Tourism by Trial and Error

Bali Tourism to Shift Focus to Quality Visitors and MICE Sector, Abandoning Fixation on Mass Market reports that the head of the Bali Tourism Service, I Putu Astawa, says that Bali has become too comfortable with leisure-based mass tourism.

Because of this, Astawa says, in the future, Bali must focus on quality tourism – one sector of which is MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibition) because it was demonstrated during the past eruptions of Mount Agung that this market segment is capable of energizing Bali’s economy.

Astawa, the top tourism official for the Province of Bali, made his comments during an inter-active dialogue themed “Bali’s Economy in 2020 Dominated by Tourism” held in Denpasar on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

During the same dialogue, the tourism chief for Bali said that a change in market orientation is needed. Many countries once seen as potential inbound markets, have, with the passage of time, been shown to only produce low-quality visitors.

Looking to the future, Astawa said Vietnam’s economy is developing apace meaning that tourism promotion to Vietnam needs to be intensified to attract the premium quality visitors available from this Southeast Asian neighbor.

The Bali Tourism Service (Dinas Pariwisata) will continue to promote the MICE market sector in 2020 while, at the same time, presenting tourism events in Bali that include the Kintamani Chinese Festival on February 8, 2020, The Bali and Beyond Travel Fair to be held in June 2020, and the Mekepung Governor’s Cup (Bull Race) in July 2020.

By creating Bali events the Province will assist in promoting the economic welfare of the Balinese people.

In 2019 some 6.7 million foreign tourists visited Bali. According to the head of the Bali Center for Statistics (BPS), Adi Nugroho, tourism represents 50.84% of the total Balinese economy. Effects from major conferences, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual conference, are credited with accelerating the growth of the Balinese economy.

Astawa admitted that the recent substantial increase in domestic airfares has disturbed inbound domestic arrivals to Bali, but discounted the overall effect, saying international arrivals continue to grow at an average 600,000 foreign tourists coming to Bali every month. Adding: “Until the current time, the condition of the tourism sector remains safe and does not justify any great concern.”

Astawa called on Bali to diversify its economy in anticipation of any future possible collapse of tourism.

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