Bali: Impending volcanic eruption
The Indonesian island Bali is preparing for a possible massive volcanic eruption. Authorities restricted an area of twelve kilometres surrounding the volcano and evacuated approximately 120.000 citizens from the region. If and when the eruption will actually take place is uncertain.
What does this mean for tourists?
According to several media reports, there is no immediate danger for tourists. The most popular destinations on the island, Kuta and Seminyak, are in a sufficient distance to the volcano.
At the same time, they warn that an eruption would affect air traffic in the area. The Austrian Foreign Ministry (BMEIA) advises tourists who are already in Bali, to prepare for a longer stay and to get enough cash and any needed medicines. We furthermore recommend to use the travel registration of the BMEIA, so that the Austrian authorities know your exact location.
Exact destination important
You would travel to Bali real soon? Your exact destination is important. It is a completely different situation if you booked a round-trip leading you to the foot of the volcano than to a nice beach far away.
In any case, contact your contractual partner - the tour operator of your package travel, or the airline and hotel if you're an individual traveller.
As of now, flights to Bali are still happening. The local authorities have a plan to redirect flights to other airports in case of an eruption. As long as it is unclear that there will actually be an eruption, the situation is difficult to evaluate. It is therefore questionable if you would be able to withdraw from your trip or rebook it free of costs. Talking from experience, we don't think that you could cancel your flight for free as long as the airlines are still operating their flights to Bali. A tour operator can decide at his own discretion if he provides you with alternatives (e.g. change of the travel route, free rebooking to another date etc.).
Naturally, the situation can change at any time. It is therefore important to follow current developments. Save media reports that could help your argumentation with your contractual partner.
Read more detailled information about your rights in case of "danger at destination" in this article.