Travel warnings for Australia, London and New York

While we were travelling the States and especially Hawaii last year it sprang to my mind, that the US and other governments are using travel warnings as a tool to keep tourists away for the sake of their own tourist industries. The only room below 100 bucks we found on Hawaii's famed Waikiki beach strip was smelling strongly and restaurants were competing in restricting guests personal freedom - most amusing to see how lovers got separated through an invisible smokers fence, which does not allow to smoke inside of open air properties, but only in a distance of approx. 6 meters from it's borders.

67406.jpgOne of the world’s leading travel writers has just emerged from trips to Australia and Bali bemused at the huge difference between the fears about Bali often generated in this country and the exquisitely rich and tranquil experiences of those who actually visit there.
Pico Iyer – author of eight books whose articles are published worldwide in magazines such as Time, the New York Times and the Financial Times – says he encountered superb security, among the best in Asia, and “Aussies who couldn't believe that so many of their friends and neighbors were staying at home”.

He also found the island was bustling and crowded with visitors from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other parts of Asia while many Australians missed out on the attractions of one of the top destinations in the world. Asian millionaires were flying in hundreds of guests for weddings while the Japanese (among the world’s most security conscious people) were coming in record numbers because it is one of the places where they feel most able to relax, he says.

“The island struck me as far safer than Los Angeles, where I maintain a home, or Delhi, which I visited soon afterwards, or New York, or carjack-filled London, or most of the places I visit. The murder rate in American cities has long been higher than even in cities in the midst of civil war, and since the September 11 attacks it is even more the case that places like New York, Paris, Madrid or London are less safe than less high-profile places. Certainly, I felt much safer in Ubud, say, or Nusa Dua, in Bali, where I was staying to promote the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in September than I do in Southern California or in London.
“I met many Australians in Bali who couldn't believe that their friends and neighbors back home asked about danger in Bali when, statistically, it remains one of the safer places in Asia. “Indeed, I found myself in my hotel talking every day to an 80 year-old gentleman from Perth who had come to spend four months on the island, even though he was wheelchair-bound. After a lifetime in the hotel industry, living everywhere and grateful to be based in Perth since 1946, he couldn't stop telling me how HAPPY and well taken care of he felt in Bali, to the point where he was taking the first extended vacation of his life there.” (more...)


Anonymous said...

In September I will be traveling to Bali again for the 16th time To again catch up with the families we have befriended to help with clothing finance etc. I love the place & it's people but I am absolutely disgusted with the Australian goverment for the warnings they keep puting out on Bali whilst not a word on the U.S.A. or the U.K. I find them hypocrites for telling us not to go & then Downer & Howard go. regardless of their warnings I will not be stopped. (come on ausie come on come on ) Enjoy the Island of the gods & its people cheers Jezza

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