New Calls for Halt on New Hotel Projects

SANUR

The Bali Tourism Board (BTB) has told the provincial government it should impose at least a temporary halt on building new hotels until the island’s infrastructure can cope with more tourists.

BTB chairman Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, a Sanur hotelier, said a binding moratorium was the only way to halt new hotel development given strong investor interest in Bali projects.

But he said Governor I Made Mangku Pastika would have to get all nine local district leaders to agree because his earlier call for a moratorium had been ignored by them.

District authorities are responsible for issuing building permits.

Wijaya said this week: “Everyone wants to invest in Bali. Everyone wants to own accommodation in Bali. But there must now be some limitation.”

He said the move was necessary because of Bali’s limited carrying capacity for visitors caused by poor infrastructure, struggling water supplies and the overstretched electricity grid, and existing accom-modation more than met demand.

Data from Bali’s Tourism Department shows there are 46,000 rooms available in the hotel and villa sector.

Wijaya’s view is backed by the head of the dep-artment, Ida Bagus Sub-hiksu, who said this week the only possible way to halt new project construction was through a moratorium.

“If viewed from the analysis of the number of rooms available, there is an obvious oversupply of rooms,” he said.

Calls for a halt on hotel construction have been made since 1993 but under local autonomy rules, district administrations are the final authority on building licences and permits and can simply ignore instructions issued by the governor.

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