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Staying the Race

Bali Government Called to Spend More and Play a Larger Role in Tourism Promotion

(7/18/2013) The Jakarta Post quotes Bagus Sudibya, a member of the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD), calling for more intensified promotion of Bali tourism by both the government and the private sector.

Claiming a current lack of full commitment to the Island's tourism, Sudibya pointed to the declining amount of money spent by the Province on tourism promotion which has declined from Rp. 3 billion (US$300,00) in 2011, to Rp. 2 billion (US$200,000) in 2102 to less than Rp. 1 billion (US$100,00) for 2013.

Sudibya said: “A smaller budget means less performance and fewer activities. Although Bali has been popular worldwide, promotion should be intensified on a regular basis to introduce new products, such as tourism villages.”

Alluding to competing destination in the region, Sudibya emphasized how Singapore and Malaysia’s tourism promotion is fully funded by their host government while insisting that the administration should take the lead role in financing Bali’s promotional activities.

The BPPD chairman, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, supported Sudibya’s position, adding that stronger competition, especially in the accommodation sector, underlines the need for more promotion.

While new hotels are being built and shop fronts are converted into rented room, Bali’s is meanwhile experiencing declining growth in arrivals. Where double-digit rates of growth were once the norm, that growth is now less than 5%.

Correspondingly, hotel occupancies are on the decline in Bali, averaging between 50% and 60% for star-rated hotels and 40% for non-star rated hotels.

“The supply had surpassed demand. We have no other solution than to stop building new accommodation facilities and intensify promotion until the situation improves,” said Tjokorda.

Expressing a fear held by many involved in Bali tourism, Tjokorda said he was concerned what will happen to the tourism sector after the major events, such a the APEC Summit and Miss World pageant have concluded, adding: “What will it be like after these events are over? Many accommodation and MICE facilities have been built.”

In its first year of operation the BPPD will focus on domestic tourism promotion, overseas promotion, destination and product development, and research.