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Indonesian Tourism to Establish a Crisis Center?

While All Agree on the Need for a Coordinated Center to Face Future Crisis; the Real Crisis May Prove How to Finance Such an Agency.

(4/5/2008) Bisnis Bali reports that the Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism is in the process of gathering input from tourism stakeholders prior to the establishment of a formal Crisis Center.

While tourism officials admit funding for the proposed Crisis Center remains elusive, the Secretary General for the Department of Culture and Tourism, Wardiatmo, said a meeting held in Bali on April 1, 2008 represented the embryonic steps necessary to the final creation of a fully-fledged Center.

Explaining further, Wardiatmo said a Crisis Center was needed to face the challenges of the unexpected, such as Bali's past terrorist attacks. The media center established following the October 2002 and October 2005 bombing attacks can serve as the framework for the proposed Crisis Center needed to face future unexpected eventualities.

While remaining uncommitted as to when the proposed Crisis Center will come into operation, Wardiatmo, said that input from the entire tourism industry needs to be collected and funding for the project identified before it can go ahead.

The Bali Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Al Purwa, told the Secretary General that without the proper funding securely in place it would be better if no Crisis Center was established. But, were the necessary funds secured, such a Center should have at its core an established communications and action plan for Bali to face the next "crisis" that befalls the Island.