Bali and GOH start to smile again

6 May 2003

SYDNEY - Indonesia specialist operator Garuda Orient Holidays had a rare reason to smile last week their sales figures to Bali.

Sydney-based product manager for GOH, Nick Deacok, said business in the last few days has been the best since the Bali blasts last October.

"Last week was our busiest week since October 12 -- phone calls, enquiries, quotes and bookings have increased by a factor of 2-to-1 over recent weeks."

Recent world events had not had a strong affect on bookings, he said.

"SARS and the Iraq War didn't have much impact on our business levels. But the release of our latest "Super Specials" flyer has caused a major turn around in the market place."

GOH is offering package prices from as low as A$799 for six days in Bali from the East Coast of Australia.

In its latest promotions, GOH is also attempting to leverage Bali as a hub for travel onwards into Indonesia and Asia.

"Bali is an ideal spot from which to combine holidays to broader destinations, hundreds of which are only an hour or two's travel away," said GOH general manager Ian Norris.

"Where else can you fly to Asia very inexpensively then stay in five-star accommodation for less than half the going rate internationally? This is a great opportunity to onsell other destinations as part of a holiday package."

Norris believes Bali has escaped the worst effects of the SARs virus - Indonesia having fewer reported cases than Australia - because of the low-rise nature of urban and hospitality developments there.

"SARS seems to have impacted most prolifically in destinations where people are highly concentrated in high-rise flats and other accommodation, which is certainly not the case in Bali. One of Bali's assets is that people have room to spread out and relax," he said.

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