Sunday, 4 February 2018

Bali tourism 90 percent ‘recovered’ since volcanic eruption disruption: Tourism Minister

By Coconuts Bali Jan. 31, 2018

Photo: Bady QB/Unsplash

The condition of tourism in Bali has recovered 90 percent of where it was before Mount Agung started rumbling, erupting, and disrupting the island’s biggest money-making industry in late 2017, according to Indonesia’s tourism minister.

“It’s at 90 percent recovery,” minister Arief Yahya told Tempo on Tuesday in Jakarta.

The so-called recovery is based on the number of daily visits to the resort island from foreign tourists.

“Now it’s 14,000 per day, normally was 15,000,” he said. For those of you following along at home, that’s actually closer to 93 percent, but we all get what he means.

Mount Agung, which hadn’t erupted since 1963, stirred back to life in September 2017. After months of close monitoring of fears of an explosive eruption, the volcano started erupting on a small scale in November 2017, forcing the airport to shut down for two and a half days when ash blew into the flight path. More recently, the volcano erupted four consecutive times on Jan. 23.

But the country’s volcanology center insists the island is safe beyond the volcano’s designated six kilometer exclusion zone and tourists seem to be trickling back in.

Helping these numbers is that other countries have revoked travel advisories about Bali since the volcano has relatively quieted down, according to Yahya. The minister has even made personal visits to promote Bali as safe, to countries supplying significant tourism numbers to Bali, such as China.

“At the end of the year, it was just China that wasn’t satisfied (to come to Bali),” Yahya explained.

Visits from Chinese tourists to Bali fell to near zero when the Middle Kingdom issue a travel warning, but the fear of traveling to Bali no longer apparently persists.

“But now foreign tourists from China are willing to come. Today there is a new flight from China to Bali with as many as 250 passengers,” said Yahya.

The Tourism Ministry estimates that at least 15,000 Chinese will travel to Balito celebrate the Chinese New Year this February.

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