Monday 11 Oct 2021 | 22:48 | SYDNEY
Monday 11 Oct 2021 | 22:48 | SYDNEY

Indonesia and travel advisories


Fergus Hanson


11 March 2010 06:44

Australia's travel advisories always raise a few questions. They have been a particular irritant in the relationship with Indonesia, but the impact they have is curious.

The first line of the current travel advice to Indonesia reads:

We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the very high threat of terrorist attack.

And what impact does that have on travel to Indonesia?  

New record high visitor levels apparently — the vast majority of which are to Bali. Even Opposition Leader Tony Abbott admitted yesterday he had ignored the travel warning twice to go on holidays to Bali. So, if despite the fairly dire advisory, travel to Indonesia is increasing what is everyone complaining about?

Well, anecdotal evidence suggests it is impeding a range of exchanges like school and sporting visits and is also possibly a factor in explaining why the number of Australian undergraduate students undertaking a semester exchange in Indonesia has only exceeded 100 in two years since 1996.

It isn't all that surprising that so many Australians ignore a blanket warning covering an entire country of 231 million people. There would seem to be room to make the warnings a little more specific while still respecting intelligence sources. Maybe there is room to single out regions or cities where there are specific concerns?