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A Lack of Support for Bali's Branding Efforts

Minister Wacik Admonishes Those Calling for Financial Support from Jakarta to Launch Bali's New Branding Initiative.

(10/27/2007) The Bali Post reports that the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority, Gde Nurjaya, has complained that Bali has received "nil support" from the Central Government in Jakarta following the launch of a Bali branding campaign in June 2007.

Pointing out the irony of the obvious lack of support for "Bali branding" against the repeated claim by national tourism leaders that Bali is the "locomotive" of national tourism, Nurjaya was reluctant to comment further on the lack of enthusiasm in Jakarta for Bali's new "Shanti Shanti Shanti" marketing campaign.

As the head of the Tourism Service for Bali, Nurjaya answers in a chain of command to the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik.

The three-sided and highly-stylized logo carrying the word "Bali" and the slogan "Shanti Shanti Shanti" is touted by its creators as reflecting the spiritual values of the Balinese people. When launching the branding program, Dewa Ayu Mahasari, the Coordinator of the Bali Branding Team said: "the values represented in this branding represent the position of the Balinese people and their regard for religion, truthfulness, family life and balance in their lives."

While the Bali Tourism Authority has endeavoured to socialize the branding program among local tourism stakeholders, the first efforts to publicize the new branding program abroad were undertaken in a 3-city road show on Bali tourism in Australia from October 3-12, 2007.

Minister Wacik Replies

In response to criticism of a lack of support for Bali's branding program, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, praised efforts to provide Bali with a branding identity, but rejected the proposition that the Central Government has a role to play in financing the wider promotion of the "Shanti Shanti Shanti" identity.

Speaking at a seminar on tourism trends held in Bali at Nusa Dua on October 19, 2007, Minister Wacik admonished his critics, saying: "Come on, I also don't support the 'Enjoy Jakarta' (Editor: Jakarta branding program). The Jakarta government promotes that program. The branding of individual provinces is the concern of the respective provinces. As regards national branding, (a program) is now being compiled."

Replying to those who point to Bali's role as a "locomotive" of national tourism as justification for national support of the Island's branding efforts, Wacik reminded that support is not always in the form of funds. He pointed to the major events and seminars brought to Bali by the government as firm evidence of Jakarta's support for Bali tourism.

The Minister suggested Bali should stop seeking funds from Jakarta for its tourism industry, saying the income generated by tourism in Bali is greater than that generated in Jakarta.

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