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When the Bark's as Bad as the Bite

Australian Travel Industry Concerned that Bali's Continuing Rabies Outbreak May Burst Current Travel Bubble.

(10/25/2010) Bisnis Indonesia reports that growing concerns over the rabies outbreak in Bali has resulted in official health warnings from the Australian government to its citizens coming to Bali. The danger of rabies in Bali has also received substantial play in the Australian media.

The area manager for Australia and New Zealand for Garuda Indonesia, Bagus Y. Siregar, confirmed that members of the Australian tourism industry with whom he is in contact are concerned about the threat of rabies to travel between Australia and Bali.

While saying no negative impact is apparent at this time, worrisome questions are being raised from several quarters in Australia.

Said Siregar: "The potential of our flights from Australia to Bali is very high, with full flights through October. We do not want that tourists to suddenly begin canceling their trips because of news about rabies."

He called on the government to issue a firm statement addressing the problem of rabies. These statements should, in turn, he insists, be published internationally.

At this time Garuda flies to Bali from three Australian ports. There are 4 flights each week from Sydney to Bali; 4 flights each week from Melbourne to Bali; and 2 time each week from Perth to Bali. According to Siregar, average loads to Denpasar are above 85% with loads in September running near 100%.

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