Australian confidence in Bali tourism back to normal: Garuda official

Brisbane (Antara News) - Australians` confidence in Indonesian tourism, notably in the popular resort island of Bali, has returned to pre-2005 Bali bombing levels, a Garuda Indonesia official here said.

"Garuda carried 9,000 Australian tourists from Darwin to Bali in January-August 2007. The number represents an increase by 48 percent compared to the figure in the same period last year," Sahrul Tahir, head of Garuda operations in Australia`s Northern Territory, told Antara News Friday.

"The number of Australian tourists visiting Bali has increased while their decision to use Garuda Indonesia shows their great trust in Indonesia`s national flag carrier. We have won their confidence again thanks to our competitive ticket prices and perfect timing," he said.

Garuda Indonesia flies the Darwin-Denpasar-Jakarta route on Mondays and Fridays with Boeing 737-400s which each have 16 business-class and 117 economic-class seats.

The European Union recently barred 51 airlines certified in Indonesia from European airspace, citing safety concerns.

Bali experienced two deadly bombings, namely in October 2002 which killed 202 people including 164 foreigners mostly Australian tourists, and in October 2005 when 27 people were killed.

The two tragedies caused by terrorist activity occurred in the busy tourist hubs of Kuta`s town square, Jimbaran beach and nightclubs in Kuta resort. (*)
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