Monday, January 20, 2014

Bali retirement tourism for senior tourists

The Bali provincial administration, eager to develop retirement tourism on the island, has agreed to support the Bali Retirement Tourism Authority (BRTA) to develop new residences for senior tourists by providing plots of land.
“As of now, there are many alternative types of tourism being developed in Bali, but we do not yet have special residences for retirement,” Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said Monday, during a meeting with BRTA.
Pastika said that Bali should seriously develop retirement tourism as part of the island’s efforts to diversify in the face of tight competition with the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community 2015. Many developed countries and other Asian countries have already designed retirement tourism programs.
“The idea to develop retirement tourism has been implemented in many developed countries, such as Australia and Europe. Even our neighboring countries, such as the Philippines and Malaysia, have designed their own retirement tourism programs,” Pastika said.
As the icon of Indonesian tourism, Pastika added that Bali should initiate such a program. He gave assurances that retirement tourism would be very profitable. “Usually, senior tourists have strong financials and they want to enjoy the rest of their life,” he said.
Chairman of BRTA Prof. Ketut Sukardika said that the retirement tourism concept designed by BRTA was to provide suitable residences specifically for senior tourists. He stressed that these accommodation facilities could fulfill many requirements, being located in strategic locations with a clean environment, as well as being comfortable. The residences should also be supported by facilities, including hospitals with competent paramedics.
“We are hoping that they can fill their daily lives with activities, such as gardening, art, as well as socializing with other senior tourists and people around the residences,” Sukardika said. Sukardika acknowledged that there was currently no data on how many senior tourists would like to live in Bali. “If we can manage them in one area, it would benefit all of us,” Sukardika said.
Pastika added that the administration would fully support the plan to build residential areas for senior tourists. He instructed administration officials to provide data on land owned by the administration that could be used for such a plan.
“We have many plots of land across Bali. I think Payangan [in Gianyar] is a good place as the area has cool weather and it is located near Ubud, a favorite place for senior tourists,” Pastika said. Pastika suggested BRTA immediately realize its retirement tourism program, reminding the group to plan properly and prioritize local workers, providing suitable training to ensure competence.
“I really hope that this plan will be implemented to support our pro-job, pro-poor and employment for poverty alleviation programs,” he stated.

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