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It will be bye bye Bali and hello Phuket for many Aussie tourists

Bullets That Executed Eight May Kill Bali Tourism and Benefit Phuket

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
PHUKET: Tourism on Phuket is likely to benefit from the bullets that cut down two Australians and six others as they faced an Indonesian firing squad early today.

With the clamor for Australians to boycott Indonesia and Bali because of those bullets, Phuket is likely to be the unwitting beneficiary.

Australians are the prime market for Bali and enough of them are likely to now boycott the island to make a difference to Indonesian tourism figures, at least in the short term.

The executed Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, had both been in jail on Bali for more than 10 years, and were seen by their fellow citizens to have become reformed characters.

'Is it time to boycott Indonesia?' asked a headline on today, with commenters answering with a resounding Yes.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo is seen as having the foreigners killed to boost his slipping popularity at home. The president, viewed as a breath of fresh air on election, is now seen as just another puppet of the system, surrounded by corrupt cronies.

Columnist Peter Hartcher, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, said: ''A pathetically weak leader, pandering to a national pathology of perceived Indonesian weakness, appears to have decided irrevocably to put humanity and judicial rigor aside and to execute Chan and Sukumaran and the other prisoners. Because only a pathetically weak leader would execute the powerless to prove his strength.''

Bali and Phuket share each other's pain in the sense that when one suffers, the other usually benefits. This was true of the Bali bombings of 2002, the Phuket tsunami of 2004, and the second round of Indonesian bombings in 2005.

Overpricing in one usually works to the benefit of the other.

This is especially true of the people of Perth in Western Australia, who live closer to Bali than to Sydney or Melbourne and are among Bali's keenest visitors.

If the messages being delivered through the media across Australia can be believed, the love affair with Bali ended as the bullets flew this morning.

For all its failings, the killings of foreigners on Phuket are mostly accidental. One island's setback is the other's success story.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I doubt whether it will have any lasting effect, or even that it will have material short term impact:

let's look to Koh Tao - the place which traveller Thailand favor the most, now moved to Nr,1 after those horrible murders and more than strange investigation of it .

Tourists don't care, or, to the most part, are not informed - and are not interested to be informed.

Posted by Sue on April 29, 2015 11:48


At the end of the day the drug smugglers who cause death and misery for countless people deserved what they got they knew the risk so why worry.people will think twice now hopefully and stop wrecking lives.

Posted by william on April 29, 2015 12:36


A new advertising slogan for TAT: "Come to Phuket as we dont execute your fellow countrymen"


Posted by Discover Thainess on April 29, 2015 13:08


2 convicted drug smugglers executed in Indonesia against hundreds of innocent tourists killed per annum in Thailand. "A misguided campaign by Australian.... activists?"

Posted by gee on April 29, 2015 13:42

Editor Comment:

''Hundreds of innocent tourists killed per annum in Thailand . . . '' You are clearly having one of your troubling periods again, gee, and unable to sort fact from fiction.


Though I somewhat agree with the (needless) speculation, I don't think looking for benefits from people being killed is the right thing to do.

There's worldwide condemnation and even outrage but PW chooses a different tack.

Poor judgment call to use such a headline.

Posted by Herbert on April 29, 2015 13:52

Editor Comment:

You clearly don't understand the simple proposition that if you don't like what you read, there is no need to linger. I suggest you cease reading PW and go where the news is calm and gentle and more attuned to selling you stuff you don't need, Herbert. You could even start your own online site. But I suspect your desire not to be startled or perturbed by what you read and never to advocate change could limit your audience.


Answer, ..absolutely not! Seen the number of executions in Egypt, China, and USA, it doesn't effect tourisme. No idea why it would effect Indonesia tourisme. Anyway, bookedtourists for Indonesia can not cancel their trip, their insurance would not refund. Very simple issue. Some countries make a lot of diplomatic noise towards Indonesia, but do not show 'travel cancellation teeth'.It is all bla bla for ...? But tourist business goes on. Yes? There is a kind of hypocrisy, or not?

Posted by Kurt on April 29, 2015 14:04

Editor Comment:

You seem unable to grasp the link between Australian tourists and Bali as their destination.


Is there a boycott of USA states where Governors can spare life of death row persons, but not do? Same for may other countries.
Australian holiday makers are not going to boycott Bali. Funny idea.
Perhaps a strange comment, but Australian holiday makers are not thinking about drugs syndicate leaders executed now.
They just want a Phuket beach setting, clean (!), very hard, because Phuket governor only cleans once in long time span. And want protection against sun!
Executions have taken place, and that story is over. Simple.

Posted by Kurt on April 29, 2015 14:14

Editor Comment:

As I said, you seem unable to grasp the link between Australian tourists and Bali, their preferred destination.


Does this mean we can also expect an influx of drug smugglers who will now be wary of doing drug deals in Bali?

Posted by Phil on April 29, 2015 14:25


ed the disgusting method of slaughtering cattle did nothing for Indonesia's cause either, the public reaction in Australia was unprecedented some are still offended today & wont spend a cent on Indonesia giving Phuket a larger edge in the holiday market.

Posted by slickmelb on April 29, 2015 14:34


I don't know about that after 2002 Bali bombings the embassies gave warning that phuket was also likely
Target iI had ten school trips that year nine had to cancel because embassies gave warnings and school boards cancelled my friend in the mice industry had same problem but he managed to move a few to Chang Mao

Posted by Michael on April 29, 2015 15:13


Posted by gee on April 29, 2015 16:09

Editor Comment:

It's called a statistically aberration, gee. People will die from natural causes, you know. Living in Thailand doesn't provide protection from that. Many ageing Brits and others die in Thailand because their time is up. Very few die on the sofa in front of the television. But ''Hundreds of innocent tourists killed per annum in Thailand . . . '' Total BS.


Absolute no sympathy for the Bali 8. They decided to do the crime knowing the penalty - death.

The amount of drugs would have caused 100's if not 1000's of families to suffer from the effects drugs has on our society.

In the end, two of the smugglers said they have become reformed characters - Good on you and about time - A bit late mate!

Posted by Zenobiz on April 29, 2015 16:24


@Ed: how can you compare a tsunami, which is a natural disaster, with a drug smuggler? Where is the comparison? I say, there will be no difference in tourism for this case, just because a few desperate people were begging to spare the life of these people. The world goes on, and it certainly won't stop for the disappearance of a few heroine distributors.

Posted by Carl on April 29, 2015 16:53

Editor Comment:

I haven't compared a tsunami with a drug smuggler.


"''Hundreds of innocent tourists killed per annum in Thailand . . . '' You are clearly having one of your troubling periods again, gee, and unable to sort fact from fiction."

Not really,

'Figures released by the British government showed that between 2011 and 2012 there were 296 British deaths in Thailand.

In the 12 months up to April 1, 2013 there were 389 British deaths in Thailand, while in the same period up to April 2014 there were 362 deaths and 267 hospitalisations of British tourists.'

And that's just the British....

Posted by Lashay on April 29, 2015 17:27

Editor Comment:

And your point is, Lashay, that you performed autopsies on each and every one of them, so you know what you are talking about? Oh, you didn't?

Surely you're not relying on . . . foolish guesswork?

I know, I know . . . it's hard not to go to a good zombie movie and believe that it's not happening here.


@ Ed

I was not aware being in agreement with the Editor was a prerequisite for reading PW.

You really are so predictable. Whenever someone disagrees with you, you lash out with snide and condescending remarks.

Since you've decided to publish your opinions, which this article clearly is, you would do well growing a thicker skin instead of attacking everyone who dares to disagree.

I was both polite and respectful in my opinion. The same hardly applies to your response.

Most times I agree with your opinions and sometimes I do not. I wonder why you feel so intimidated by that.

Posted by Herbert on April 29, 2015 19:07

Editor Comment:

I don't give two hoots whether you agree with me or not, as long as what you say has value - that is, offers up something worth saying.

Carping and harping do not qualify.

You seem unable to offer a view that isn't heavily coated in conservatism, tinged with Doomsayer and laced with pettiness.

Why do you bother?



Finally, I can fully agree 100 percent with your comments. The executions will likely have no effect "long or short term" regarding the issue. Most humans have absolutely no reflection when it comes to past events.

Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 19:13

Editor Comment:

Without a name, Sue has no idea who ''I'' is.



people always die if they are killed.

however people not always die because they are killed.

your figures about people who died

however the statement in question is about people who are killed

"ppl who are killed" is a subset of the set "ppl who died"

to compare those ones is like to compare apple fruits with apple trees, so probably better not

Posted by Sue on April 29, 2015 19:34


Wont make bugger all difference and if it does it'll last about a month or until whatever airline gives good/better deals to Bali.

Posted by Chalongresident on April 29, 2015 20:00

Editor Comment:

Thank you for adding value.


I don't get it, if u look the news, one American kill his mother in law , put in suitcase ++ . 18 years in Indonesian prison. No people need to die 'Bali 9 ' for that crime.

Posted by Jan on April 29, 2015 22:49


"Absolute no sympathy for the Bali 8. They decided to do the crime knowing the penalty - death."

The penalty for drug smuggling and distribution in Indonesia is not a simple blanket rule and it is not applied consistently. It applies to those who cannot afford or choose not to pay the bribes necessary to avoid it.
The Indonesian Meth factory owner who was next in line for death after Chan and Sukumaran but has mysteriously had his sentence reduced to 14 years is a case in point.
I know it must be hard for perfect people like you who float through life error free to exist in a world with all these imperfect beings, but try to have a little compassion.
Oh and btw it 'was' the Bali 9, not 8.

Posted by Chris on April 30, 2015 08:38


Mr Editor, I am very well able to 'grasp'. Don't worry about that.
Perhaps a little dip in Australian tourist figures the coming 2 weeks, but in lesser time the Australian Embassador will return to Jakarta, and as well the Australian tourists to Bali.
The average Australian has no problem with Indonesia's policy regarding syndicate drugs smugglers. They are wise enough to understand the political underlaying dealings in this matter. Indonesia gets a lot of good will by not executing the Philippine woman, giving Philippines chance to show how Manila now go to handle this affair..

Posted by Kurt on April 30, 2015 10:00

Editor Comment:

The issue will not go away quickly. People who booked trips to Bali before the executions are clearly unlikely to waste their money by cancelling. Anyone who thinks the firing squad will boost tourism to Bali could be mistaken. Just how much damage is done will be evident in October.


LOL...a tad hypocritical you mentioning "Value", but anyway as pointed out by Kev B Wilson, 250,000 People a year die from heroin overdoses and nobody bats an eye, 2 drug smugglers get sentenced to death and everybody looses their minds.
PS Don't expect your'll publish this and if you do no doubt it'll be edited.

Posted by Chalongresident on April 30, 2015 11:38

Editor Comment:

Wrong as usual, Chalongresident, but then you don't have principles or ethics. Executing drug smugglers is one thing. Keeping them for 10 years while they reform and become good citizens, then executing them for selfish political motives is torture, and something only people without principle and ethics could support. Drug users make their own decisions in life.


Ending life of Drug dealers is not a bad thing, they would dawn well knew the risks of dealing drugs yet they still do it, I appreciate Indonesia! Oh, I would love to visit Bali.

Posted by Sun on April 30, 2015 12:42


@Chris. "I know it must be hard for perfect people like you who float through life error free to exist in a world with all these imperfect beings, but try to have a little compassion.
Oh and btw it 'was' the Bali 9, not 8."

No Chris, what is hard for me to understand is the symphaty that they get. They decided to do the crime knowing, that if they get caught, they could face the death penalty - Well! They decided to do it anyway, possible out of greed for easy money....or.
stupidity....or both.

Two of my four brothers has been junkies for almost 25 years - not a perfect life I can tell you. The damage it has caused to our family has been devastating, so spare me for your little Mr. Perfect speech. I have meet lots of families who are in the same situation.

Posted by Zenobiz on April 30, 2015 15:48


in the case of the 2 Australians, yes they knew the penalties and in the end they paid the penalties. What about Mary Jane Veloso who, as more and more evidence comes to light, appears at this stage to have been duped by traffickers into carrying a bag. Should she be killed for making that mistake? should her little sons lose their mother for that? I wont even start on the execution of the mentally ill Rodrigo Gularte which violated international law.
As for the sympathy the Australians and the others got, to be honest I feel much of the emotions and empathy was actually for their families and loved ones. There pleading and begging for their brothers and sons was haunting. The execution itself was over with the pulling of 96 triggers, but the families will be left with the pain for ever after. As someone who has suffered from the decisions loved ones have made, maybe you can understand how helpless they must have felt.
As for junkies and the demand side of the business, these killings will not stop or even slow that in the slightest. Whether it's rhino horn, shark fin or heroin, if there is someone some where willing to pay money for something illegal, someone will try to supply that to them. The war on non government sanctioned drugs has been a complete failure and gradually the world is waking up to that.

Posted by Chris on May 1, 2015 08:21


Cheaper and quicker to have a holiday in Bali but not by a lot for people from WA which effects some peoples choice of destination
99% of tourists are not drug dealers and have nothing to worry about and do not care about drug dealers trying to smuggle 8kg of heroin into Australia
Tony Abbot may not have a holiday in Bali, who cares

Posted by peter allen on May 1, 2015 12:47

Editor Comment:

Thinking tourists who take exception to what's happened will vote with their feet, peter. We will see in six months, as the executions continue, how much of a reaction can be detected.


"may kill Bali Tourism"
What's wrong Ed? Converted to a doomsayer?

Posted by sascha on May 2, 2015 09:42

Saturday February 4, 2023
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