UBUD ~ Businessman Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya has been elected the new head of the Bali Tourism Board, and takes over the helm for the 2007-2009 period following a vote by members in Ubud on Monday.
Ngurah beat out rival candidates, including incumbent chief Bagus Sudibyo, by eight votes to clinch the leadership.
He said he would focus his efforts on building a strong team that would work to bolster Baliâ€™s tourism sector.
â€œI want to encourage togetherness among members of the board,â€ he said, adding that he would concentrate the boardâ€™s efforts on international markets.
The new chief is a hotelier with a property in Sanur, the Segara Village hotel, which says it will undergo renovations later this year with plans to become a four-star hotel in November.
Wijaya is also currently chairman of Bali Village, a promotional association of tourism-related operators that was founded in 1995 and claims some 200 members.
In addition, the chairman-elect serves as honorary Swedish consul in Bali, a post he has held for the past 10 years, and for the past few years has also been the honorary Finnish consul here.
The board was formed by tourism groups in March 2000 with the aim of bettering the lives of the Balinese people while at the same time developing sustainable tourism on the island.
It says it has been recognized â€œas the embodiment of a new partnership between the travel industry, the government and the local community.â€