The carrying capacity for visiting tourists to Bali may be nearing the maximum ability of Bali to adequately serve the needs of domestic and international travelers.
Underlining this concern, Ketut Wija, the 2nd Assistant for the Secretariat of the Province of Bali told Bisnis.com that Bali's current population total is put at 3.5 million people. Meanwhile, foreign tourists in 2009 totaled 2.2 million with domestic tourist totals put at 2.5 million. The resulting combined tourist total of 4.7 million represents a number that is 188% of the island's total residents.
"With totals such a these you can imaging how crowded Bali has become," explained Wija at a seminar held to mark the 48th anniversary of Bali's Udayana University, Wija remarked.
He went on the say that with the targeted 2.3 million foreign tourists coming to Bali in 2010, the current over-crowding will become only more acute. For instance, he pointed to the inadequate supporting infrastructure in place in Bali which has brought traffic jams to various locations across the island.
Wija believes the ideal number of tourists to Bali in any one year should not exceed 2.5 million foreign visitors. He said Bali's infrastructure could not compare with nearby Singapore which annually welcomes 10 million tourists.
Bali is playing a game of catch-up, trying to augment its inadequate infrastructure by undertaking the building of new overpass highways, creating new port facilities and enlarging the international airport.
"Hopefully Bali will (soon) have a representative airport with managers predicting completion of current expansion programs in 2013," said Wija.
Wija called for special attention to be paid the cleanliness, the environment and the severe traffic jams now affecting the island.
Separately, the chairman of the Bali Development Association, Ketut Gede Putra, said the openness of the Balinese people provides the momentum for Bali to take the necessary steps to enhance and improve the island's development. "At this time, the people of Bali need to be aware of the various options being placed before them to overcome the island’s problems, such as discussions on overcoming traffic congestion by building overpasses," explained Putra while, at the same time, raising concerns about the lack of clean water and electricity in Bali.
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