Bombs fail to deter tourists
By WILL JACKSON
EPHRAIM ISAAC yesterday said none of his clients had cancelled their holidays to Bali.
But that doesn't mean they're still intending to go.
"I've been getting calls all day inquiring about whether they can cancel their trips and still get a full refund," the owner of Ballina Travel Value said.
Following the bomb blasts which killed 22 and injured more than 120 people, the major airlines had offered a refund to any travellers to the Indonesian island, he said.
Mr Isaac said he had 12 to 14 people booked to fly out after the end of October, and most were taking a wait-andsee approach before making a decision.
"I think it will take a long time for people to feel safe going back there again," he said.
"There was still a big fear already and this will reinforce it. It'll be at least 12 months before the tourism industry there starts to recover again."
Mr Isaac said he was shocked and devastated when he heard about the blasts.
"I didn't think it would happen again," adding he'd been to Kuta many times himself.
He said some of his clients might postpone their trips, but others were considering cancelling entirely.
Mr Isaac said the five people he already had staying in Bali had moved away from the Kuta area.
"They have all booked new accommodation in the Semi- nyak area, which is about 15 minutes' drive north of Kuta," he said.
Other travel agents in the area have seen a similar reaction.
Jessica Milford said her agency, Byron Travelscene, had already had 'one or two' cancellations.
While she said some people had changed their destinations or postponed their trips entirely after the terrorist attack, the 'majority' of people were so far sticking with their plans.
Flight Centre media relations officer Haydn Long said some people who were due to leave for Bali in the short term had cancelled their trips. However, he too said the majority appeared still willing to travel.