Sat, 12 Mar 2005

Foreign tourists abandon Bali

MATARAM, West Nusa Tenggara: Many foreign tourists visiting Bali have abandoned the resort island for nearby Lombok so as to avoid Nyepi (the Hindu day of silence).

Holiday Inn marketing director Jelantik said that the occupancy rate in his hotel had fallen to 80 percent after tourists had abandoned Bali for Mataram.

Bali, normally a hive of activity for tourists, comes to a virtual halt during the holiday, with tourists expected to stay in their hotels throughout the day.

Unlike in Bali, in Mataram the day of silence is only observed in a few predominantly Hindu areas. -- Antara