Don't let fear spoil Bali holiday, says regular

SCHOOLIES heading to Bali for end-of-year celebrations shouldn't be too concerned, according to a Sawtell local who is a Bali regular.

After reading an article in Wednesday's Coffs Coast Advocate about Hollie Burgess and her friends potentially losing their money if they didn't take their trip, John Veenstra contacted the Advocate to offer them his reassurance.

“Don't let fear spoil it for you,” he said.

“I understand that you and your parents may be concerned, but the reality is that the risk of anything happening to you as individuals is extremely remote - particularly if you exercise the usual precautions as you would when going anywhere different.”

Mr Veenstra was in Bali between the two bombings, and has re-visited at least once or twice a year since. He also said he had two daughters, both of whom have been to Bali independently.

“To be honest, I felt more scared sitting in the airport in Sydney. Yes, there are extremists, but not on Bali, they're mainly on the other islands.”

“Bali is a wonderful island, and the people are friendly, helpful and welcoming.

“Get out of the mainstream. The Kuta strip is to Bali what the Gold Coast is to the rest of Australia. Go on some day trips and stay overnight elsewhere on the island, especially around Ubud and the mountain areas ... Of course, these areas are much safer than the city areas.”

“These girls have obviously been dreaming about and planning this holiday for a number of years, don't let fear spoil it.”

Mr Veenstra is happy to speak with concerned parents, his number is available from the Advocate on 6650 2946.



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