Bali looks for upturn with new FCO advice

Bali is back on the menu for C&I planners after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has lifted its advisory travel ban on the island. The Indonesian island had been declared unsafe to visit for almost two years, following the fatal bombing in Kuta in October 2002. It has now been deemed suitable for non-essential travel, although the FCO still warns against going to some other areas of the country including Aceh and some parts of Maluku. The island offers traditional incentives and key hotels, such as Hilton Hyatt and Intercontinental properties. Some agents, however, think groups will be wary for a while. Oxford International development director Steve Quinlan said: "People want to see things settling down for a while longer – although we have seen more interest in South East Asia. I feel sure that within 12 months Bali will be back." There was an attack in Indonesia last month when the Australian Embassy in Jakarta was targeted. The FCO advises:"We continue to receive reports that terrorists in Indonesia are planning further attacks."

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