Taipei-Taiwan raised its travel alert for the Indonesian island of Bali to the color orange on Monday, the second-highest level in the travel advisory system, as the tourist hotspot waits for the likely eruption of Mount Agung.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised the travel alert from the lowest level of gray to orange, urging Taiwanese nationals to avoid unnecessary trips.
The ministry cited Indonesian authorities which raised the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation in Bali to the top alert as ash was spewed 4,000 meters into the atmosphere twice on Nov. 25.
As a result, Bali's Denpasar International Airport was closed on Monday, leaving thousands of tourists stranded on the island, including 275 from Taiwan.
Under the ministry's four-color travel alert system, red represents the highest warning level, while orange means travelers should take precautions and avoid unnecessary travel. Yellow is the next step down, with gray at the bottom.
According to the Tourism Bureau, tourists who wish to cancel trips to Bali are eligible for a refund after tourism operators deduct payments already made and a fee of no more than five percent.
While the stranded Taiwanese tourists were reported to be safe, some Taiwan travel agencies have decided to suspend trips to Bali for the time being, the bureau said.
Of the 37 group tours booked for Bali until the end of November, five have been canceled, affecting 54 tourists, according to the bureau, which continues to monitor the situation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel