Sapta Niswandar, the Director General of Marketing for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism told Bisnis Bali that many international cruise operators are unhappy with the condition the Bali ports of Benoa, Padang Bai, Tanah Ampo and Celukan Bawang. Sapta said, "these four ports still have a number of impediments in their operations which is prompting complaints from cruise ship operators."
Among the complaints made by cruise operators about Bali ports are issues of water depth, particularly at Padang Bai where tender boats have problems negotiating the waters between their ship's anchorage and the shore. There are also complaints about the southern port of Benoa on the size limitations of that port and the difficulties encountered by larger vessels trying to come alongside.
Celukan Bawang, Bali's oldest port in the far north, is seen by ship operators as very busy and badly organized.
The new port at Tanah Ampo, still in the process of being built, is the subject of many complaints due to basic faults in planning, design and construction.
According to Sapta, Bali, together with the ports of Jakarta, Lombok, Semarang and Komodo remain the main attraction for international ship operators. However, Bali remains the main draw with 46 ship visits scheduled for 2011.
Sapta call on the travel industry and the government in Bali to work together to overcome its current shortcomings in serving the lucrative cruise market.
For its part, according to Sapta, the government is working to promote cruise tourism through participating at major cruise shows and organizing familiarization trips for cruise operators.
[Cruise Ship & Yacht Services by Bali Discovery]
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