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Planning for Sustainability

Baliís Desire to Formulate a Master Plan for Development Will Likely Meet Resistance by Islandís Regents and Mayors

(4/7/2013) The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) says the provincial government of Bali is “planning to draft a strategic master plan on tourism development.”

Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika said: “We’re eager to improve the tourism sector and build linkages with other sectors including agriculture. Our priority program is drafting a strategic master plan that manages the tourism sector.”

The Governor is seeking input from all tourism stakeholders, including the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI), in drafting the Master Plan.

The plan is expected to deal with steps to preserve Bali’s agricultural character on an island where tourism has supplanted farming to become the dominant force in the economy. Tourism is now calculated to comprise 66% of Bali’s total economy with a diminishing agricultural sector making up only 19% of the economy.

Pastika commented: “Bali has a different economic structure from other provinces in Indonesia. We rely on tourism as the leading sector.”

Suggesting that controls are lacking, Pastika said that tourism needs to be controlled in order to realize sustainable development. Moreover, accommodation developers are refusing to incorporate Balinese architectural accents in their finished buildings. Adding: “Once, I was invited to a new hotel facility in Kuta. I really deplored that the hotel didn’t adopt Balinese architecture and I spoke to the management about the issue directly. We have to realize that Balinese architecture is a must for all investment on the island.”

The proposed Master Plan will also address means to control the current accommodation boom in Bali that is resulting in unhealthy price competition.

Planners will also be asked to incorporate new business sectors in the Master Plan, such as retirement tourism, sports tourism and cruise tourism.

Some sources are expressing pessimism, doubting that any final Master Plan will not be embraced by the regencies and metropolitan areas of Bali.

Efforts by the governor to introduce an island-wide zoning law and a moratorium on new hotel building have been zealously resisted by the Island’s Regents and Mayors who are unprepared to release control of their lucrative right to issue easements and licenses.