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Swiss tourists staying put in Bali

Switzerland's main tour operators say only a handful of the 400 Swiss tourists on the island of Bali have asked to be flown home early, following Saturday's devastating bomb blasts.

Most operators are allowing travellers to cancel booked tours at no expense, and one has suspended all trips to Indonesia for at least a week.

Travel agents say it could take years for Bali's tourism industry - the island's main source of income - to recover from the carnage of two explosions in the beach resort of Kuta, which killed more than 180 people, mainly tourists.

The Swiss foreign ministry has warned travellers to stay away from Indonesia, warning of the risk of further attacks. At least one Swiss citizen was killed in the bombings, which were aimed at nightclubs frequented by tourists. Five other Swiss were injured.

However, Switzerland's main tour operators say none of their clients already in Indonesia - some 400 in total - were affected by the bombings, and that most have chosen to stay on for the rest of their holidays.

Cancellations

Travel group, Hotelplan, said 190 of its clients were in Bali. A spokesman added that travellers could cancel pre-booked tours at no cost.

Switzerland's biggest tour operator, Kuoni, said it was allowing cancellations for free until November 14, and that none of its 81 clients in Indonesia were affected.

"They are all safe," spokeswoman Eve Baumann told swissinfo.

"We contacted all of them and asked them whether they wanted to stay or leave, and most of them decided to finish their holiday."

Only one company, travel group TUI Suisse has cancelled all tours to Indonesia. Spokesman, Roland Schmid, said all trips would be suspended for at least a week pending further advice from the foreign ministry.

He added that none of the group's 140 tourists on Bali had been affected by the bombings.

swissinfo with agencies


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