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Bali Hotels Being Hung Out to Dry

Hotel Association Chairman in Bali Suggests International Crime and Money Laundering Behind Current Building Boom in New Hotels

(12/24/2012) The chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace), has publicly stated his suspicions that some of the funding of new hotel projects is link to international crime and money laundering.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Cok Ace’s concerns are linked to the fact that the large-scale funding of new hotel projects in Bali is detached from any rational calculation of the actual need for new hotel rooms.

The PHRI leaders said that from a business standpoint, the current building boom made no sense. He explained that although the amounts being invested in these hotels is large, the actual rooms rate at which these rooms will be sold is very low.

In comments made on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Cok Ace said: “If we look at the value of the investment in comparison with the (room) selling price it all makes no business sense. For instance, an investment of Rp. 6 billion per room (US$619,000)  that same room is sold for Rp. 300,000 (US$31) a night. This is an impossibility. How are they calculating their break even point?”

Tjokorda Sukawaiti also revealed that foreigners own many hotels being built in Bali but registered their businesses in the name of locals. He also said that while the PHRI officially estimates there are 65,000 hotel rooms on Bali, the “real” figure is probably closer to 98,000 rooms.