Bali focuses on developing 16 destinations

by Wasti Atmodjo on 2013-04-20

Bali provincial administration is now concentrating on developing 16 destinations as part of its short and long-term strategic tourism policy.

I Ketut Astra, head of research and development at the Bali Tourism office, underlined that the decision was based on comprehensive studies that were jointly conducted by the government, academics and the tourism industry.

“Geographical location, accessibility, adequate infrastructure, cultural and natural attractions and supporting communities were the main considerations in determining the 16 locations,” Astra said.

The 16 locations, stated under bylaw No 2, 2012, are Nusa Dua, Kuta, Tuban in Badung regency; Sanur; Ubud, Lebih and Soka in Gianyar; Nusa Penida in Klungkung; Kalibukbuk, Batuampar, Air Sanih in Buleleng (North Bali); Candidasa, Ujung, Tulamben in Karangasem; Candikusuma and Perancak in Jembrana (West Bali).

The administration also stated five other locations as special destinations, including the island’s largest Catholic enclave in Palasari village and Gilimanuk in Jembrana; Kintamani resort area in Bangli; Tanah Lot in Tabanan and Pancasari near Bedugul resort on the border of Tabanan and Buleleng regencies.

“The five areas were designated as water catchment areas, cultural and natural conservation areas. Therefore, tourist facility development will be minimal,” he added.

Astra further explained that each of the stated locations were uniquely attractive.

“There are three locations — Nusa, Dua, Kuta, Sanur and Ubud areas, which already have the most advanced facilities, including top hotels, infrastructure, magnetic cultural and natural assets. At the same time, other locations need to be developed more properly,” added the official.

Currently, many tourist destinations outside southern Bali remain inaccessible due to limited transportation and lack of road access.

Developments of the 16 destinations (excluding Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua) must be focused on providing additional roads, tourist accommodations as well as redesigned tourist attractions.

“However, the development program in areas outside the southern part of Bali will not replicate places in Kuta, Nusa Dua or Jimbaran,” he said.

Southern Bali covers areas stretching from Badung, Denpasar and Gianyar regencies, home to more than 80 percent of the island’s total tourism accommodations.

Putu Winastra from the Bali branch of the Association of Indonesian Travels and Tour Agencies (ASITA) mentioned that in the last few years, more and more foreign visitors opted to visit unexplored destinations outside southern Bali.

“Visitors mostly thought of places in southern Bali’s as too noisy and crowded,” Winastra said.

Unfortunately, a shortage of quality accommodations in addition to limited infrastructure and promotions have prevented people from coming visiting these attractive places.

“European tourists now prefer to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta. They opted for places in Pemuteran in north Bali, Candidasa and of course in Ubud,” he said.

Hans Prawira from a tour agency working on Mandarin-speaking countries (China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan) said that tourists from these countries preferred to stay in Kuta and surrounding areas.

“They have shorter vacation time, mostly less than a week, so they don’t have enough time to explore areas outside southern Bali,” said Prawira.

Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu, head of the Bali Tourism office, said that Bali had 270 tourism objects. “To introduce all objects would require improvements here and there, including opening access to these places, building standard accommodations, public facilities and integrated promotions.”

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