saying it was "the best way to help" the country as it rebuilds from December's devastating tsusnami that claimed an estimated 100,000 lives in Sumatra alone.
As murderous as the tidal wave was, it stayed clear of the country's most popular travel destinations, embassy officials pointing out that Bali, arguably Indonesia's most popular tourist spot, was 3,500 km from the west coast of Sumatra where tsunami struck. "It takes three and a half hours flying from tsunami-ravaged Aceh to Bali or Jakarta," the ambassador said. "So there is nothing to worry about."
All flights between the mainland and Indonesia were operating as usual, he said, noting that tourists had already started returning to Bali from Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Europe and Australia.
"Few Chinese who booked the tour to Bali cancelled their flights," said Tang Jianbao, a sales manager for Bali tours with the China Golden Bridge Travel Service Corp.
Tourism industry data, quoted by China Daily, indicated tsunami-hit countries lost between US$380 m to US$760m.