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Giving the Hotel Industry a Say

Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association Demands a Voice in Approval Process for New Hotel Projects

(6/10/2012) Bali Daily (Jakarta Post) says the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) wants a voice in the approval process for new tourist accommodation projects in Bali.

The Chairman of PHRI-Bali, Tjok Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (‘Cok Ace”), has joined a chorus claiming permits for new hotel projects are issued by officials with little or no reference to consumer demand or the island’s overall carrying capacity.

“Bali is crowded with various types of tourist accommodation, starting from luxury starred hotels and villas to home stays. The development of new hotels, or other similar facilities, could result in crucial supply and demand problems,” commented Sukawati.

Meanwhile, regency authorities remain unable to resist the “easy call” of readily approving new accommodation businesses license requests, citing the need to expand the tax base. The vice-regent of Badung regency, Ketut Sudikerta, recently declared his office’s intent to ignore the governor’s call for a moratorium on new hotel projects. Instead, Badung regency will openly welcome new hotel investors, with Sudikerta pointing to the shortage of rooms during major holiday periods as proof of unmet demand.

There are an estimated 50,000 hotel rooms for sale each night in Bali, a number certain to fall short of the actual count that should include unlicensed hotels and the massive private villa industry.

Cok Ace is seeking a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local government in which PHRI-Bali would be consulted on matters relating to demand for new rooms and technical advice on facilities and services for new accommodation projects.

Cok Ace, who also serves as the regent of Gianyar, recently banned the construction of condotels in his regency, claiming such developments tends to marginalize the Balinese.

Underlying the call from the PHRI-Bali is a growing demand for a more inclusive form of consultative decision-making when policy makers deal with issues affecting the daily lives and future of the island.

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