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Bali Still Celebrated, But Less So

Travel + Leisure Rates Bali as 2nd Best Island in the World in The Latest 'World’s Best' Awards.

(8/24/2008) The August 2008 edition of Travel + Leisure magazine has published the results of the latest survey of their sophisticated readers rating the worlds best cities, islands, hotels, tour companies, airlines and rental car companies.

While Indonesian tourism circles boast with justifiable bravado of the accolades bestowed by Travel + Leisure on Bali and its travel industry, the latest results should be sounding some alarms in official circles and provide additional fodder for those who claim mismanagement of the island's assets is causing a downturn in the destination's luster and appeal.

No Longer the Top Island

Through 2007, despite 2 terrorist attacks, Bali monopolized for six consecutive years the number one spot in the survey as the worlds favorite holiday island. However, the 2008 results has seen Bali slip to the #2 spot behind Galapagos which is now ranked as "the world's best island."

Bali Hotels, Conspicuous by the Absence

A declining popularity of Bali hotels in the eyes of the Travel + Leisure survey was highlighted last year by balidiscovery.com [See: Bali: We're the Tops!], a worrying trend that has become painfully manifest in the 2008 results.

In the latest Travel + Leisure survey not a single Bali hotel was listed in the top 100 hotels worldwide. This compares to 2007 when the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay held the #71 ranking (down from #5 in 2006). Meanwhile, just two years before, the 2006 results saw 3 Bali properties ranked in the top 100 hotels worldwide.

Similarly, Travel + Leisure's latest listing of the top 50 Asian Hotels re-echoes the fear that the reputation of the Island's hotels may be sailing on a slippery slope to mediocrity. In 2007, the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay ranked #12 in the "Top 50" among Asia's best hotels followed by the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort at #39. Just a year earlier, in 2006, 4 Bali hotels formed the single largest block for any single destination among Travel + Leisure's top 50 hotels in Asia.

The latest listing for 2008 of the top 50 hotels in Asia fails to find a single Bali (or Indonesian) hotel among that hallowed ranking.

One Bali Hotel to Watch

The only Bali hotel to gain mention in the latest Travel + Leisure survey was the [Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa Bali] which was included in the magazine’s list of "15 to Watch." Travel + Leisure praised the new hotel, saying: "Fifty-nine Balinese-inspired sea-view suites with spacious balconies, silk daybeds, and oversize terrazzo tubs – on exclusive Seminyak beach."

Related Link[Travel + Leisure World Best Results for 2008]