Ardika reassures delegates; new speaker on health and safety(1)

8 April 2003

BALI - Indonesia’s minister of culture and tourism has reassured PATA Conference delegates next week that they will not be adversely affected by Indonesia’s decision to cancel visa-free entry for 48 countries, or by inspections relating to the SARS virus.

“I am writing to you today to reassure you that the visa-free policy for 48 countries will still be effective, especially to PATA delegates from those said countries and there is no US$50 visa charge for delegates," said I Gede Ardika, in a note forwarded by PATA.

“PATA Annual Conference delegates will not have to show a medical certificate. On arrival, they only have to fill out the Health Alert Card regarding SARS to enter Indonesia.

“Health inspectors will be on site to assist all passengers,” said Ardika, to counter “misleading reports in some media”.

Meanwhile, a health and safety expert, will speak at the PATA Conference. Dr. David Perl, chief executive of DOCLEAF and a London-based specialist in global emergency planning and crisis handling, will now play a central role throughout the conference, a release said.

Due to the impact of SARS on Asia/Pacific tourism, Dr Perl and Professor Yahya Kisyanto, President of the Indonesia Travel Health Society, will address a special session called "Medical Emergencies and Crises" on Tuesday, April 15, 0900-1000.

PATA president and CEO, Peter de Jong, said: "It should give added comfort to all delegates to know that a world-renowned health crisis specialist and physician is on hand to answer questions and to cooperate with the Indonesian authorities to ensure a safe and healthy Annual Conference."

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