Agents must stay patient, watch costs

11 April 2003


Despite the fighting talk, there is also a solid level of realism among Bali’s trade about the potential for recovery in the near future. Like everybody right now, recovery is a more distant hope. In the meantime, survival is paramount.

Chief operating officer of Panorama Leisure group, Dharma Tirtawisata, said the industry realised that a price-driven recovery was not an option under current global and regional conditions.

Yet it was critical, he said, that the government continued to promote the destination.

“Our whole industry has managed to run at its lowest overheads since the bomb blast. I believe that there is nothing the industry can do for the time being.

“For the government, it is a different case.”

Asked about the best tactic for the Bali trade this year, Tirtawisata said patience was the answer for now.

“It’s a tough question. If it was only the Bali blast to deal with, I could answer. But we have been punished by disasters three times in a row – the bomb blast, then the war in Iraq, and then the SARS virus. Globally, there is no mood amongst people to travel.

“So under these circumstances, I’m stuck. I believe we should wait and see. We are waiting for certainty. The rates have reached bottom, the flights are cut, and global events are against travel.”

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