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WTO To Review Indonesian Travel Advisories

Indonesia Wants Urgent Review of How Travel Advisories are Made and Implemented at WTO Senegal Summit.

(4/4/2005) The May session of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) scheduled to be held in Senegal in May 2005 will reportedly accede to Indonesia’s request to have the travel advisory system tabled for discussion at that international gathering.

According to Thamrin B. Bachri, Deputy Director of Capacity Building and International Cooperation from the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the General Assembly of the WTO will review the travel advisories limiting tourist flows to Indonesia from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

"One of our aims that we will put forth (at WTO) is that before introducing travel advisories countries should first consult with the country to be affected by such warnings," Bachri said in comments to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia.

Bachri told the press that after the Senegal meeting he hopes current travel warning in effect might be modified and a system established where bi-lateral mutual consultation is undertaken before future warnings and advisories are introduced.

Need for a Public Relations Approach

Meanwhile, Elly Hutabarat, the Vice-Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) called for the appointment of a public relations agency to help spread the word regarding the generally conducive security situation in Indonesia to source markets for Indonesian tourism.

According to Hutabarat, a competent domestic or international public relations company could do much to correct and improve misconceptions regarding Indonesia in the marketplace.