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Bali Prepares for PATA Conference

Substantial Funds Allocated for Security and Conference Program in April.

(2/3/2003) Preparations for the Pacific Asia Travel Association's (PATA) 52nd Annual Conference to be held in Bali April 13-17, 2003 continue to intensify as the date for the event on the world's travel calendar approaches.

Jimmy Carter to Address the Conference?

Reports have surfaced that Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has been invited to serve as a keynote speaker at the Conference expected to draw 1,500 participants from around the globe.

Funding for the Conference

Total funding for conference activities is estimated at Rp. 12.2 billion (approximately US$ 1.37 million). From the amount Rp. 6 billion will be provided by the Indonesian Culture and Tourism Promotion Board, Rp. 3 billion from the State Ministry for Culture and Tourism, Rp. 2.2 billion from the provincial government of Bali and Rp. 1 billion from the Badung provincial administration.

Intense Security Preparations

Police authorities are using the conference as the occasion to launch a restructured security system for the island. The government has allocated Rp. 39 billion (approximately US$ 4.4 million) for security expenses during the three month period January March 2003.

Among the security measures included in the upgrade are an on-line control system between the Bali police and the National Police headquarters in Jakarta; improvements in security hardware deployed at Bali's airport and seaports; and an intense police presence with one officer for every 350 residents on the island.

Security Guarantee

In reviewing the extensive measures being put in place in connection with the PATA Conference, Eddy Karnadi, the police official charged with the daily handling of the Bali bombing case, said, "the Police of Bali are prepared to guarantee the safe conduct of the PATA conference to be held at the Bali International Conference Center (BICC) April 13-17. We will prioritize preventative efforts by securing strategic locations, such as airports, ports, conference venues and tourist attractions across the island."

In the aftermath of the tragic bombing of Bali on October 12, 2002, the PATA Conference has taken on a special meaning within the overall efforts of returning the island's tourism industry to full health.