Seeking to bolster Bali's tourism players' spirits following the October 1, 2005 bomb attack, Indonesia's former Minister of Tourism and Telecommunication Joop Ave called on the nation's tourism industry to never surrender to the forces of terror and fight back by continually promoting Bali as a tourism destination.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Ave, speaking at a tourism breakfast in Jakarta said: "The case of the (latest) Bali bombing demonstrates that terrorism is not selective in choosing its victims; this time it was our own domestic tourists who suffered the most casualties." Ave went on to remind that Bali's recovery will, once again, depend on the revival of domestic tourism.
Ave, a member of the Indonesian Tourism Think Tank (MPI), said he was confident that the people of Indonesian would never surrender to terrorism and that increased vigilance and security following the latest attack will ensure that the economic fallout will be less severe this time than following the attack of October 2002.
In the opinion of Indonesia's very popular retired elder-statesman of tourism, professional management of the current crisis by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the government he leads will do much to contain the damaging effects of the latest bomb attacks. Ave said: "Trust in the quick handling of the government. Moreover, (the fact) that the Head of State served as the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs during the first Bali bombing means that he (the President) knows exactly what needs to be done in the current situation. The whole world admits to Indonesia's ability to overcome terrorism with the perpetrators of the Bali Bomb I being successfully bought to justice. The police are working quickly, and former President Megawati and other ranking officials have all come to Bali demonstrating Indonesia's commitment to dealing with this latest act of terror."
Ave went on to call for the press to continue to be supportive of efforts to restore Bali's good tourism image, pointing to the lower rate of cancellations and lack of a mass exodus from Bali following the October 1st bombing as largely due to the moderated response of the media, both in Indonesia and abroad.
More Security for Restaurants
In separate comments in Jakarta, also published in Bisnis Indonesia, Ave called on restaurant owners across the country to enhance the level of security provided at their establishment.
Urging restaurant owners to require all guests to pause momentarily at the entrance when entering a restaurant, Ave urged: "Don't let your guests directly walk in and sit down, instead use the U.S. system, where every guest must wait to be seated. If necessary, increase the role of reservations for meals."
The former Minister said that he hoped restaurants would not be reluctant to inspect every customer and that the public would accept such inspections as necessary to general security. "People should stop complaining about security checks whenever they visit hotels, shopping malls and other public places. We should, in fact, be thankful for any security measures implemented for our common safety," Ave added.
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