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Bali Tourism in a Jam

Bali Tourism Under Threat of Losing Momentum if it Fails to Address Growing Traffic Congestion Problem.

(2/26/2011) Bali Tourism leaders are warning that tourist may eventually abandon Bali unless urgent action is taken to resolve the island's worsening traffic situation.

As reported in The Jakarta Post, Bagus Sudibya, chairman of the Bali and Nusa Tenggara Chapter of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) says thousands of visitors are complaining about traffic congestion during their island holiday.

"Said Sudibya: The island's traffic has been so bad and uncontrollable that congestion occurs almost hourly on the main streets leading to Kuta, Denpasar, Nusa Dua and other popular tourist destinations, such as the Ngurah Rai International Airport."

He went on to warn: "Bali will soon lose its charm as an international tourist destination unless we can deal with the poor traffic conditions. World tourists might easily turn to other destinations in neighboring countries."

The head of Bali's traffic agency, Made Santha, admitted that the province is facing a myriad of problems in dealing with traffic. "It is predictable that the traffic will get worse and worse since the number of vehicles cars and motorcycles keep increasing, while the length of roads remains the same," Santha explained.

Authorities calculate that the number of vehicles on Bali's roads increases 12.42% every year while the amount of new roads grows by only 2.28% annually.

71.8% of all registered vehicles in Bali are motorcycles, 19.29% are private cars, 9.1% are trucks and freight carriers and only ,88 percent are public transport.

Environmentalist and urban planners are urging stricter control on vehicle ownership and road use in Bali with an emphasis on creating viable public transport systems across the island.