Bali shouldn’t focus tourism development in just south of island: Bank Indonesia

Tourists on Kuta Beach. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP
Tourists on Kuta Beach. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

The government is too busy developing tourism infrastructure and facilities in the island’s south, according to analysts at the central bank, Bank Indonesia.

The popular, often overcrowded and traffic-filled, commercialized tourist areas of Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Jimbaran are a testament to this point.

Focus by both the provincial and national government on southern Bali will be detrimental to the distribution of the tourism industry in Bali, BI fears.

“The development of tourism in Bali is still concentrated in South Bali, causing problems with congestion and limited capacity of hotel accommodation,” says Azka Subhan, head of the advisory division and economic development at BI.

A major criticism Subhan has for Bali’s development, is a lack of teamwork and cooperation between actors in the tourism business sector and the government. This has led to “lower quality tourists,” he says.

Meaning, tourists coming to Bali are now spending less time and money here. In 2015, the average stay for a foreign tourist was 3.08, while that number dropped to 2.93 in 2016.

“Likewise, with the level of expenditure also fell, but barely. It was $143.45 per tourist per day in 2016, while the previous year was $143.92.”

Though this number could go down even more if the trend of more and more “lower quality” tourists continues.

The government better pay attention to these figures considering Bali’s economic growth is so dependent on the tourism, food & beverage, and transportation industries.

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