Even the Spread
There is no good reason why the lion’s share of Bali’s tourism industry, the island’s main earner, has to continue to reside in the heavily congested southern area. This was a point brought up by Governor Pastika this week and it is one that needs reinforcement.
It is notable that in tourists’ desire to see the traditional Bali they come here for, the packed environment in the south can lead to disappointment. That the south has become vastly overcrowded has to do with the principal entry point, the airport, being in that locale. Which is why we continue to press the authorities to move ahead with a second airport in the north.
Alas, as we noted last week, such plans have stalled. This, the governor says, is due to a lack of communication between the authorities in Bali and Jakarta; and, crucially, with overseas investors who had indicated an interest in the large-scale project.
We nevertheless remain hopeful that the current inertia will at some stage give way to real action, that a vital second international airport will get off the ground and provide balance to the economically lopsided island. The south stands to gain, too, as it becomes less of a concrete jungle that has blighted other world tourism destinations and the island as a whole benefits.
Along with this necessary infrastructure development, a word about another kind: southern Bali cannot sustain the wild levels of hotel accommodation now present. Indeed, there is a glut of rooms. The governor is right to insist upon a moratorium on construction. The spread must move north, and east, where there would be real demand for investors should millions of foreign visitors pour into those impoverished but beautiful regions thorough a second airport.
Like a clock’s inner workings, it’s all about harmonised movement and cogs fitting together.Filed under: Editorial