New Zealand Softens Travel Warning for Bali

AP Wire Service

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – A month after the Bali terror bomb blasts, the New Zealand government on Friday softened its warning that citizens should not travel to the holiday island.

Immediately after terror bombs killed nearly 200 people including three New Zealanders on Oct. 12, the government told travelers not to go to Bali.

Western countries like Australia and the United States issued similar travel advisories for Bali and Indonesia and warned of higher risks of terrorism throughout the region. Asian authorities say the travel advisories are crippling their tourism industries.

On Friday, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade eased its advice for Bali, saying essential travel can be undertaken, with suitable security precautions.

Despite softening its advice for Bali, the ministry noted what it calls a heightened terrorism threat to Westerners and Western interests throughout Southeast Asia and particularly Indonesia, and warned against all travel to several Indonesian trouble spots.

Areas covered are Aceh Province, the Maluku Islands, West Papua, Sulawesi and West Timor’s border area and Belu district.

Travel warnings for parts of the Philippines also remain in force.