Bali: Hotel development moratorium?

Bali: Hotel development moratorium?

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How likely? Until planning and development control is centralised – not likely.

The Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali chapter is urging local governments to implement a hotel moratorium on the island.

The policy was badly needed, it said, as the over development of Bali was being questioned by many tourists visiting the island.

The association hoped that the policy could be seriously implemented in 2014, in an attempt to keep Bali attractive to international tourists.

“Many tourists complain about the current condition of Bali. Too many buildings make them feel uncomfortable as it is too crowded. Buildings are everywhere and it is hard to find green areas,” GIPI Bali chairman, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, told Bali Daily recently.

The rapid growth of budget hotels, villas and non-starred accommodation has transformed Bali into a holiday paradise for budget travelers. Many new hotels and villas are opening in Kuta, Sanur, Denpasar and Nusa Dua, despite the island’s oversupply of hotel rooms.

Bali has now more than 90,000 rooms, mostly located in the south, outstripping tourist demand.

“We are facing an oversupply of accommodation in Bali. The government should take real action as the oversupply is also causing a price war, with customers being offered inexpensive hotel rates. If the government has no policy, Bali will become a cheap holiday destination,” Wijaya said.

He added that the over development had made tourists question the quality of Bali’s cultural tourism. “Many tourists now ask what kind of tourism is actually being offered by Bali? Is it still cultural tourism or has it changed?” he said.

Wijaya questioned the fate of the hotel moratorium issued by the provincial administration in 2011. “The moratorium should be imposed soon, before tourists leave Bali for other destinations across the world,” he added.

Previously, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika initiated a moratorium on new hotels in southern Bali, an area that encompasses the island’s three richest regions: Badung, Denpasar and Gianyar.

The moratorium, which was issued in early 2011, was designed to tackle the southern region’s room oversupply, as well as guiding investment to other regions in Bali.

However, new hotels continue to be built in southern Bali as the moratorium was rejected by the regents and city mayor, who have the authority to issue hotel permits.

When asked for confirmation, Pastika said that he was eager to enforce the moratorium. “Due to the regional autonomy policy, it is not easy to enforce the moratorium. The provincial administration only has jurisdiction over several strategic areas and any investor wishing to build a hotel in those areas would be required to secure a recommendation from the provincial administration,” Pastika said, adding that he acknowledged Bali had too many hotel rooms.

Pastika said that he was ready to issue a new instruction on the hotel moratorium to be sent to all regional administrations across the island. “If it is needed, I will [send a letter],” he said.

However, Pastika questioned why people were still investing their money in new hotels. “People say that hotel prospects in Bali are no longer promising. But people still build new hotels. I don’t understand why. What is their motivation? We should try to find the answer,” Pastika said

The Jakarta Post

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