No worries about Bali

DENPARSAR, 1 February 2018: Mount Agung is top-of-mind for any traveller planning a trip to Bali since the island’s revered volcano rumbled its way into the headlines last September.

Will it blow, or will it resume its slumber after months disturbing the peace for holidaymakers and residents alike?

No one is absolutely sure, but leading tour operators on the island are reassuring their clients that there is no immediate danger, or threat of holiday disruptions.

Asian Trails one of the most responsive tour companies for issuing relevant updates says in its latest post that although eruptions at Gunung Agung decreased over the last weeks the alert level remains high at level IV.

However, the no-go perimeter has been reduced to a radius 6 km from the crater (previously 10 to 12 km).

Asian Trails says Bali remains safe, while reassuring partners it is continuously monitoring the situation with local authorities, on-the-spot experts, and via various online channels that issue updates to the trade.

On monitoring the situation there are alternative information sources such as MAGMA Indonesia and the Facebook Community “Mount Agung Daily Report.” Bali Tourism Board has also prepared an explanatory video.

For visitors weighing the pros and cons of visiting Bali, it is good to know that only a small area around Mount Agung’s crater was declared a danger zone. All main tourist areas on Bali and other islands in Indonesia including Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Flores, Sumba and Papua are accessible without restrictions.

There are some hotels that are very strict about cancellations. Check out the hotels that have flexible cancellation policies and are prepared to offer a free room if the airport closes, or even a discounted rates for departing in-house guests who cannot fly out as scheduled. Hotels don’t usually advertise their cancellation policies, but in the case of Bali with the threat of an eruption still present it would be reassuring to know they would offer assistance in the event the airport closed.

Volcanic eruptions fall under the ‘force majeure’ clause, therefore hotels travel agencies and tour operators are not obliged to pay additional expenses linked to a natural disaster. Often travel disruptions caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption are not covered by travel insurance.

Check it out, but past natural disasters have shown that usually travellers who booked through a tour operator, that had support teams on the ground, or a partner agency close by,  faired better than independent travellers during a disruption or crisis.