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Think Before You Drink

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Warns Visitors to NTB to Be Wary of Alcoholic Beverages Offered at Local Night Spots

(2/15/2013) The West Nusa Tenggara Tourist Promotion Board (BPPD-NTB) is warning people not to lightly dismiss travel warnings issued by the [Australian Department of Foreign Affairs] intended for their citizens traveling to Bali and the islands immediately east of Bali.

The subject travel warns travelers to be specifically wary of “drink-spiking and consumption of alcohol adulterated with harmful substances such as methanol.”

As reported by Kompas.com, the travel warning is connected to the recent death of Liam Davis. Davis is a young Australia believed to have died after consuming methanol mixed with an alcoholic beverage on Gili Trawangan Island during New Year Eve's celebration. 

The head of BPPD-NTB, Awanadi Aswinabawa, told the press that his office had yet to receive any formal notification in connection with the travel warning posted on the Australian government website, but said such developments must be anticipated.

“What’s important is how we choose to counter these negative reports; making sure that we do not create a negative opinion in the process. This is like a snowball, if we are not cautious, this will turn into a genuine travel warning,” said Awanadi.

Awandi called on all parties in both the tourism industry and public sector to take concrete steps to stop the circulation of illegal alcohol. He urged that the distribution of all alcoholic drink should be regulated.

“In this regard,” Awandi warned, “the government cannot work alone and must be assisted by associations and tourism practitioners in order to achieve cross-control.”

He also reminded all parties not to resort to blaming each other. He said that the number of Australian tourists traveling to West Nusa Tenggara has decreased in the past whenever incidents, such as the bombings in Bali, have taken place.

A concerned Awandi warns that current bad press resulting over deaths connected to the consumption of tainted alcoholic beverages has the potential of decreasing visitors to his region.