Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - The Bali provincial tourism office has made assurance that Bali Island is safe for tourists despite Mount Agung showing signs of increased volcanic activity for which an alert status has been declared.
Circulars will be sent to consulate general officers of foreign countries, urging them to inform their people to not be afraid of visiting Bali, despite Mt Agungs alert status or level 3, Anak Agng Gede Yuniartha Putra, head of the Bali Tourism Office, stated here, Friday.
"Indeed an alert status has been declared for Mt Agung, but the tourists continue to arrive in Bali, as several tourist destinations in Bali are not in proximity to Mt Agung, such as the Besakih Temple in Karangasem, are not affected and open normally," he noted.
The tourism office, in cooperation with the regional disaster mitigation office, continues to monitor the developments of the volcano, he remarked.
The Bali tourism office sends daily reports on the latest developments related to Mount Agung to the Tourism Ministry, he revealed.
"The Bali Tourism Board has also sent an appeal to tourism-related parties all over the world to visit Bali without any hesitation, and this should be made viral," he emphasized.
He urged the media to not exaggerate reports on Mt Agung showing signs of volcanic activity.
He regretted a report by an Australian television channel claiming that Mount Agung spewed smoke into the air, when in reality, it did not happen.
"I think Australian people are smart and know the condition in Bali. Hence, please come to Bali," he said.
He expressed hope that if Mount Agung were to finally erupt, it would not be a major event that would lead to the closure of Bali airport.
The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bali from January to August 2017 had reached 3.99 million, an increase of 25 percent as compared to that recorded during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, an alert status has been declared for the Gunung Agung volcano in Bali following an increase in volcanic activity.
Since mid-August, the Gunung Agung volcano has shown a rise in volcanic activity, but then it declined, and now, it is increasing again.
Several local villagers voluntarily fled to the neighboring areas of Buleleng, Klungkung, and Karangasem, as the locations were considered safe.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika affirmed that the government is prepared to face any eventualities in the face of Gunung Agung possibly erupting and has readied an evacuation post, refugee camp, and security measures.
"We can report to the citizens of Bali and internationally that we are ready to face the worst, even though we pray that it never happens," the governor added.
Source: ANTARA News