Jakarta, 19 December 2017 – Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, Mr. Arief Yahya, along with his deputies, the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office and the Bali Tourism Board, held a meeting with the Bali Tourism Hospitality Task Force in Denpasar, 18 December 2017. The meeting evaluated the response phase of the Mt Agung eruption last November as well as discussed the possible recovery phase to revitalize tourism in Bali.
Mr. Arief urged the hospitality industry in Bali to provide incentives for potential tourists, saying, “Do not be afraid to give discounts, it is better to have less profit than more losses from having not enough revenue.”
Meanwhile, in a coordination meeting in his office, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Mr. Luhut B. Pandjaitan, provided a statement regarding the situation in Bali. ‘The alert status of Mount Agung is still at Level IV, but only for the radius of 10 kilometres from the summit. The rest of Bali is still normal,’ said Mr. Luhut.
Mr. Luhut’s statement was also emphasised by Mr. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the Spokesperson of the National Disaster Management Agency. “The PVMBG (Centre of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation) advised that the alert status of Mount Agung is still at Level IV at the exclusion zone, which is within a 8-10 kilometre radius from the summit. Outside that perimeter, it is safe. Bali could be safely visited. Bali airport is operating as normal,” says Mr. Sutopo.
“Based on the advice from the Agency for Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics, the winds will blow towards the East of Bali. Thus, should an eruption occurs, the ash will not disrupt aviation activities in Bali Airport,” Mr. Luhut added. To ensure a more conducive situation should Mount Agung erupts again, Mr. Luhut noted that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources had conducted simulations of potential hot ash cloud, pyroclastic flow and the dispersion of volcanic ash over a number of scenarios. The simulation showed that tourism attractions located outside the 10 kilometre exclusion zone is secure and safe.
“Safety is our main concern. We have an 8-10 kilometre exclusion zone around Mt Agung. Residents have been moved off the mountain and all activity has been reduced,” said Mr. Luhut.
With such a conducive situation, Mr. Luhut B. Pandjaitan advised potential tourists to not cancel their travel plans to Bali. As long as travellers visit tourism attractions outside the 10 kilometre exclusion zone, their trips are safe. “Please inform everyone to still go on vacation to Bali, it’s not necessary to postpone or cancel,” Mr. Luhut noted.