The meager tourist season in Bali, Indonesia, has been chalked up to the active volcano which is still spewing volcanic ash. The eruption of Mount Agung, which began in September, has resulted in the Bali government losing $1 billion in tourist revenues.
And they don’t seem happy about it. espite the active volcano, the Indonesian government is trying to lure tourists back to the holiday island. “While the volcano continues to erupt, the government has gone out of its way to convince tourists that Bali is safe, outside of the danger zone of 10km from the crater,” Al Jazeera‘s Step Vaessen, reporting from Sidemen in Bali, said. “The huge loss in tourist revenues has taken authorities by surprise. Some say this is a wake-up call for the holiday island not to fully rely on tourism.”
About five million tourists visit Bali annually, but after the eruptions and airport closure last month, several countries, including China, issued travel warnings. Hotels far away from the volcano were empty, and owners were forced to temporarily suspend staff.
To reassure tourists, President Joko Widodo even took selfies with visitors while on a visit to one of Bali’s famous beaches. Tourism recovered slightly during the holiday season, but many Balinese, including mountain guide Komang Kayun, are continuing to suffer.He normally takes about 1,000 hikers up Mount Agung each year, but since September, his business has stopped. “I am confused what to do now,” he told Al Jazeera. “I want to work, but I have no other work experience than being a guide. I hope someone can give us a job because all 62 guides of Mount Agung are now jobless. We have no money to go back to farming.” – Al Jazeera
According to SHTFPlan, the tourist season has been widely interrupted because of Mount Agung’s volatile and unpredictable behavior. Back in early December, Mount Agung was still sending a plume of ash almost 5000 feet (1,500 meters) into the sky in what was a beautiful yet ominous sign of the ongoing threat. The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) has said that greyish-white plumes of ash have soared as high as 6500 feet (2000 meters) above the crater. Hot magma produced an eerie red glow just above the crater as cold lava mudflows have poured down the slopes.
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