UK operators pull Bali from incentive roster

UK C&I agencies have removed Bali from incentive proposals for the short-to-medium term, following the bomb attack of 12 October and Foreign Office advice against travel to Indonesia. McGarvey Russell director Paul Taylor said the agency did have clients considering Bali as an incentive destination, but they were currently reviewing the situation. “I think it is highly likely they will look for alternative destinations,” Taylor said. Elsewhere, Motivation Travel Management director John Derrick had been putting a proposal together for a client’s incentive to Bali, but this has now been shelved. “Bali was becoming popular again but we have to be realistic, recent events will put a stop to that,” he said. Director of Travel Impact, Ray Roberts said there was a risk that using Bali for a promotional campaign leading to an incentive could be demotivational to the point of delegates pulling out. The Bali Regional Tourism Office said two days after the blast, hotel occupancy started to fall. Twelve days after the attacks, average occupancy stood at 20%. Yet DMC Bali Discovery Tours president director John Daniels is confident the severe travel advisories against Indonesia will soften over the coming weeks. “We’re working hard to instill confidence to enable rapid downgrades in the travel warnings issued by foreign governments, and preserve the business on the books for next year,” he said. “To punish the Balinese for the events of 12 October would make about as much sense as punishing the people of New York for 11 September.”

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