A delegation of seven representatives from Bali's tourism industry traveled to Jakarta on Tuesday, November 6, to pay their respects on the newly installed U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Ralph L. "Skip" Boyce and discuss the effects of the current U.S. travel advisories on the island's tourism sector.
Welcoming Ambassador Boyce to Indonesia, the delegation made a presentation underlining the dominating role played by tourism on Bali's economy, where nearly two-thirds of its inhabitants' lives depend on tourism revenues. Because of the multiplier effect of foreign exchange, every US$ 1,000 spent by foreign tourists in Bali creates employment for one household head and, conversely, a similar decline results in the loss of income for an entire family in Bali.
Bali is Safe; Bali is Different
In reviewing the security situation in Bali, the delegation of Bali-based tourism managers pointed to Bali's unique cultural composition; unblemished record of safety for foreign tourists over the past several unsettled years in Indonesia's history; and the unanimous agreement among all religious and political groups in Bali rejecting any actions that might detract from visitors' enjoyment of their stay.
The delegation urged the U.S. Government, through its new Ambassador to Jakarta, to consider following the example of other nations in rewarding Bali's continuing state of peace and calm by treating the popular tourist destination as a "separate case" when issuing travel advisories and warnings. The U.S.A. currently issues only "blanket advisory" for all of Indonesia, while a large group of other nations have seen fit to acknowledge Bali's unquestioned safety for tourists even when advising caution in other areas of the country. Some of the nations that single out Bali's safety for special mention in issuing their travel advisories are Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, The Netherlands, France, Canada and Germany.
The delegation also delivered to the Ambassador a letter from the Bali Manager of Continental Micronesia, Bali's only U.S. flag carrier, citing the excellent cooperation that airline has received from Bali authorities in introducing newly mandated safety procedures from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Acknowledging the group's offer to work together with Embassy representatives in reviewing any aspect of Bali's security situation, the Ambassador explained the background and development of the present advisory, promising to fully consider Bali's position and input in formulating future advisories.
The delegation representing Bali was composed of U.S. Citizens and representatives of U.S. tourism products operating in Bali. The delegation calling on Ambassador Boyce included Mr. Christopher Norton, of Four Seasons Resorts in Bali; Mr. Dan Reid Area Manager of Aman Resorts Indonesia; Mr. Peter Stettler Regional Manager for Hyatt Hotels in Indonesia; Mr. Craig Senior, Director of Marketing for the Ritz Carlton, Bali; Mr. Rolf Hübner, Regional Manager for Six Continent Hotels in Indonesia; Mr. Richard Bussiere, Regional Manager for Starwood Hotels in Indonesia; and Mr. John Daniels, President Director of Bali Discovery Tours.
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