TEMPO.CO, Denpasar - Bali tourism department has made an assurance that the island is safe for tourists despite Mount Agung showing signs of increased volcanic activity. Mount Agung's alert status of level 3 has been declared.
Circulars will be sent to consulate general officers of foreign countries, urging them to inform their people to not be afraid of visiting Bali despite Mt. Agung's alert status, head of the Bali Tourism Office, Anak Agung Gede Yuniartha Putra, stated Friday, Sept. 22.
"Indeed an alert status has been declared for Mt. Agung, but the tourists continue to arrive in Bali, as several tourist destinations in Bali are not in proximity to Mt. Agung, such as the Besakih Temple in Karangasem, are not affected and open normally," he noted.
Yuniartha Putra said the tourism office, in cooperation with the regional disaster mitigation office, continues to monitor the developments of the volcano. He revealed that the Bali tourism office sends daily reports on the latest developments related to Mount Agung to the Tourism Ministry.
"The Bali Tourism Board has also sent an appeal to tourism-related parties all over the world to visit Bali without any hesitation, and this should be made viral," he emphasized.
He urged the media to not exaggerate reports on Mt. Agung showing signs of volcanic activity. Putra regretted a report by an Australian television channel claiming that Mount Agung spewed smoke into the air, when in fact, it did not happen.
"I think Australian people are smart and know the condition in Bali. Hence, please come to Bali," he said. He expressed hope that if Mount Agung were to finally erupt, it would not be a major event that would lead to the closure of Bali airport.
The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali from January to August 2017 had reached 3.99 million, an increase of 25 percent as compared to that recorded during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, an alert status has been declared for the Mount Agung in Bali following an increase in volcanic activity. Since mid-August, the volcanic mount has shown a rise in volcanic activity, but then it declined, and now, it is increasing again.