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Too Perfect to Promote?

Bali Continues to Drag its Feet in Establishing a Provincial Tourism Promotion Board

(1/20/2013) Kompas.com reports that the tourism industry is worried with a number of accommodation providers recording occupancy levels of less than 60%.

This drop in occupancy comes in a year when record 2.8 million foreign tourists and 5 million domestic tourists came to Bali.

And while Bali once hosted tourists who stayed for seven days or longer, visitors now stay an average of only 3 days.

Given this circumstance, tourism professionals are calling on the government to undertake aggressive promotion in countries outside Asia.

The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Cokorda Ardhana Sukawati, said: “Bali is famous in every corner of the world. But Bali needs tourists who come from every corner of the world. Bali needs promotion.”

Cokorda, also known as “Coke Ace,” lamented that the province of Bali has been unresponsive to calls to form a Provincial Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD). He insists that such an organization is needed in every instance to promote tourism.

The Bali branch of Indonesian Association of Tourism (GIPI), Ngurah Wijaya, admits he is surprised with the continuing delay in the establishment of a provincial tourism board in Bali.

Wijaya told the press how he had submitted in March 2012 a number of names as individuals suitable to lead BPPD-Bali.

Over the past five year, the promotional budget for the Bali Tourism Office has been reduced from Rp. 3 billion (US$300,000) to Rp. 1.2 billion (US$120,000). The government’s argument is that Bali is well known internationally, requiring little additional promotion.

The lack of a formal tourism board also means Bali has yet to scientifically investigate the underlying reasons for the decline in occupancy levels at Bali hotel.