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Mount Agung not a threat, leta��s go to Bali: Minister

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has invited businesspeople and tourists to celebrate New Yeara��s Eve in Bali now that Mount Agung is no longer a threat, despite ongoing a�� albeit minor a�� volcanic activity.

She cited a guarantee given by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), saying that an eruption would affect a limited area of the resort island.

a�?For those of you who changed your year-end vacation plans [due to Mt. Agung], I encourage you to come to Bali. I have a guarantee that Bali is safe now,a�? Sri Mulyani at the Investor Gathering held in Jakarta on Monday as reported byA�kompas.com.

Read also:A�Year-end events to attend in Bali

a�?I hope participants of the Investor Gathering will celebrate their vacations in Bali or other [nearby] destinations and spend [New Year] there.a�?

Flights to Bali have declined by about 30 percent as a result of Mt. Agunga��s heightened volcanic activity in November, according to the Indonesian National Aviation Association (Inaca).

The association estimates the trend to continue into early next year, as the volcano and its surrounding area remain under a high alert status.

The Tourism Ministry also said that it would unlikely achieve its target of seeing 15 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho assured that popular tourist areas, such as Tanah Lot, Sanur, Pandawa Beach, Batur Mount, Ubud, Kuta Beach, Padang-Padang Beach, Lovina Beach, Dreamland Beach, and Nusa Dua Beach, would not be affected by an eruption. (bbn)