The Australian government has lowered the advisory for travel to Bali in Indonesia. In 2002 the government raised the advisory level to “reconsider the need to travel”, second-highest on a scale of four. It has now dropped the alert to the second-lowest level, “exercise a high degree of caution”, which puts Bali at the same level as the Philippines and Thailand. The move has been welcomed by businesses, travel associations and schools in both Australia and Indonesia.
Australians currently account for over 26 per cent of inbound travel to the Indonesian island of Bali, and this number is expected to rise with the announcement. Travel will also be more accessible due to the strength of the Australian dollar and the high availability of cheap flights to Bali and the rest of Indonesia. Many Indonesian language programs expect to resume educational trips and anticipate an increase in the number of students taking up the language.
Greg Moriarty, Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, told Indonesian news agency Antara: “This a positive development based on a carefully considered assessment of the level of threat to Australian travellers in Indonesia.” Central Sulawesi, Maluku, Papua and West Papua still fall under the higher advisory level, but the rest of the country’s threat has lessened. This includes popular tourist areas which are well served by cheap flights to Indonesia, including Bali, Sumatra and Jakarta.
Indonesia’s diverse landscapes and cultures are very popular with tourists and students, and the modern bustle of Jakarta is rich with business opportunities. There are over 13,000 islands in Indonesia, which offer a huge range of experiences; Bali’s beaches, coral reefs, and volcanoes form an interesting contrast to Sumatra’s jungles and wildlife and Java’s modern metropolis and ancient monuments.