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Changing Demographics May Change Bali's Character

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A recent article in the Indonesian language Nusa Bali suggests that the increasingly large share of domestic travelers coming to Bali may play a determining role in the future face of the Island.

According to the article, domestic travelers, who now represent more than half of all visitors to Bali, are complaining that Bali's tourist objects are becoming "monotonous." The newspaper quoted a visitor from Surabaya, Suryo Pratomo, who was able to purchase a 3 night/4 day package at a local 5 star hotel for his family for only Rp. 5 million (approximately US$ 568). While Pratomo admitted Bali was still a popular location for a family get away, he reflected the opinion of many domestic tourists who eschew traditional Balinese culture in favor of more modern pursuits. "Bali needs family tourism objects such as 'Dunia Fantasi' (editor: a popular amusement park in Jakarta) or 'Disneyland'." he suggested.

Another domestic traveler, Franciskus Debora, stated that she did not consider Bali a family destination but more appropriate for honeymooners and romantic holidays. Debora suggested that Bali needs to develop a cheap and dependable transportation system to encourage more tourism.

Bali's changing demographics for visitors with the growing preponderance of domestic and regional visitors is almost certain to change the character of the Island over time. Asian travelers, as a general rule, have less interest in dance and culture than European and American visitors. Their demand for more modern attractions may eventually bring an influx of more investment in amusement parks and similar non-Balinese amusements.

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