In a press conference held at the Bali Tourism Board Media Center to report on the just completed road show of top tourism officials to Japan in late October, Bali's Chief Tourism Officer, Gede Nurjaya, insisted that the tourism industry was now well and truly on the mend with new bookings supplanting the pattern of cancellations that appeared immediately after the October 1, 2005 bombing.
According to Nurjaya: "Since the tragedy of the October 1st bombing we have been directly acting to restore Bali's tourism. We have undertaken trips to Bali's main markets to explain Bali's situation following the bombing."
Nurjaya, who participated in the high-level delegation led by Bali's Governor to Tokyo, said that the Balinese delegation was warmly welcomed by both Japanese officials and members of that Country's tourism industry. The Japanese were reportedly keenly interested in additional, new security measures being introduced in response to the most recent bombings.
According to Nurjaya, one of the main goals of the Tokyo mission was to lobby the Japanese government not to increase the level of the current travel advisory issued to their nationals. If a travel advisory is elevated to the level of an official "warning," Japanese law then prohibits the sale and promotion of that destination to the public.
Speaking at the same press conference, Bagus Sudibya, Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), said he was moved by the concern and attention the Japanese press and public expressed for the people of Bali. According to Sudibya, while the Japanese do not blame the Indonesia for the terrorist attack of October 1st, they do wish to know what steps are being taken to increase the island's security. Sudibya also reported that preliminary talks were held with the Japanese on means to advance Bali's agricultural sector as a means of providing much-needed diversity to the local economy.
Also speaking at the press conference and just returned from Tokyo as part of Bali's delegation was Ms. Maikiko Iskandar, the President of Rama Tours, one of the island's most prominent in-bound Japanese tour operators. Ms. Iskandar told the press that new bookings are slowly beginning to flow into her agency and that she was hopeful that large group bookings would soon re-emerge to replace the many group bookings cancelled immediately after the bombing incident.
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