Agung Prana, the popular Chairman of the Bali Branch of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) had tendered a formal letter resigning his leadership post, effective October 7, 2004.
Citing health concerns and the advice of his physician, Prana, who was elected to a 5-year term for 2003-2007, thanked those who had assisted him in the first year of his Chairmanship. In his resignation letter he listed a number of unfinished duties left to the association and his successor, including:
• The incomplete recovery of Bali's tourism industry.
• Responses to the intense competition of other tourism destinations in the region.
• "Dumping practices" still occuring in local tourism circles where guests are traded by unethical operators.
• The need for more and better coordinated tourism promotion.
• The optimizing of efforts to create "culture tourism" based on the genuine interests of local populations.
• The limiting of new licenses for tour and travel agents operatingin Bali.
• The further development of the domestic tourism market segment.
Prana, a successful local tour operator, is also founder of the Karang Lestari Reef Restoration Foundation in Pemuteran, Northwest Bali. He played an integral role in creating the now-famous community marine patrol to end destructive fishing practices, the first of its kind in Indonesia. Such community-based marine restoration and protection projects have won Agung Prana national and international awards, including the Best 2002 Marine Coastal Program in Indonesia from the Indonesian government and Best 2002 Underwater Eco-tourism Project in the world from SKAL International, the world's largest professional tourism organization.
Bagus Sudibya, the First Vice Chairman of ASITA-Bali, has been named the Caretaker of the organization until such a time as a Bali Chapter General Assembly can be convened for the purpose of electing a new Chairman.
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