Bali Most Dangerous Destination for Australians

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By Athena Yenko | August 19, 2014 2:00 PM EST

Bali claims top spot as Australians' most favourite destination. However, data from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) showed the island is also the most dangerous place for Australian travellers.

Reuters
American Tommy Schaefer is escorted by police inside a police hospital to undergo medical checks in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali August 15, 2014. Indonesian police said on Friday those responsible for the killing of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, a 62-year-old American woman whose remains were found inside a bloodied suitcase on the resort island of Bali, could face the death penalty if the case is deemed premeditated murder. The daughter of the Chicago-based woman, Heather Mack, 19, and boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested on Wednesday and detained as suspects.

Compiled hotel bookings within the first 6 months of 2014 from Hotels.com revealed that Bali is the most visited destination among Aussie travellers. This is the first time that Bali tops the list.

Australian Federation of Travel Agents CEO Jayson Westbury said that Australians tend to stay in the island longer as compared to other places of travel.

"It's probably fair to say that Australians tend to stay for longer (in Bali), putting down roots for seven or even 14 nights," said Westbury said.

However, data compiled by DFAT saw that a total of 118 Australians got sick during their stay in Bali, 20 arrested for crimes from 2013 - June 30 2014, and 39 Australian died from 2011-12.

In January, Noelene Bischoof and her 14-year-old daughter died due to food poisoning in Bali.

In August, Allan Byrne, legendary surfboard shaper, died on a motorbike accident.

Although Australians continue to brave the island, travel advisory from the Australian Government instruct travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, due to rampant and continued terrorist attacks.

"We continue to receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia, which could take place at any time. Terrorist groups remain active throughout Indonesia despite police disruptions. Police continue to conduct operations against these groups and have stated publicly that terrorist suspects remaining at large may seek to attack Western targets," the government advised.

The government said that there are instances when the Australian Embassy in Jakarta is restricted from people, especially when there are demonstrations and rally.

Australians are also highly advised to know the severe penalties imposed for narcotics offences that includes death penalty.

Bali and Lombok have specific risk of crimes committed due to drink-spiking and consumption of alcohol adulterated with harmful substances such as methanol. Crimes like credit card/ATM fraud, theft, thieves riding in motorcycles, land, houses, holiday clubs and time share schemes are rampant. There is also a high risk of rabies spreading in Bali and Nias.

The need to travel to Central Sulawesi, Maluku, Papua and West Papua provinces should be reconsidered.

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(Photo: Reuters / Zul Edoardo)
American Tommy Schaefer is escorted by police inside a police hospital to undergo medical checks in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali August 15, 2014. Indonesian police said on Friday those responsible for the killing of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, a 62-year-old American woman whose remains were found inside a bloodied suitcase on the resort island of Bali, could face the death penalty if the case is deemed premeditated murder. The daughter of the Chicago-based woman, Heather Mack, 19, and boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested on Wednesday and detained as suspects.
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