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Bali's Tourism Industry Takes Action to Ensure Safety of Island Against Triple Threat;
Re-emergence of the H5N1 Virus, Bomb Hoaxes, and Potential of
Radiation-tainted Imported Goods

By Wasti Atmodjo, The Jakarta Post, Indonesia / Asia News NetworkMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

March 25, 2011--DENPASAR -- The re-emergence of the H5N1 virus, which causes the fatal avian influenza, a series of bomb hoaxes and the threat of radiation-tainted imported goods from Japan have Bali's authorities, hotels and restaurants scrambling to ensure the safety of the island.

The Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association's (PHRI) Bali secretary Perry Markus said that any health or security issues would have a direct impact on the island's tourist industry.

"We appreciate the effective measures taken by local authorities including the Bali Police and the provincial administration to curb the spreading issues of bomb threats and the H5N1 virus," Markus said.

The police took prompt action to dispose of a number of suspected bombs in the province, and subsequently increased security at the island's main ports of entry, including the international airport.

Ngurah Rai International Airport's management also received radiation detection equipment to scan passengers and goods arriving from Japan for radiation contamination, following the nuclear power plant accident in Japan's Fukushima Prefecture.

The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency has also tightened its monitoring of imports from Japan.

Markus said the nuclear radiation issue concerning visitors from Japan had also shaken local tourism.

"We expect that these health and security issues will not affect local businesses in a significant way."

IB Gede Sidharta Putra, owner of Santrian Hotel Group, said the authorities' swift actions would improve the image of Bali as a safe tourist site.

"Managements of hotels and restaurants have to work closely with related agencies and the local community," Putra said.

So far, there have been no complaints from potential clients and agents in overseas countries.

A few days after the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, hotels in Bali reported cancellations of 1,500 rooms.


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Copyright (c) 2011, The Jakarta Post, Indonesia / Asia News Network

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