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Will executions end our love affair with Bali?

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More than 900,000 Australians holiday in Bali each year but many are saying they’ll #BoycottBali in reaction to the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaren.

As shock, grief and disapproval of the Indonesian government’s punishment was let out on social media, voices soon turned to a debate on whether Australians should go there again.

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Many have said they’ll #BoycottBali:

But there are others determined to return:

This interesting evidence suggests that even in the midst of tragedy Australians will go back to the beach side destination.

The piece in The Conversation with the research titled, “Reclaiming our home away from home: the Bali Bombings” explains even though there was a brief downturn in Australians going to Bali after terrorist attacks, we eventually returned in our usual high numbers.

“The number of Australians heading to Indonesia plummeted after both the 2002 and 2005 bombings.” it said.

“The falls were so dramatic that economists worried that the tourism industry, and the Balinese economy as a whole, may not recover.

“But in the longer term, Australians did return.”

End of our Bali party playground?

Some think Australians see that perceived freedom as a big reason for travel there.

The executive chairman of a group of hospitals in Bali told Travel Weekly recently that “Australians think they’re invincible in Bali.”

“We’ve seen three guys on one motorbike, three big Aussie blokes who’ve hit a car, drunk, at 4 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

“Why don’t people don’t wear helmets here? … Do they think the road is softer in Bali?”

Ross Taylor who is head of the Indonesia Institute to promote amicable relations with Australia is of a similar opinion.

“Unfortunately, some people and, in particular, school leavers see Bali as a place where they can go wild, get drunk, take drugs and generally carry-on in a loud and belligerent manner,” he said.

Whatever happens, there is no doubt Australia has been forced to re-think and discuss how it see’s the idyllic area we so often go to relax.

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