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Our Coverage of Pollution on Bali's Beaches, Travel Advisories and the Resurrection of Air Paradise Prompts Readers to Share Their Thoughts.

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(12/16/2006)'s coverage on growing concern in Bali on pollution of the Island'’s beaches [A Tidal Change Needed in How We Care for Bali’s Oceans] brought a number of spirited responses. Here's a sampling :

▪ Gail George wrote :

"I am sickened to learn that hotels are knowingly sending their sewage directly into the waters of your beaches, in any area, not just the Sanur tourist beaches. It certainly takes the luster off encouraging people to go to Bali, a place I have been 9 times and love. Although greed is a fast growing disease, to inflict its results on other humans in the form of pollution and endangering our health is disgusting. Bali deserves to lose its tourist arrivals if it chooses not to enforce laws already in place to punish pollution pushers. I hope there is a genuine, not 'pretend' outcry and clean up."

▪ Guy Mertens in North Bali had this to say on Bali's pollution problem :

"Indeed, pollution of the oceans and beaches is a major problem in Bali. But what about the villages? I'm living in the Lovina area for years and all villagers throw their rubbish in the rivers which end up at the beach and in the ocean. In the wet season: excrements, plastic, batteries and so on. In the dry season: the dry rivers (are) filled with all imaginable rubbish. Any tourist who goes for a walk along the beach will notice the giant sewers and rivers spewing excrements. Who wants to go swimming? Not to mention the giant pollution from the Bali-Lombok ferry where everybody throws anything overboard. Putting all these poor villagers in jail is no solution as they don't understand, better educate them in order they learn they are destroying their own Island and their economy."

▪ Adrian Martin from Townsville in Queensland, added his comments :

"Much as I hate to be negative regarding many things in Bali, I have to say that I stopped going to the beaches there, due to the pollution. I have heard tourists warn their children not to swim in the sea of plastic bags and trash that washes onto Kuta, which seems to originate from the river up the coast a bit.

About three years ago, I was fascinated by a large canvas fire hose, running from a hotel, down Poppies Lane and into a drain which ran into the beach. They were pumping out their septic tanks, and the effluent was going directly into the sea. There was quite an algal bloom there for days afterwards."

Coverage on the highly political nature of official travel advisories [Where You Gonna Run To? Bali or London?] also brought readers' comments.

▪ Here's what Deborah Fortuna had to say on the subject :

"I agree. I just came home from a wonderful 3 weeks in Bali. I discussed travel advisories with other tourists from Europe and Australia. We all agreed that most advisories are political. Bali is no more dangerous than most other places."

And news on that Air Paradise may soon resume operations [Bali’s Air Paradise to Fly Again in March 2007?] evoked a number of emails.

▪ Kelvin Warburton of Australia wrote:

"My wife and I only got to fly with Air Paradise once and it was marvellous. We intended to only fly with them from that time on. Then they went arse up. Now the only way I would ever fly with Air Paradise again is if they issued a guarantee of finding another airline to take me to Bali and home again when I was booked to go, written on their flight tickets and that it was LEGALLY BINDING both in Bali and Australia.

Quite a few people I know personally were bitten when the Airline went down the gurgler. Not only did they lose their money and become heartbroken on missing out their holiday, but so Bali got another black eye it did not need."

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