During the course of Indonesia's participation at International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Germany, the Berlin-based fitness magazine Senses presented an award naming Bali as the World's Best Spa Destination 2009.
Selected after a review by a panel of 200 spa experts, the award for Bali was handed to Sapta Nirwandar, the Director General of Marketing for the Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism, at ITB. The award was then delivered to Bali and presented to the island's governor by the Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik.
Governor Made Mangku Pastika gratefully accepted the award and congratulations of the Minister on behalf of the Balinese people, stating that the award is another in along list of honors bestowed on Bali by international travel publications.
Quoted in Jakarta Post, Pastika, however, deflated any momentary joy brought by the German award, warning that Bali tourism is beset with many problems, such as garbage disposal, traffic jams, flooding, unlicensed travel agents, illegal villas, long lines at visa counters and illegal retributions aimed at tourist visitors.
"There are a lot of problems that we must cope with to improve and enhance our tourism industry. Defending an award is a lot harder than getting it in the first place," Pastika warned.
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