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Bali tourist image in your home country?

Sydney Australia
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Bali tourist image in your home country?

Like most of you I'm always on here reading about Bali (when I can't get there) amongst my friends I'm the Bali expert :)

I have found over the years peoples reaction to holidaying in Bali has changed.

When I first went 30 year ago people acted like we were very brave and crazy.

20 years ago I remember almost having to drag my hubby over, we had travelled a bit and I really wanted to show him Bali before we settled down. He went, but it was only to keep me happy he thought every yobbo went there and that it would be a real dump. Now in his defence this was at a time when the songs 'I've been to Bali too' and 'I come from the land down under' were still getting air play . Needless to say even at that age we didn't stay in Kuta any longer than we had to and he fell in love Bali.

10 years ago it seemed everyone I meet had been to Kuta

......................and then the bombs.

8 years ago I was again considered crazy for going to Bali but this time I had kids, many people thought poorly of me for going over, I didn't take the kids.

.................... 5 years ago more bombs in Bali.

At home we had some terrible deaths in our family and decided the kids don't need to be travelling to be hurt so we took the kids, again we were judged.

Last time we took the kids no one said anything besides have a good trip :)

My next trip is in July and Bali is once again becoming the common place to travel to, most people know someone who just got back or is leaving next week.

Happily most of them go to Kuta and leave the rest to me:):)

So after all that I'll get to the point, what I was wondering was for those of you that travel to Bali regularly do you find people react to your destination choice in any particular way?

I find that when we travel somewhere else everyone is excited for us, but when we go to Bali everyone has an opinion!

What got me going on this was Happynoddleboy and other regular posters/travellers who live so far away. I was wandering are you guys considered to be travelling to some far flung exotic island while those of us down under are one of the crazy people or one of the masses, depending on the current situation?

Cheers Deb.

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

My husband and I went to Bali for the first time, one month before the second bombings. Everyone at that time thought we were crazy to go and then after the bombings called to say "I told you, that could have been you"! I thought we wouldn't go back again after that, actually I said I wouldn't, but we did last September. Thinking back we didn't really have a negative reaction to us going on our last trip. Now we are going with the kids (teens) in June and no one has commented negatively, most people say they wish they were going.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

Strange but true, bali certainly brings out mixed feelings in people who have not been there. No one questions when people travel to other terrorist affected destinations such as New York, London and Spain. Or countries with political unrest such as Fiji and Thailand, but yes we always have comments on our choice of travel destination. We know people who are torn with wanting to go, but are too scared to. My advice is if you are scared to go, then dont. Each year when we return safely they start to plan a holiday and then when the travel warnings are re-issued in January or near Nyepi day they change their minds again. It does only seem to be an Aussie thing though, the Europeans never stopped going after the bombings, maybe because we had the biggest losses and it affected our country so greatly. One of our travel companions this trip was there for the first bombing and only missed being in the Sari club because of a headache. In his words they went over with 13 friends and came back with 9, how sad, but it has never stopped him from going.


Destination Expert
for Bali, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Tuban, Ubud
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3. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

i get lots of mixed comments about Bali. the most common being:

'is it safe?', 'be careful traveling somewhere like that', 'I know people who have been there and either love it OR hate it but don't want to go myself',

when I then ask "where did your friends stay and what did they see and do?", they usually reply 'a hotel in kuta recommended by a travel agent'. It seems that many travel agents and tourists focus their stay on kuta area and never leave to experience other parts of the island and hence their impression of Bali is not overly positive. I don't find so many people now focus on the safety issue like they did shortly after the bombings. Now they seem to think about the people caught up in smuggling drugs. It seems the focus changes depending on what is happening at the time. ie health risks and reports on the latest views promoted in the news.

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4. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

Hi Tannalee

I can really relate with what you have written; I am constantly judged for going to Bali, and most of the time it's by people who have never been! Even without the bombs happening, people seem to be very narrow minded, and it really is annoying!

After the first bomb we went back a few months later, and people thought we were crazy; I was constantly having to remind them that it could happen anywhere, and that they themselves were visiting countries that have had many terrorist attacks.

I have a couple of friends and family members that love Bali, so we tend to discuss it amongst ourselves.

It is unfortunate that people aren't open to new experiences, and I know that most of them would really love it. Bad luck for them I guess!!

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

All our friends know about my passion for Bali so their only comment these days is "Your going to Bali AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!"

But we had lunch yesterday with our business accountant and his wife (both from Melbourne) and neither of them have been to Bali but have been to Fiji and Thailand. They asked a very pointed question when we told them we were going to be there for 2 months prior to our sons wedding. The question was "Exactly WHAT is it that draws you to Bali" So of course I set off on my usual spheel (?) of the people etc.

It's these people who have an open mind and are genuinely interested that I just love talking to about Bali. And when we descibed our friends both expat and Balinese, they completely understood that it has become our second home, as they are semi retired too and split their time, 3 months in Melbourne, 3 months at the Gold Coast and 3 months travelling a year. I helped them plan a 3 month trip to the UK a few years ago and after yesterday, I have a feeling I will be helping them with a trip to Bali very soon.

mandurah western...
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6. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

I finally convinced my hubby to go to Bali. I have wanted to go for years, but he has always said its not safe! Finally I just booked it & told him I'll take someone else if he doesn't want to come. We are going to Bali in 4 weeks time (3 & 1/2 actually but who's counting?).

Most of my friends think we are crazy to go to such a 'dangerous' place, but believe me, we live in Mandurah 'crime capital of West Australia', I'll take my chances in Bali!!!! (LOL). It doesn't matter where you are bad things happen, you just have to be aware of your surroundings. Well that's my whinge for the week. Can't wait to go!!!!!

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

You will have a wonderful time Rockinmama and your husband will forget all about his concerns once he is there.

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8. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

Funny, I was just thinking along the same train of thought today. Our family loves Bali, that includes our children, my mum and dad and my sister and her family. Hubby and I just went for a long weekend in March and we are heading back with our kids in September/October and again with friends in December/January. In other words, we can't get enough and have travelled to Bali for over 18 years!! She's like an old friend we can't wait to see again.

When talking to girlfriends the other day, one of them (who also loves Bali) said next year we should all go across for a girls trip away. Then the comments started........can't we go somewhere else, why would we want to go to Bali etc etc. I came away thinking they just don't understand. Many people seem to have built up such a negative image of Bali in their minds. I bet if I could get them there once it would be the start of a long and beautiful friendship between themselves and the Island of the Gods.

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9. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

Generally when I get a negative response the question I ask the person is "Have you ever been there" and most of the time they say NO. That is usually the end of the conversation............

Leeds, UK
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for Bali
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10. Re: Bali tourist image in your home country?

It's certainly an interesting juxtaposition here. When I tell people I'm going on holiday to Bali, the usual response is "That's in Asia isn't it?". But generally, that's it, people don't quite know where it is, or what it's like. When I delve further, people think it's a honeymoon destination, maybe like the Maldives with white sand beaches and huts on stilts over the sea. They certainly think it's exotic, and also that it's expensive. I've spent many a time comparing the price of 2 weeks in Spain (flights, hotels, cost of living) to 2 weeks in Bali and illustrating that it comes out to roughly the same price given how expensive the cost of living is in Europe.

I know two other people here who have been to Bali; one of them hated it because they didn't like the hassle from the sellers. The other one loved it, but doesn't feel drawn back as they like to travel to different places.

No-one really mentions the bombings, but we've been brought up here in the UK with IRA bombings, then recently the various terrorist bombings.

I was in Perth in February, and was amazed by the number of people walking around in Bintang t-shirts. It seems that for you Aussies, Bali is to you what the Mediterranean is for us.