The Bali branch of the Indonesian Tourism Association (GIPI-Bali) has joined the debate on the reclamation of Benoa Bay by issuing their fervent rejection of the plan supported by Bali’s governor.
Ketut Ardana, speaking on behalf of GIPI-Bali was quoted by Beritabali.com saying his organization comprised of leading tourism stake holding organizations in Bali rejects reclamation in the 838-hectare mangrove forest preserve.
Said Ardana on Friday, August 2, 2013: “We do not reject investment coming to Bali. But the government must steer that investment to areas of the island in need of development. Don’t let South Bali become more congested.”
GIPI-Bali see Bali’s tourism markets, like many other destinations in ASEAN, as on the decline due to rampant discounting. “Bali should not follow these destinations because it still remains one of the best destinations in the world,” urged Ardana.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association in Bali (PHRI-Bali), Ida Bagus Kadek Astawa, bemoaned the continued constructions of a range of tourist accommodations in South Bali. “Sooner or later, Bali will be sold cheaply. The symptoms are already there. Starred hotels selling rooms between US$40 and US$50 per night. These kind of prices appear to be only happening in Bali,” said Astawa.
In the official statement issued by GIPI-Bali, the organization rejects the development and private management of the waterways in Benoa Bay included in the Governor’s decree as inconsistent with the religious and social philosophy of the Balinese people.
GIPI-Bali also sees the feasibility review of the project issued by Udayana University used by the Governor to justify his decree as preliminary and insufficiently comprehensive to warrant the issuance of the Governor's decree granting use of the bay to a private company.
GIPI-Bali declared the Benoa Bay as an integral part of Bali’s river ways and ocean estuary system meaning that any development of these areas will have consequences on the Bali-Hindu commitment to the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana mandating that balance be maintained between God, Man and Nature. For this reason, GIPI-Bali feels Benoa Bay is best preserved as a conservation zone.
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