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Ubud to Raise its Game?

Gianyar, Bali Regent Says US$21.47 Million to Be Spent on Improving Ubud Infrastructure

(5/6/2012) Jakarta Post reports that the popular Bali destination of Ubud is scheduled for major investment in infrastructure improvements over the coming five years.

Speaking on Friday, May 4, 2012, at a gathering at the Ubud Royal Palace, Tjokorda Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), told the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, of extensive measures that must be taken to preserve Ubud’s reputation with domestic and international tourists.

Cok Ace serves simultaneously as a member of the Ubud Palace household, the regent of Gianyar and the Head of Bali’s Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali).

The small gathering in Ubud permitted a frank interchange between the Minister, Regent and local leaders in Ubud who called for Ubud’s return to its “original vision” of village-based tourism.

The meeting said that “urban tourism” should not have a place in Ubud’s tourism planning using, instead, a dedicated focus on village-based tourism where culture, the arts, and a economic primacy extended tothe local community in development and planning matters.

“The tourism industry should be able to play an active role in sustaining the local culture, providing a significant contribution to the locals that in turn will be used by them to sustain religious rituals and art creations, which are the primary attractions for tourists. This is what is called a sustainable cycle,” Tjokorda explained.

Commenting on the many problems being encountered by Ubud due to the growth of tourism, Cok Ace, revealed to the meeting that the Gianyar government is planning to build two large parking complexes in Ubud at a total cost of US$21.47 million. The two parking complexes would be located at the location of the Ubud Police Station with the second a three-story underground parking facility under the alun-alun soccer field.
Other plans include closing the street in front of the palace to vehicular traffic, a renovation of the Ubud market and a separate 3.5-hectare art market at Singakerta village.

The Regent was not specific on when the outline projects would begin construction or how they would be funded.