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Less than Totally Festive

Batur Lake Festival Fails to Draw Expected Tourist Visitors

(10/27/2012) For the second time, the regional government of Bangli in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy sponsored the Batur Lake Festival at Kintamani on October 19-21, 2012.

The three-day festival was festooned with competitions, seminars, culinary events and cultural performances.

Denpost reports that outside several technical issues in the Festival’s execution, the Batur Lake Festival is generally considered to have been a successful event in terms of managing to present the range of programs promised by its organizers. But, if success is measured in terms of the Batur Lake Festival’s ability to bring tourists to Kintamani, either domestic or international, the event’s reports card is decidedly less stellar.

The press is reporting that during the three-day festival it was virtually impossible to identify any foreign tourists who had traveled to the area with the express intention of participating in the Festival. Those tourists who were in Kintamani discovered the Festival only by coincidence.

The lack of tourist visitors at the Batur Lake Festival was blamed on a lack of promotion by the event organizer.

Wayan Diatmika, a Kintamani resident who traveled back to his home turf to witness the festival first-hand, said: “Almost all the exhibition stands erected (at the festival) had few visitors. If anyone visited the stands, they were local people.”

There were other suggestions that the range and variety of programs presented during the festival were monotonous, designed primarily to accommodate the desires of selected locals. As a result, the stage performances attracted minimal interest.

The regent of Bangli, I Made Gianyar, spoke at the opening of the Festival calling on the organizers to take note and learn from the shortcomings of this year’s Festival and devise ways to use future events as a means to promote tourism to Kintamani. Said Gianyar, “Let’s not repeat the failings in the executive of last year’s and this year’s festival.”

The regent also recommended that next year’s event have more activities that will engage foreign tourists.

A Bali tourist leader, however, said the fundamental failure of the Batur Lake Festival in not creating an agenda for the event sufficiently far in advance and then publicizing the program internationally.

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