Australian holiday-makers and travel agents have threatened to snub Bali if accused drug smuggler Schapelle Corby is found guilty by the Indonesian courts.
Almost 70 per cent of respondents to a nationwide survey of travel agents said the outcome of the case would affect the way they sold Bali holiday packages and air fares.
Conducted by travel industry journal Travel Daily, the survey showed 68 per cent of the 168 respondents would stop promoting Bali as a destination if Corby, 27, found at Bali airport with 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her bodyboard bag, was convicted.
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Instead, they would encourage tourists to visit alternative destinations such as Fiji, Phuket, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands and New Zealand.
If the travel industry boycott takes effect, it is expected to make a serious dent in the already fragile Balinese economy that has suffered a series of blows in recent years.
This is a huge blow to Bali, especially since so many of their tourists come from Oz. It really highlights what’s riding on this case. I wonder how people would react if the same situation had happened to someone less media-friendly – an older male, a minority, a poor woman with kids – basically, someone people are more likely to expect as a ‘drug smuggler’. I’m not saying she’s innocent or guilty, I’m just intrigued by the reaction this case has gotten. It’s definitely good for Corby, however, that travel agents and influential people are treating it this seriously.