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An Island Bad at Math

Validity of Baliís Tourism Statistics Doubted

(8/12/2012) The Indonesian Association of Tourism (GIPI) is openly questioning the accuracy and validity of statistics used to evaluate Bali tourism.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, GIPI claims the data compiled by regencies and metropolitan governments in Bali is confused and subject to overlaps.

Citing an example, Wijaya pointed to data on accommodations and hotels from the regencies and cities in Bali as being largely inaccurate; reported numbers far below the true number of rooms commercially available for sale.

Official data issued by the government states the total number of saleable rooms in Bali in 2010 stood at 45,408 rooms, a number that increased to 55,000 rooms in 2011.

At variance with these figures are 2009 figures that claimed 46,104 hotel rooms spread across 2,175 hotels. Those figures also estimated that 90% of all hotel rooms were located in the regency of Badung.

The chairman of GIPI, Ngurah Wijaya, speaking at a limited discussion on Bali tourism held at the offices of Bali Post, said the official figures on accommodation, hotels, villas and inns are inaccurate. These inaccuracies, he contends, are having a negative effect on the future development of Bali tourism.

“This is very ironic. How can Bali establish a future master plan for tourism development if the existing data is self-contradictory and invalid? We need accurate data in order to form a basis for developing Bali’s tourism both in short, medium and long-term,” declared Wijaya.

He said that he would soon meet with Provincial Planning Agency (Bappeda Bali), the Central Statistic Bureau (BPS), the Center for Research on Culture and Tourism at Udayana University and the local representatives of Bank Indonesia to discuss the synchronization of tourism data and statistics.

Wijaya complained that tourism development in Bali has somehow shifted its focus from true tourism to becoming a real estate industry. Visitors’ desire to own a part of paradise, he said, is closely linked to the sell-off of Bali now underway.

To stop the shift to selling Bali to the world lot-by-lot, Wijaya called on both the provincial and regional government administrations in Bali to implement a temporary moratorium on new accommodation projects.

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