Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Chairman of Bali-APINDO Suggest Bali’s Tourism Development is Badly Out of Synch

While Bali continues to add more hotel rooms at a rapid rate, average occupancies are failing to keep pace, declining with each passing year. Data supplied by the Bali Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) says Bali now has 130,000 hotel rooms. But, these are only the formal figures and do not include villa, elite boarding houses and private residences that have been converted to tourist accommodation.

As reported by Balipost.com, the chairman of the Indonesian Entrepreneur Association-Bali (APINDO-Bali), Panudiana Kuhn, is concerned by current developments in Bali’s tourism industry. Kuhn says data fromPHRI-Bali shows that something between 4 – 4.5 million foreign tourists came to Bali in 2015. A similar number of domestic tourists visited the island during the same year.

At the same time, hotel occupancies in Bali in 2015 averaged around only 45%. Ironically, against declining occupancy levels in Bali, a massive increase in new hotel rooms is underway. “The number of existing rooms and the number tourists coming to Bali are not in Balance,” warns Kuhn.

Based on the number of available room, Kuhn thinks Bali needs something between 18 – 20 million domestic and international tourists are needed to achieve economically sustainable levels of hotel occupancies. Kuhn, however, suspects that Bali’s infrastructure is incapable of handling such a large number of visitors.

“The problem now is whether or not the infrastructure of Bali is sufficient? We need an infrastructure that can support that number of visitors. Don’t only focus on South Bali,” said Kuhn.

With only 4.5 million foreign visitors to Bali, the Island is already badly over crowded. During holiday periods, traffic congestion affects most areas. “At the very least we need to make freeways or toll roads that will connect South Bali, North Bali, East Bali and West Bali,” said Kuhn.
The well-respected businessman said he is aware that neither the Province, the regents nor the mayor of Denpasar have sufficient funds to build the much needed additional infrastructure.

Kuhn said the current condition of Bali should become a consideration for the political candidates for Bali’s governorship and regents’ jobs. Adding: “Don’t let the programs being proposed be little more than just ideas without a real effort to solve the problems of Bali that are becoming increasingly complex.”

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