The major tourism practitioners have called on the provincial administration and its related agencies to regulate zoning divisions to categorize tourist accommodation immediately.
According to Tjok Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) the zoning policy was closely related to preserving the quality of accommodation.
As the regent of Gianyar, Sukawati clarified that Ubud, for instance, had always been regarded as a unique, tranquil art village with no mass tourist accommodation.
“During my period as Gianyar regent, I have turned down lot of construction proposals for large-scale hotels and other accommodation, which were not appropriate for such a small village as Ubud,” he said.
He said further he had never accepted any proposals to develop apartments or other facilities which were not in line with Ubud’s natural condition.
“I have been encouraging community-based tourism, in which local people can rent their houses to our guests. Ubud should remain as it is now, with no accommodation for mass tourism,” he added.
The other tourist destinations could be developed in a similar way to Ubud, the regent expected.
To prevent the island from becoming a low-priced destination, the authorities should be selective in accepting proposals from investors. The issuance of building and business permits for such accommodation should be strictly controlled and requirements tightened.
“Simultaneously with the PHRI, the Gianyar regional administration will closely observe any violation of building permits and business operations,” he said, adding that unfortunately, other regencies continued to allow investors to develop low-cost accommodation.
The chairman of PHRI Denpasar, IB Sidharta, agreed with having a zoning policy, saying it would reduce the chance of a hotel tariff war.
Sidharta also suggested that the administration regulate zoning sites for resorts, large-scale hotels, villas and budget hotels.
“It is important for hotel managements to focus on their specific markets,” he added.
Sidharta mentioned as an example that Sanur, like Ubud, was an upscale tourist destination providing for upscale clients. “We have been trying to maintain the quality of tourist accommodation as a resort area.”
“Most residents and hotel owners here prefer to maintain Sanur as a quiet, high-quality destination. We do not want to be developed like Kuta or other areas which allow budget accommodation to operate,” Sidharta said.
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has opted Sanur to be one of five strategic tourism for destinations in Indonesia thanks to its natural environment and market opportunity, as well as the involvement of the local community and social institutions in its management.
Initially a fishing village, Sanur has been transforming into an international tourist destination. This has inevitably seen many changes to the village, including to local administration, social and economic conditions and physical infrastructure.
Despite the booming number of tourists in Sanur, with 27 hamlets maintaining the area, it continues to be managed as a global village that preserves its local wisdom.