With the world’s financial elite coming to town for the fast-approaching IMF-World Bank annual meetings, luxury cars are in high demand in Bali.
There’s even a request for bullet-proof vehicles from Turkey, says I Ketut Ardana, chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali.
A difficult request to fulfill since Bali, or Indonesia as a whole for that matter, is not exactly teeming with gun violence.
“The request was immediately conveyed to our members. Yes, cars like that are very limited, it’s still being sought,” Ardana told Tribun Bali on Wednesday.
Demand for luxury cars in general is estimated to reach 5,000, but only about 1,500 vehicles can be sourced in Bali. The rest must be imported, mostly from Java, according to Ardana.
“The rental price per day can be up to IDR14 million (US$922),” Ardana said.
Of 407 travel agencies belonging it to ASITA, there are nine official member agencies that will officially be handling delegates for the forum. But some delegates will go through “unofficial” agents as well, same for hotels.
There are 21 official hotels to be used by delegates, primarily concentrated in Nusa Dua’s ITDC near the meetings, but some delegates will stay elsewhere.
Agents have been pushing the completed statue at Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park as one of the main attractions in their tour packages offered to delegates, says Ardana. Understandable, since the statue, which had been 30 years in the making, was finally completed earlier this year with the big conference in mind.
It’s estimated that 12,00 to 15,000 delegates from 189 countries will flood Bali for the annual meetings, slated for Oct. 8 to 14.
However, the conference has much bigger concerns on its mind than who gets what car.
With the tsunami-earthquake twin disaster in Sulawesi this month, ongoing large-scale earthquake devastation in Lombok from August, and an active volcano on “standby” status in Bali, officials says they are prepared for natural disaster in the unlikely (but possible) event that something should strike Bali.
“Actually we are more concerned about if there’s a natural disaster, related to the recent natural disaster (in Sulawesi). For example, if the airport suddenly needs to close because of a volcano. We hope there isn’t any, and that everything will run smoothly,” said Ardana.