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Busy Island, Empty Hotels

Many Hotels and Bali Business Suffered Business Downturns During APEC Conference

(10/11/2013) The Jakarta Post reports that many hotels outside the Nusa Dua Area, where the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) was held October 1-8, 2013, suffered significant declines in occupancy during the 4 days of the conference when Bali's airport was closed for extended periods to accommodate the movements of heads of state attending the Summit.

Confirming hotel average occupancy rates averaged only 35% during the APEC Conference, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, chairman of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI) said: “We usually experience an average occupancy rate of 75 percent in October. But now the rate has dropped to only 35 percent.”

Problems of low occupancy were aggravated by many last minute cancellations and alterations to flight schedules. Other tourists, fearing traffic congestion and delays caused by heavy security measures in place for the APEC Conference, cancelled or postponed their travel to Bali.

Acknowledging that APEC has been a economic windfall for the conference hotels and venues, Sukawati, who is also chairman of the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD), added: “But the other hotels around Bali do not enjoy such good business. However, we do understand that this is only a temporary situation. The situation will be back to normal after the meeting ends.”

Sukawati said the overall impact of the conference would be positive for Bali tourism and, because of that, the conference deserved and enjoyed the support of the Island’s tourism industry. “This will be a good promotion for Bali’s tourism,” he said.

 Adding, “The summit will significantly boost our island’s brand as an international tourist destination.”

Jeffrey Wibisono, a director of sales and marketing for LV8 Resort Hotel, said his luxury hotel in the Canggu area of Bali saw occupancy drop to 15% during the APEC Conference, expecting business to climb back to 80% once the situation on the Island returns to normal. Said Wibisono: 

“The significant drop in our hotel occupancy is just because of the airport closure during the summit. After the summit, we will be facing high occupancy. Our guests have decided to come to Bali after the summit.”

A number of hotels in Kuta confirmed heavy cancellations connected to APEC.

As reported by Balidiscovery.com, restaurants in and around Nusa Dua where the APEC Conference was headquartered, reported that despite the fact that all hotels in their area running 100% business was quiet as transient traffic was banned in the area and those staying in nearby hotels already had a full schedules of meetings and evening entertainments.

Bali’s modern BIMC Hospital within Nusa Dua also suffered a downturn in business during APEC. Despite being designated as the main medical provider for VVIP visitors and their delegations, a member of BIMC’s management said that during the conference members of the public needing medical assistance were not allowed access to the hospital. Saying business was “almost zero” during the Summit, the BIMC officials said the conference had cost them a "fortune in lost revenues" and questioned the unknown toll in suffering and lost lives occasioned by the inability of community members to access their hospital.

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