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Concern Over Worsening Travel Warnings

Chief of BTA Fears Impact of Raised Travel Warnings.

(8/18/2003) Dr. Prof. I Gde Pitana, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority (BTA) has expressed concern that increased "travel warnings" in the wake of the August 5th Jakarta bombing will have a deleterious effect on Bali tourist arrivals.

Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bali Post on August 10th, Dr. Pitana said that while there was no noticeable drop in arrivals in the five days following the Jakarta incident he was concerned that the potential of raised travel warnings from Japan and other countries could cause a loss of bookings for Bali. Saying that he felt that Bali's recovery would continue despite the bombing attack and "in the worst case, would delay recovering for a maximum of one month" providing the Police in Jakarta are able to solve the case with the same speed as the Bali bombing of October 2002.

Praising the diligence of Bali's police force and their commander, Irjen. Made Mangku Pastika the Chef of the BTA reported that Bali's already high state of security was further tightened following the Jakarta bombing. Indicating that additional patrols and police personnel have been added in key areas, such as Kuta, Dr. Pitana described Bali's security measures as "very special" reflecting Bali's position as an international tourism icon.

He went on to point out that Bali's ratio of civilians to police officials is a very favorable 1 : 300, a very high level of policing by international standards and a number able to provide security for both visitors and local citizens.