Indifferent Isle

Cultural and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik was quoted as saying this week that Bali is losing out in the tourism stakes, to neighboring countries, because of a lack of infrastructure and other basics. We agree.

There are no moves, save for some halfhearted talk at suggestions of improvement, to do anything to better the lot of Bali in terms of tourists’ eyes and their fleeting experiences here.

Wacik told the Kompas daily: “This industry needs interactive efforts between all parties concerned – the government, tourist players as well as the public.” That’s pure, meaningless bureaucrat babble that casts the onus on those that are not actually running the country, or this island, while nothing at all gets done and no suggestions or plans whatsoever are put forward.

The minister pointed to a) inadequate promotional funds; b) lack of a public transport system; and b) a dearth of “professional guides,” which would seem the very least of Bali’s worries, given that the island is awash in guides, professional or otherwise.

Under the no-nonsense steerage of newly elected Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, we see a shift towards action, to rooting out budget-usurping practices and projects that largely only benefit self-serving officials.

But the central government in Jakarta has a large role to play in ensuring Bali remains the tourist gateway of this great nation, and must supply – and sternly administer and monitor – sufficient funds to build up the roads and establish a workable public-transportation network, expand the sole airport – whether that means shifting location or moving into protected wetlands – and make it a more efficient and welcoming place for people from around the world.

It’s no use bemoaning the state of affairs; it’s time to take action.

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One Response to “Indifferent Isle”

  1. James Says:

    Can we make a move to pick up the mountains of garbage that plague all of Bali too. And why is the island paradise of Bali so much dirtier than it’s neighbour Java.

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