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Posted by - Toon Army on May 10, 2006 at 1:14 am:
In Reply to: From an "outsiders" point of view... posted by Lucy on May 6, 2006 at 9:05 pm:
Funny how a travel agent whose profession is not widely known for follow ups with their clients feels like reporting such a thing! Would your clients have felt safe if they were one of the unlucky ones Lucy? That is, did they feel safe only once they got home alive or while they were in Bali? If the later, did their feeling safe come from extensive research and advice from security professionals or was it just a feeling based on not seeing anyone wearing a towel on their head and shouting "Allah Akbar" as they fumble for the detonator button? Perhaps they felt safe because they were staying in a hotel significantly owned by Sigit Suharto and could sleep at night knowing that all those thousands of people who were murdered and stolen from by the Suharto regime went to making the Westin a “JI dares not touch” hotel? Did they enjoy the fact their hotel is Suharto owned and on stolen land?
When you all go as travel agents to Bali, will you enjoy the special immigration and customs express lane they have prepared for you? Will you enjoy the police cavalcade protected bus ride to your Suharto owned hotel in Nusa Dua, where locals are not allowed to walk freely despite the fact this right is supposedly enshrined in law? Will you all enjoy the special room upgrades, the free buffets, complimentary cocktail and 50% spa discount coupons arranged for you? Will you enjoy all the smiling faces of the hotel staff called “Bambang” and “Lily” because the Jakarta owners have a policy not to employ Balinese? Will you eat out or in Lucy? Saying you will eat out comes really easy though, so why not back any attempt for higher ground with a JBR and photos?
I hope you will be safe too Lucy. I suspect you will be safer yet more divorced from the real Bali in every respect then any of your clients, thus endorsing the commonly held belief that travel agents know as much about travel as Balinese police know about ethics and ability. I hope the reports that JI do not have the capability to bring down aircraft and that Osama has not gone about putting that shortcoming “right”. I hope the airline industry’s own efforts to “supplement” police security at Ngurah Rai are successful too!
Finally, there is a worldwide recession in the travel industry Lucy, so I think a group of increasingly desperate travel agents going on a massively discounted or even free trip to hear the local mega hotel owners say “Bali is safe, send us more wallets, we miss our friends the wallets” is hardly a vote of confidence, just a sign of desperation because they know nothing beyond Bali and a free lunch; plus it is all a testament to their IQ when they take the word of the partial hoteliers over that of their own government regarding safety concerns. I hope you will feel and be safe in Bali Lucy.
PS I do agree travel agents are outsiders though!