Interestingly, Pastika has gone on the record to say that not enough has been done in the interim to secure Bali from future terrorist attacks. The increasing of this security is going to be one of the themes of his campaign it seems. Simply, Pastika's argument is that the level and quality of security on Bali does not meet international standards. The interesting part is that the US has recently withdrawn its travel warnings which suggests that the US, at least, considers Indonesia to be relatively safe for tourist travel.
Australia has so far been reluctant to lift its travel warning. The Australian government continues to cite reports of possible terrorist activity. If anything Pastika's statements will provide a little bit of breathing room to keep the travel warning in place. My take on travel warnings and in particular the Australian Travel Warning for Indonesia was that it was a legal document that the government would trot out to say, "we told you so", we will help repatriate you but you will have to pay all costs associated with that repatriation because we warned you and you ignored us.
Nevertheless, Pastika goes on to say that although he respects the Australian government's right to warn and protect its citizens, he feels that if tourists stay away from Bali then the terrorists have won. Only by continuing to come to Bali and to come in numbers, can we say to the terrorists, you lose! This has always been my position, to fold in the face of terrorism means that the terrorists win an undeserved victory over those of us who value freedom and tolerance.
Travel warning or not Bali remains a wonderful place to visit (Photo)!