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No Winds in These Sails

North Bali Sail Indonesia Threatened with Cancellation Due to a Lack of Government Financial Support.

(6/13/2011) Uncertain finances in the tourism department of the North Bali regency of Buleleng are threatening to truncate a number of important tourism initiatives aimed to breathe life into a struggling local tourism industry.

A lack of funding is being cited as the reasons that a female gong kebyar group was unable to travel the 3 hours to Denpasar to participate in the Bali Arts Festival. Now, the same lack of funding is threatening to end the Sail Indonesia yacht regatta visit to Lovina, only one year after its very positive launch.

According to Nusa Bali, if the Sail Indonesia event is cancelled it will mean that hundreds of yachts and their crews will not revisit Lovina in 2011.

The head of Buleleng's tourism office, Putu Tastra Wijaya, admitted to the press that he continues to lobby for the fund that would allow his department to once again prepare cultural events and other enticements to welcome visiting yachts to North Bali. Said Wijaya: "We still have a hope that the province will provide us with funding so 'Sail Indonesia' can continue to be held in Buleleng."

Sail Indonesia is normally held in September. Last year saw yachts from 19 different countries drop anchor at Lovina, bringing 250 crew members to their shore for stays of 4-5 days, spending substantial sums with local businesses and tourist attractions along the way.