20 October 2017
09:00 local Bali time
The Bali Tourism Board Hospitality Task Force has organized 10 Hospitality Desks to be staffed by students and faculty of the Bali Tourism Institute (STO) to provide assistance and information to Bali visitors in the event aviation authorities close Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport after a possible eruption of Mount Agung.
The ten Hospitality Desks, to be supervised by 30 STP instructors and 150 STP students, will be located at 10 locations designated as assembly points in the event of an airport closure.
· ITDC Nusa Dua
· Krisna and Bebek Tepi Sawah - Tuban
· Ngurah Rai Airport
· Central Parkir Kuta
· Benoa Harbor
· Grand Bali Beach Hotel
· Desa Budaya Kertalangu
· Taman Ayu Singapadu
· Bali Safari and Marine Park
· Bali Bird Park.
The teams working at the Hospitality Desks have been provided two days of intensive training by the Deputy for Preparedness from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency; briefings on communication by Swisscontact and the Chairman of STP Bali; basic first aid by Dr. Ayu Witrianingsih of the Denpasar Health Service; “psychological first aid” guidelines by a leading psychologist, Dr. Retno; and tips on handling complaints by the Bali Tour Guide Association (HPI). The training program concluded with role-play exercises simulating an actual airport shut down.
While volcanologists are in agreement that if Mount Agung should erupt prevailing wind patterns would disperse any resulting volcanic ash to the Island’s north. Nonetheless, Bali’s Airport could be closed if aviation experts determined ash in the upper atmosphere represented a hazard to airplanes in approach or departure patterns for Bali’s airport.
To prepare for every eventuality, the 180 instructors and students were given 1,000 facemasks by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency and 2,500 fliers in Indonesian and 1,000 flyers in English providing guidelines on what to do when confronted by volcanic ash.
Because Mount Agung and the designated “danger zone” cover only 2% of the Island’s landmass and is located more than 60 km from the main tourist areas in the South officials expect minimal impact on tourism activities in the event of an eruption. The 10 Hospitality Desks are being put in readiness to handle any possible rush of urgent inquiries and rebooking assistance from tourists who might be temporarily stranded by the closure of Bali’s airport.
The head of the Provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), Dewa Made Indra, said that human activities are forbidden in the “danger zone.” But, for local residents who still have livestock, limited access is still allowed. Adding: “In fact, people are not allowed to undertake activities. But we cannot stop them from undertaking activities. They quietly return to the home, which is allowed providing they promise to return to their temporary camps as soon as possible. This is being done to avoid any unwanted casualties should Mount Agung finally erupt.”
Bali Tourism Hospitality