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Canít We Just Talk About It?

Bali Tourism Leader Calls for a Moratorium, Carrying Capacity Studies and Discussions with Local Stakeholders Before Bali International Park Project Goes Ahead.

(7/29/2011) The development of the controversial Bali International Park (BIP) in the Jimbaran area of the island is not universally welcomed in Bali, where many see little or no need for the huge convention and hotel complex. The coordinator for Bali, East Nusa Tengarra and West Nusa Tengarra for the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), Bagus Sudibya, told Bisnis Bali that plans for new tourism facilities in Bali, including the BIP, should first be discussed with the island’s tourism stakeholders.

In this instance, stakeholders of tourism include tourism associations, including the Association of Tourism (GIPI), say they have never been invited to discuss the need for the new conference and convention facility. Because of this,  little real data is available or has been presented on the actual need for such new meeting, conference, incentive and exhibition outlets.

Also to be considered, insisted Sudibya, are the influences the new project will have on the quality of tourism objects, the inventory of accommodation, occupancy levels of hotel.

GIPI is urging the government to introduce a moratorium on new hotel construction in Bali in order to help stem a current oversupply in the inventory of available rooms. At the same time, GIPI - the umbrella tourism association, hopes that any moratorium will be used be used to enhance Bali’s supporting infrastructure and carrying capacity, while examining how to more justly distribute future tourism development to all corners of the island.

Given that plans to build the BIP remains controversial, Sudbiya claims it would be best for the government to urgently undertake a comprehensive and neutral review of the proposed project. To examine the carrying capacity of the island all stakeholders should be consulted - including the government, the public and leaders of the tourism industry. He added that leading academics should be included in any study to ensure a wise and sophisticated review is undertaken.

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