Therefore, we hope the emergency status of the volcano would be lowered."
Denpasar (ANTARA News) - The Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) has predicted that some 70 thousand foreigners would postpone visits to the resort island during the October-November period due to intensified activities of Mount Agung.

"We have collected data on guests who had planned to come for meetings and others. There would be a decrease in the tourist arrival by 20 percent, or some 70 thousand," Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, chairman of the associations Bali chapter, stated here.

The data were collected from several hotels in Bali and not all hotels, he noted, adding that most of the postponements came from tourists of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) category.

"Therefore, we hope the emergency status of the volcano would be lowered," he added.

He explained that the alert status of Mount Agung was directed to people living within a radius of 12 kilometers from the volcanos crater, while tourist destinations beyond the radius were considered safe.

October is usually the peak season for tourism industry in Bali. The hotel occupancy rate is 65 percent at the average in Nusa Dua area, Badung District. Mount Agung is located in Karangasem district.

No country has issued a travel warning so far. However, a travel advisory has been released by the United States, Australia, Britain, Singapore, and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Bali Governor, Made Mangku Pastika, has called on tourists to visit Bali without any hesitation, adding that the resort island was safe and conducive despite increased volcanic activity of the mount.

The governor gave his assurance during a meeting with tourism stakeholders, such as travel operators.

If Mount Agung erupts, it would have direct impact only on 28 villages located within a radius of 12 kilometers from the volcanos crater.

Balis main tourist attractions such, as Nusa Dua, Kuta, and Sanur, are located tens of kilometers away from the location of the mount, he added.

According to him, Karangasem has 78 villages, and only 28 villages could be directly impacted. The remaining 50 villages and other tourist destinations in Bali would be safe.

"Therefore, do not hesitate to visit Bali, except for climbing the mount, which will be forbidden as it is dangerous," he added.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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