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U.K. Foreign Office Lifts Bali Travel Advisory

British Subjects Are Now Free to Visit Bali.

(7/12/2004) The U.K. Foreign Office have finally lifted travel advisories recommending against "non-essential travel" to Bali and Indonesia put in place since the tragic October 12, 2002, bombing of a Bali night spot that killed 202 people, 23 of whom were British.

The new announcement is part of a world-wide review of the U.K.'s Travel Advisory System recently announced by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw who concluded, based on a Whitehall White Paper, that over-cautious travel advisories cause economic disruption and further suffering to the victims of terrorism, while indirectly serving the goals of terrorist actors.

"The public will be better served if such warnings are used more sparingly, when intelligence-based terrorist threats pose extreme and imminent danger," said Mr. Straw.

British travelers to Bali totaling 116,323 in 2001 represented the fourth largest inbound market to the Island. By 2003, British visitors had diminished to only 50,043 (down 57%) in the face of an official travel warning that advised against non-essential visits to Indonesia. As a result of that warning, U.K. travel agents were unable to secure travel insurance for their Indonesian-bound clients.

Robert Kelsall, Chairman of Bali Hotels Association representing 56 starred hotels and resorts in Bali, said that "with the lifting of the U.K. travel advisory, we now hope other countries with similar advisories will follow suite; namely Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.A."