As promised, Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched Bali's new tourism branding campaign when visiting Bali to officiate at the opening of the Bali Arts Festival on June 16, 2007.
Shanti Shanti Shanti
While the physical representation of the branding slogan has yet to be widely distributed to the media, the new marketing image of Bali will reportedly include the phrase "Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti" presented against a tri-colored background of red, white and black reflecting sacred colors of the Bali Hindu religion.
"Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti" which translates into "Bali Peace Peace Peace" was selected by a team of branding experts after six months of interviews with a wide cross-section of the local community and reflects the wishes of the people of Bali for both their home island and the rest of the world.
As reported by TTG, the Bali branding team coordinator, Ms. Teguh Mahasari explained the branding decision, saying: "The branding was initiated by the Bali governor not just to attract international tourists, but it also aims to inspire the Balinese themselves to achieve the ideal Bali...We cannot deny the fact that the island is facing problems, such as with environment, infrastructure and excessive commercial development. This is something locals need to address to achieve what Hinduism teaches us: "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
Some local tourism observers have questioned the wisdom of the new branding program, claiming it is over-ambitious to think a single panacea exists that will simultaneously solidify Bali's self-image while serving at the same time as its promotional image to the larger world.
Perhaps more fundamentally threatening to the eventual success or failure of the "Bali Shanti Shanti Shanti" campaign is the continuing reluctance of Bali's government to provide a promotional budget that would make the branding campaign known to a larger audience.
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