Despite the warnings there was no change to the department’s travel warning on Indonesia, which has remained at the second-highest level since the Bali bombings in 2002.
“If they do determine to go, we urge them to be very careful and exercise extreme caution and particularly to avoid those places where previous attacks have occurred – beaches, bars and the like,” Mr Smith said.
Passengers queueing to board a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Bali yesterday said it would take more than a government warning to convince them to change their plans.
“We feel like we have nothing to lose,” said Jakob Vvellerstrom, 22, a Swedish backpacker who has lived in Australia for a year and who was travelling to Bali to catch up with friends. “We’re kind of, like, suicidal.”
Michelle Steele and Aran Jensen booked their tickets a month ago and had considered cancelling. “More people die crossing the road, and if you cancel they’re going to win anyway,” Ms Steele said. “And it was time for a holiday.”
She said friends who had planned to go to Bali pulled out of the trip because they feared the places they intended to visit would be terrorist targets.
For 20-year-old surfers Baden Cram, Jake Rutter and Barney Ravenscroft, cancelling was not an option.
“We’re still going to go out and have fun, but keep it moderate,” Mr Cram said.
Mr Smith urged the travel industry to relax the rules which impose financial penalties on travellers who cancel or reschedule tickets.
Flight Centre said it had had some cancellations but most travellers were pressing on with holiday plans, amending dates or changing to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Some Jetstar passengers had changed their travel plans but most people were sticking to their itineraries, said the airline’s corporate relations manager, Simon Westaway.
Jetstar would not refund passengers but would waive the fee to change inflexible tickets if they were booked to depart over the next few weeks, he said.
Travel agents could waive cancellation fees if hotels and airlines were willing to do the same. “The reality is, it’s largely the airlines that set cancellation policies,” said a Jetstar spokesman, Haydn Long.