Tourism Gets Short-term Benefits from New Hotels

DENPASAR

The mushrooming of hotels, villas and other types of tourist accommodation in Bali would likely only bring short-term benefits to the island’s tourist industry and visitors, a tourism practitioner said.

Wisnu Arimbawa, owner of Gema Destinasi travel agency, admitted that the availability of so many new hotels and tourist establishments had given ample choice to both travel agencies and their clientele.

“New hotels and other types of accommodation will offer promotional rates below the official and available rates set by older establishments, while old hotels will be forced to adjust to the current market rates,” said Arimbawa.

The majority of his customers have been eager to stay at new hotels, however, some already feel at home as frequent guests in their favorite hotels.

Asian visitors, he said, were more adventurous in picking places of interest. “Most of them want to taste the ambience of some new glamorous hotel,” said Arimbawa.

His travel agency, he said, had always provided comprehensive information on facilities available at the new hotels, expecting that the company’s customers would be satisfied with the hotels’ services.

“My company will be very careful in offering our guests new hotels. Some of our guests decided to stay at the brand-new facilities but finally they complained about the hotels’ low standards and services,” he noted.

Guest complaints and disappointments would have a negative impact on Bali’s tourist industry in the long term.

“Numerous new hotels offer low-quality services and facilities, which will in the end establish a new name for Bali as a cheap holiday destination,” he said.

Bagus Sudibya, owner of several hotels and travel agencies, shared a similar opinion.

“The construction of massive numbers of new hotels will only bring short-term profits for the local administration and local tourist industry, but by the end of the day, their operations will certainly bring long-lasting misery to our tourism,” Sudibya said.

In short, the provincial and regional administrations would have felt very happy to welcome new investors paying taxes and generating revenue.

“Without expansive hotel development in Bali, the tourist industry has generated huge income and its growth continues to rise every year,” explained Sudibya, adding that such uncontrolled development would boomerang on the island’s tourist industry.

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