A new report says foreign tourists are shunning Bali because of its inadequate infrastructure and the fact that what scant facilities are here are falling apart. We could not agree more.
It is strange that, year after year, an island that makes the bulk of its income from tourism ploughs little or any of it into providing the very amenities that tourists require. That is the paradoxical puzzle.
It strikes us that there is a devil-may-care attitude prevailing among Bali’s leaders, those who oversee budgets and allocate funding, and that is also blinkered and blasé: Let the good times roll, but we will not be paying for it.
Equally potentially disastrous for Bali, the AC Nielsen Indonesia report points out, are increasing gridlock on the narrow streets and its resultant pollution, and spiralling prices in the shops.
This is not what people from all over the world come to this island for; it’s the precise opposite: a pristine environment and low prices.
This newspaper’s Once in a Bali Lifetime column recently spotlighted the soaring prices of everyday items at tourist locales; and while one expects to pay more in such places, these high prices speak of nothing other than rampant opportunism.
AC Neilsen’s survey is important, because it was conducted among tourists from Europe, the US and around Asia, all strong tourism markets for Bali. The study is also notable in its comprehensiveness, in that it spoke to the same tourists on their arrival, during their holiday and as they were leaving via the airport. Their summation of their stay does not bode well for Bali’s long-term tourism fortunes.
It is not terrorist attacks that put people off coming to Bali. It is the very people who run the island, and those involved in the tourism sector, and their misjudged and cavalier approach, that perform this unwanted and ultimately unprofitable role.Filed under: Editorial