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Bali Moving Towards a Moratorium on New Hotel Projects?

Bali Legislators Consider Giving a Moratorium on New Hotel Projects the Force of Law.

(8/14/2010) Following a call by the chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) for a moratorium on new hotel projects in Bali [See: Call to Stop New Hotel Projects in Bali ], the Bali provincial House of Representatives (DPRD) is taking the next step of considering drafting a law mandating a moratorium on new hotels in Bali.

Calls by Bali's governor for a halt to new hotel projects have been ignored in the past by the province's regents and mayors who hold the final approval for such projects. The chairman of Commission I of the DPRD-Bali, Made Arjaya, told beritabali.com that now is the time for a moratorium or at least a temporary ban on new hotel projects to be put forth as a provincial law. The lawmaker said that when seen by the number of hotels rooms in Bali, supply of accommodation has outstripped demand, while at the same time Arjaya said an academic review of the supply and demand for hotel rooms should precede the drafting of the new law. "We clearly need a study examining the number of tourists, the demand for rooms and the carrying capacity of Bali," explained Arjaya.

Current data from Bali's tourism service estimates 46,000 accommodation rooms in Bali, from that total 20,000 of those rooms are in starred hotels.

Separately, Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika, said the readiness of officials to grant new hotel licenses is linked with the need to increase local tax revenues. This motivation has caused regents and mayors to ignore calls for a moratorium on new hotels first issued in 1993.

The governor suggested that looking forward, perhaps, what is needed is not a moratorium on new hotel projects in Bali as a whole, but a moratorium on new hotels in Bali's south in order to spread the benefits of tourism development to Bali's outlaying regions.