Paradise lost yet again.
By Ian Jarrett ~ The Grumpy Traveller
Wednesday, 12th October 2005
Ian Jarrett looks at the issue of travel advisories in the aftermath of the latest Bali bombing outrage.

Around the time bombs were killing people in Bali last Saturday, the general manager and board director of the Sabah Tourism Board was addressing a party of travel industry people at Kota Kinabalu's Shangri-La Resort Tanjung Aru.

Datuk Irene Benggon Charuruks chose the occasion to remind countries, including Australia, about the unfairness of their travel advisories.

She appealed directly to the assembled media to play their part in spreading the word that destinations such as Sabah were safe for tourists.

Australians are currently advised to avoid all travel to coastal resorts, islands and dive sites off the east coast of Sabah for fear of kidnappings.

In the aftermath of the latest Bali bombings, Sabah and other destinations that are the subject of travel warnings will find if more difficult to get the advice downgraded.

Yet, as Australia's foreign minister Alexander Downer has pointed out, I don't think it would matter what you put in the travel advisory. It's advice - it's not mandatory. In the end, people make their own decisions about these things. They are fatalistic.

One of the people who made a decision to visit Bali was Australia's health minister, Tony Abbott, who was on a family holiday on the island on Saturday night.

Oddly, the health minister disregarded the advice of his foreign minister because, quite clearly, he was not taking part in essential travel to Bali.

Travel advisories aside, it will take a long time for Bali to recover from the latest attacks. As one Australian holidaymaker returning from Bali said, in a reference to the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, Once is once; twice is too much.

If you are the parents of a young family, how could you justify exposing your children to the threat of having your evening meal devastated by a bomber?

If you are a company executive, how can you tell staff that the next incentive destination is Bali?
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