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Drew

Explosions in Bali again

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Bombs went off in Jimbaran near the restaurants and in Kuta. At least 9 dead according to BBC. All of my friends have checked in except our own resident wetpixellian, Frogfish, who should be ok since he nevers frequents touristy places... unlike me.

Ridiculous that once they fix Acheh, they have to go back to dealing with Jemaah Islamiya again.

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Now it's up to 19 or so. My buddy just came back from there a week ago.

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This is really sad, I've just been there a few months ago. Amazing, it is such a peaceful place...

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That is so sad! Bali is one of the most beautiful places on earth with some of the nicest people I've ever met. A couple of years ago I celebrated my birthday at a seafood restaurant on the beach in Jimbaran Bay and at a pub in Kuta Beach. I was there again shortly after the last bombings and it was heartbreaking to see how affected the tourism was by all this. Stores and restaurants were shut down. Kuta Beach, which was normally great fun to hang out at night was all boarded up and dark. People were working long hours but were still destitute because they didn't have any buyers for the products and services they had to sell. Very sad to see this all happen again.

 

On some news web sites it says the death toll is up to 26.

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I've just heard from Robert (Frogfish), and he's ok.

It all just saddens me tremendously. The Balinese are such peaceful people, and Bali has suffered so much economically over the past ten years, and particularly since 2002. Until the Indonesian government really harshly treats those that support and facilitate terrorism, the economy will continue to suffer. In July, I really noticed changes due to the depressed state of tourism. Now, I fear the Balinese people will suffer even more.

 

Marli

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That's a relief, I was worried about Robert. Such terrible news for the Balinese and those poor people who were killed in the blasts.

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I hope this doesn't put folks off visiting Bali. We were there during the last bombing, staying in one of the many quieter places and we had no problems at all. We'd go back again for sure. D.

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Well it's usually not the diving crowd bombs deter but the general tourists who do more land based stuff like shopping and eating. Even then, like Frogfish mentioned, Komodo National Park attendance dropped 18% after the 1st bombing. So there is an effect on tourism obviously.

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Hard-core liveaboard divers are only part of the total visitor demographic. There are backpackers and adventure travellers who stay in Labuanbajo and go into the park (for diving or just to see dragons, etc.) on day boats, and smaller cruise ships, who mostly only stay in the park for a day or two, with a dragon walk and maybe a swim/snorkel at Red Beach. Even the hard-core liveaboard diver numbers were hit in the year after the bombing to some extent, as any operator can tell you.

 

Though it's still early days, there is reason to believe this time won't be as bad as after 2002.

 

> The number of people killed or injured was much less.

>It has been noticeableover these past 12 days that there hasn't been a general exodus of tourists out of Bali comparable to what happened in 2002, nor have new arrivals stopped completely, though numbers are obviously down.

> Western governments have been a bit less quick to impose draconian new travel warnings and advisories or to upgrade old ones to higher levels. This is important, as these advisories don't just deter travellers by scaring them, but in some cases also make it impossible to get travel insurance if any part of the trip includes countries under advisories. (The Balinese are not alone in noticing that the countries that have warned against travel to Indonesia somehow didn't think it was necessary to issue advisories warning against travel to New York or the US after 9/11, nor to Britain after the tragic underground attacks earlier this year.)

> Press and media coverage has been less inflammatory and there has been more attention paid to the impact of this on the Balinese people, who aren't Muslim, and didn't vote for Bush or for Blair.

> After the 2002 bombings, the Indonesian stock market took an immediate 10% hit and the rupiah also slumped big time. That didn't happen this time.

 

And so on. But it's also clear that there will be some impact, for Bali and also for other Indonesian destinations. The question is how much and for how long. We'll see what the real story turns out to be over the next 18 months.

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Funny thing is at DEMA, the Indo area was still hopping with action. They didn't seem to be affected by the latest bombing, which is a good sign. I guess now people are hardened to bombing news in general. Sort of how London reacted during the IRA campaigns. Life does go on.

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