JAKARTA: Indonesia's Tourism Minister Arief Yahya on Monday (Nov 27) called on hotels in Bali to offer discounts to travelers who were stuck there due to the eruption of Mt Agung.
Many flights to and from the island were cancelled as authorities decided to close the island's airport after raising the alert of an imminent significant eruption. This has caused many travellers to be stranded at Denpasar airport.
Mr Yahya, who was initally scheduled to fly to Bali, instructed his team to prepare for the volcano's eruption, in a statement released on the Tourism Ministry's website.
"Make sure that all travellers who are affected by flight cancellations and are forced to return to hotels are given special room rates, like 50% discounts," he said.
He also instructed budget airlines to not impose cancellation or rescheduling penalties on passengers.
"This occurred due to to a natural disaster that could not be predicted, and was not in the hands of the passengers," Mr Yahya said.
He also added that tourist visa that have expired will be extended automatically for another month.
In response to this, Bali's Tourism Office announced that stranded travellers who were staying at an Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA) member hotel on the day the airport closed, will receive a free additional night.
In his statement, Mr Yahya also gave instructions to his team to sympathise with those who were affected.
"Give them sweet memories so that they are not disappointed and will want to return to a warm and friendly Bali," he added.