Australians ready to return, says Bali task force

<i>28 February 2003</i> <P>An Australian task force has returned from Bali convinced that the time is right to begin marketing the island again to Australians. <P>The group of tour wholesalers, airline representatives, travel agents, meetings organisers and tourism lobby specialists, spent four days on the Indonesian island inspecting improvements to safety, security and health services. <P>Their list of 10 recommendations will be studied by the Indonesia Culture and Tourism Agency (ICTA). <P>The recommendations of the task force included a call for the Indonesian Government to allocate funds for cooperative marketing campaigns to compete effectively against significant tourism promotions of other destinations, which in part are funded by Asia/Pacific governments. <P>“There was general agreement that the time is right to recommence significant marketing of Bali,” said John King, a spokesman for the delegation and consultant to Gavin Anderson & Company which has developed a global tourism and communications strategy for the Bali recovery for the ICTA. <P>Other recommendations included: <P><UL type=”disc”> <LI>all promotional activities by the national and Bali governments, in cooperation with the Australian industry, should focus on destination, product and experiences including short term price lead and tactical incentives and initiatives to stimulate the market. <P><LI> support for the move of the Government of Indonesia to establish an appropriately funded tourist information, marketing and travel trade support office in Australia. <P><LI> concern at reports that the government of Indonesia was considering introducing tourist visas and charges. The delegation said the imposition of such a measure at this time would be highly counter productive, severely hamper Bali's recovery and place the island at a competitive disadvantage. </UL> <P>King added, “We have got the message that Australians are ready to come to Bali again and this will translate into marketing campaigns that will be rolled out by the industry in cooperation with the government of Indonesia over the coming months. These campaigns will primarily target those who have been to Bali before.”

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