Indonesia central government looks at providing funds to turn 45 villages in Bali into ecotourism destinations. The government announced to provide close to US$400,000 this year. Last year, the government provided a fund of US$ 500,000 to 53 villages. According to newspaper Bali Daily, edited by the Jakarta Post, most of the beneficiaries are villages located in Bangli, Buleleng, Tabanan, Karangasem and Gianyar.
“The program is very important and greatly benefits villages striving to become tourist destinations. It helps with planning, management and marketing. Local communities create proposals themselves, but, the provincial government will support them in every way,” explained to the Bali Daily newspaper I Ketut Astra, head of data and analysis at Bali tourism office.
The villages with their peculiar tradition have the opportunity to be real tourism destinations thanks to their well preserve culture and environment. Money is also injected into the development of tourism facilities such as parking lots for busses, the installation of public toilets and the improvement of village roads. Workshops and training sessions are also provided to villagers to help them better understand tourists’ requests.
Infrastructure remains however the largest source of expenses in Bali. The two largest projects todate are the toll road linking Benoa – Ngurah Rai Airport to Nusa Dua. The highway was completed at the end of June. The 12.7 km road is due to be officially opened to the public by mid July. The toll road investment is estimated to have reached US$ 243.5 million and will help to vastly improve road congestion on the Island.
A few months remain also before the opening of the new International Terminal at Bali Airport which will help to accommodate 14 million people per year and 20 million in a few years. The terminal will open in time to welcome the APEC summit in October. Its cost is estimated at US$ 290 million. (TravelDailyNews)