New master plan on tourism a priority, says Pastika

by Ni Komang Erviani on 2013-04-06

The Bali administration is planning to draft a strategic master plan on tourism development, with the plan urgently required as guidance for all stakeholders to develop the backbone of Bali’s economy, says the island’s governor.

“We’re eager to improve the tourism sector and build linkages with other sectors including agriculture. Our priority program is drafting a strategic master plan that manages the tourism sector,” Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said recently.

Pastika asked all tourism stakeholders, especially those who were members of the Bali-chapter of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI), to actively participate in the drafting process. “I ask that GIPI help me in drafting the strategic master plan, as it will affect their business,” Pastika added.

The lucrative tourism industry has risen to become the key factor in the island’s economy, pushing aside the once powerful agriculture sector.

The tourism sector has lead economic development for several years. Between 2008 and 2012, it made up an average of 65.88 percent of the economy per year. Meanwhile, the agriculture sector only made an average 18.47 percent contribution.

“Bali has a different economic structure from other provinces in Indonesia. We rely on tourism as the leading sector,” Pastika said.

However, he admitted that tourism needed to be controlled to realize sustainable development.

He said many hotels and other accommodation facilities were now built ignoring Balinese architecture. “Once, I was invited to a new hotel facility in Kuta. I really deplored that the hotel didn’t adopt Balinese architecture and I spoke to the management about the issue directly. We have to realize that Balinese architecture is a must for all investment on the island,” he stressed.

The rapid growth in new tourist accommodation, he said, also needed to be controlled as it had created an unhealthy business atmosphere. Many hotel managements are now offering room prices below the standard rates.

For the development of Bali tourism, the sector had much potential that could be developed, such as retirement tourism, sports tourism, as well as cruise tourism, said Pastika.

“Many things need to be controlled and planned. The master plan is needed,” he went on.

GIPI Bali Ngurah chairman Wijaya warmly welcomed the governor’s invitation calling for the GIPI’s participation in drafting the master plan.

“We’re glad the governor has invited us to participate in the drafting process of this plan. We will provide many suggestions for it,” he said.

Drafting a plan may prove to be the easiest part of Pastika’s effort to synchronize the development of tourism with agriculture, as well as reduce the ever-widening prosperity gap between south Bali, where most tourism facilities are located, and the rest of the island.

Past experiences have shown that the limited authority of a governor cannot match the legal power of the regents.

An example was when Pastika announced the moratorium on new hotel development in south Bali to drive investment to other regions and halt environmental degradation along the island’s south coast. However, the regents and mayor in south Bali rejected it, arguing such a policy would sever investment flows into their respective regions, reducing their ability to generate more revenues.

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