. President

PHRI-Bali Writes to President Joko Widodo Seeking Urgent Assistance to Bali Tourism


Bali News: Bali, Mount Agung, President Joko Widodo, PHRI-Bali, Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, Cok Ace
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(12/10/2017)

The Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) has written to President Joko Widodo seeking his assistance in dealing with the dramatic downturn in tourist visitors caused by the continuing eruption of Mount Agung. 

 
As reported by NusaBali, the PHRI-Bali letter told the President that urgent action is needed to prevent panic among the Island’s tourism entrepreneurs. 
 
The letter sent on behalf of Bali-based restaurants and hotels delivered four main points for President Widodo’s attention. First, the Government is being asked to reschedule bank debts owed by hotels to Indonesian banks. Second, the Central Government is asked to do all in its power to promote meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) in Bali. Third, the Government is requested to invite foreign media and foreign tourists to Bali to see the first-hand the condition in Bali. And, fourth, the President is urged to visit Bali to provide peace of mind to local business owners and prevent a widening panic.
 
The chairman of PHRI-Bali, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawat,i who is also known as “Cok Ace,” told the press that the letter sent to the President has already received a response from the Palace. The Presidential spokesperson, Teten Masduki, has been tasked to visit Bali in the coming week.
 
Cok Ace said the initiative to send the letter to the President was prompted by the current condition of the tourism industry in Bali that is suffering due to the eruption of Mount Agung. He said many hotels were operating in a abnormal fashion. Work hours are being reduced and staff have been told to wait in their homes rather than report to work. Cok Ace related that it was hard to estimate how many hotels have been affected. But, in the absence of income, there is almost a universal move among Bali hotels to drastically and urgently reduce operating expenses.
 
Cok Ace expressed his belief that recovery from the continuing eruption of Mount Agung is more problematic than recovery after the two Bali terrorist bombings.  While assurances and steps were taken after the bombings to ensure security to visitors and urge them to return to Bali, the opening and closing of Bali’s Airport makes it difficult for tourists to decide to holiday on the Island.
 
Cok Ace that one means to help Bali recover in the short term is to rely on the domestic tourist market and to promote MICE events.


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