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Jakarta Bombings Fail to Discourage Tourists from the UAE

By Lily B. Libo-on, Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab EmiratesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Jul. 30, 2009--ABU DHABI/DUBAI -- The Indonesian diplomatic missions have declared that the Jakarta bombing early this month has had no significant effect on the inbound tourism of the country and has not dampened the desire of businessmen and tourists from the UAE to Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia.

Indonesian Ambassador M. Wahid Supriyadi told Khaleej Times that the Indonesian carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, which flies directly to Jakarta, has seen no major cancellations after the bombing.

"The Australian government has issued a travel advisory, but PT Garuda Indonesia, Jet Star and Virgin Blue, who fly directly to Australia from Jakarta, have not experienced any significant cancellations so far. Media reports from Australia are very sympathetic with the Indonesian government and encouraging people to continue visiting Indonesia."

Kulwant Singh, managing partner of Lama Desert Tours and Cruises, told Khaleej Times that his company has no significant cancellations of bookings for travellers bound for Indonesia after the bombing.

Information and Cultural Consul Lely Meiliani at the Indonesian Embassy in Abu Dhabi confirmed to Khaleej Times on Wednesday that the number of visas issued to businessmen and tourists bound for Jakarta have remained steady at approximately 20 per week before and after the bombing. "Nothing indicates that people are avoiding Indonesia. They still travel even after the bombing."

Economic Affairs Consul Dede Achmad Rifai at the Indonesian Consulate General in Dubai said that some 10 to 15 visas are issued daily after the bombing to tourists and businessmen in Dubai travelling to Jakarta.

"This is just a slight difference of the 15 to 20 visas issued before the bombing."

Emirates Airlines also said that it has not experienced cancellations of travellers from the emirate to the Indonesian capital, where the twin hotels of JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton were bombed on July 17.

lily@khaleejtimes.com

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To see more of the Khaleej Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.khaleejtimes.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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