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Bali’s Carrying Capacity: The Ultimate Test

IMF-World Bank Conference will Represent the Ultimate Test of Bali’s Carrying Capacity with 32,000 Delegates and Press Expected to Attend

From October 8 – 14, 2018, the Island of Bali will host the largest conference ever held ub Bali when world leaders, bankers, corporate chiefs, and the press attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank Conference. Set against the context of a world seemingly teetering on the edge of economic, trade, environmental, and military travail - the decisions and discussions to be held at Nusa Dua in South Bali will have a lasting impact on the world for decades to come.

The Indonesian host committee has been preparing for more than a year by spending large sums on major infrastructure projects that embrace, among others, roadworks, airport expansion, and waste disposal. Security scenarios and precautionary measures have been put in place and rehearsed with military precision aimed to maintain peace and quiet surrounding the serious deliberations set to take place, including a bold plan that can empty the island of VIP visitors within 48-hours in the event of a terrorist act or major natural disaster.

Bali’s ability to host a large conference will be tested like never before during the IMF-Wold Bank gathering. While the largest conference to date in the history of Bali tourism was the 2013 APEC Conference that accommodated around 8,000 press and delegates, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affair and Head of the Organizing Committee Bismar Luhut Pandjaitan revised upward on Thursday, October 4, 2018, the expected number of visiting press and delegates to an astounding 32,000.

If those numbers are correct and materialize, Bali will face a challenge that is a staggering 400% more challenging than the 2013 APEC Conference that was, from many viewpoints, overwhelming and problematic. In any case, the IMF-World Bank Bali Event wil be an absolute test of the Island’s carrying capacity in the hosting of a major international conference. And, to the Government’s credit - new roads, additional power supply, better roads and an enlarged airport now in place will be part of a litmus test of the conference planners’ skills as well as the improvements that they have put in place.

At the final pre-conference meeting with the press on Thursday, October 4, 2018, Minister Luhut shocked journalists in attendance by admitting that initial projections of 19,000 delegates and press were wrong, with 32,000 now expected to attend, based on the number who have pre-registered with the IMF-World Bank. These numbers will make the Bali conference the largest annual conference in history for both the IMF-World Bank and the Island of Bali.

Sharing his larger visition of the conference, Luhut said the IMF-World Bank Conference will prove to the world that the Indonesian Government is capable of managing its affairs in the midst of am uncertain global economy.

Coordinating Minister Luhut underlined to the press the manifold benefits will befall Bali’s economy as the result of the conference. He explained that based on original projections of 19,000 participants, economic planners said the Island’s economy would grow 0.64% to an annual level of 6.54%, a rate well above the national average. By extension, economist said the Conference will create 32,700 new jobs.

Based on the original expectation of 19,000 participants, foreign exchange anticipated from the Conference was put at Rp. 1.5 trillion. However, It can now be argued that the foreign exchange projection will increase dramtically due to the now higher level of delegate participation.

The government also plans to promote Indonesian tourism as a whole with delegates attending the Conference booked to 33 “beyond Bali” destinations in pre and post-conference tour programs.

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