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Is Bali Tourism Wrong Minded?

Senior Academic Warns that Bali Needs a New Mindset for Tourism Development

(8/17/2012) The head of the Center for Cultural and Tourism Research at Udayana University, Dr. Agung Suryawan Wiranatha, told the State News Agency Antara that Bali needs to change its mindset on tourism development, moving away from a focus on quantity to quality tourism.

“It is no longer appropriate that our regions is only targeting growth in tourism arrivals. What’s important is that we begin enhancing the quality of our destination and its attractiveness to visitors in order that Bali can be sold with a higher price,” said Suryawan, while speaking at a tourism seminar held at Udayana University on August 15, 2012.

The tourism educator estimates that Bali added 16,000 hotel rooms during the period 2009-2011. Such a rate of growth, however, he claims is out of synch with the reality of Bali’s limited natural resources, limited land, limited water and limited electricity.

Continuing, Suryawan said that the future ability of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to handle tourist visitors is also limited due to that facilities provision for only a single runway.

He also cited the heavy accumulation of accommodation in South Bali and the impact this is having on unhealthy price competition and the numerous illegal tourism operators are detracting from the quality of Bali’s image as a tourism destination.

“In the midst of these challenges, the tourism mindset and how tourism is managed must be changed in order that Bali can have a sustainable tourism product,” said Suryawan.