Bali Governor wants volcano warnings lifted as thousands cancel travel


baliThe Mount Agung volcano is mother nature at its finest, and at its most menacing.

As volcano scientists, or volcanologists as they are known, work day and night to predict what the great natural beast will do, the holiday island is being disrupted.

An increasingly active volcano in Bali is bad news, even without an eruption.

The greatest impact is for the local Balinese, with tens of thousands forced to leave their homes and livelihoods. Then there is the wider business impact of an island that survives and thrives on tourism.

No tourist has felt the impact of the bubbling giant Agung, but by their thousands they are cancelling travel plans.

According to the Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association, 5,000 tourists have cancelled their bookings for October.

That represents a 20 per cent drop in trade.As a result, Bali’s Governor Mangku Pastika has demanded foreign nations remove travel warnings about the increased volcanic activity.

“I have talked to them, there are five countries that have increased their travel warning,” Governor Pastika said.

“I asked them to lift that warning because it is still safe, they agreed to lift that soon.”

The updated Australian travel advice about the Agung volcano does not warn against travelling to Bali. It is factual and measured.

Nobody can say with clarity when, or if, Agung will erupt. Some warn it could be tomorrow, others say it could take months or even years, if at all.

Unfortunately, complacency is not an option regardless of the timeframe.