NEW ZEALAND         -     The deadly eruption of a New Zealand volcano has drawn a spotlight on how active volcanoes draw crowds of tourism each year. With so many active volcanoes on the planet, tourists are seeking out thrills on mountains from Japan to DR Congo.

Some of those have had eruptions in the recent past but still - or possibly because of that - are high up on the list of visitors.

“Getting close to volcanoes offers a rare opportunity to experience the power of the restless earth: the smouldering, seething release of pressure from the brittle crust of earth caused by the crush of tectonic plates,” says travel journalist Simon Calder.

“But with the reward comes a range of risks. They can include sulphur dioxide and other toxic volcanic gases, material from the volcano being thrown out, lava flows and possible resulting wildfires, landslides and, for coastal locations, tsunamis.”

The recent eruption of Mount Agung in Bali made headlines around the world. Starting in 2017, it is still ongoing but in its first year led to airspace closures and widespread evacuations.

Until then, though, the mountain had been a popular hiking destination for visitors to the island.

Another active Bali volcano is Mount Batur, which to this day remains a favourite sunrise hike.