bali volcano eruptionThe threat of a major volcanic eruption at Mount Agungin Bali, Indonesia has forced the evacuation of 40,000 people from the volcano's foothills. Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali is currently closed until the next 18 hours. The airport's closure disrupted at least 445 flights and roughly 59,000 passengers.

The Bali Tourism Board is co-ordinating free accommodation for 2,315 stranded travellers, and it has set up consular and immigration desks at the airport to help tourists to make arrangements to stay longer.

While Bali's main airport currently closed, Lombok International Airport reopened on Monday morning (November 27) after being closed for one full day due to volcanic ash from Mount Agung. There’s a possibility that stranded tourists in Bali might decide to travel to Lombok.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that the people of Lombok should facilitate these tourists and serve them well.

He suggested for hotels, resorts, homestay and lodgings in Lombok to give more than 50 percent discount.

In the island's south, where the bulk of foreign tourists head, the volcano's impact is not immediately apparent.

"The sun is shining very brightly in Bali's south today," said Gilda Lim Sagrado, a spokeswoman for the Bali Tourism Board.

However, the Tourism Board has indicated that visitor numbers are down since Mount Agung's volcanic tremors began to increase in September.

Before the volcano started rumbling, the island appeared to be on course to have at least 5 million arrivals in 2017, beating last year's total.

Source: Agencies