Monday, September 20, 2010

Bali Named The Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific 2010

Bali has gained further global recognition as the island was recently named “The Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific” by readers of Business Traveler magazine published in Hong Kong.

In a statement to the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), the magazine’s managing director, Peggy Teo, said the nomination was based on a readers’ survey conducted from April to June this year. The award for the nomination will be presented at an official event in Hong Kong next month.

“We hope the Bali governor will attend the event to represent Bali in receiving this award,” BTB chairman Ngurah Wijaya said Saturday.

Wijaya said the award would improve the island’s image internationally. “This is once again global recognition that Bali is the best tourist destination. We should be proud.”

“The world will take not of this award, and this will make Bali more popular among foreign tourists.”

Bali has received more than 10 international awards as a favorite tourist destination, the tourism agency said.

US publication Travel and Leisure magazine named Bali “The Best Island in The World” for nine consecutive years from 2001 to 2009. The island was also acknowledged as “The Best Spa Destination 2009” by SENSES magazine published in Germany.

In January, Ubud was awarded “The Best City in Asia” by travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler.

In response to the award, Bali should work on its flaws, especially infrastructure, Wijaya said.

“Our infrastructure is poor. We should improve this so tourists won’t be disappointed,” he said.

Ngurah Rai International Airport remains the priority as the airport can no longer accommodate the rising number of tourists, he said.

He said new hotels continue to sprout up, causing unhealthy business competition. Currently, there are more than 50,000 hotel rooms in Bali.

If the condition persists, Wijaya went on, it is feared that Bali would be known as a budget destination. This could be damaging to the island’s tourism. He said the administration’s plan to build an airport in northern Bali could be a long-term solution “but we can’t rely on it and we should have a short-term solution”.

A short-term solution he suggested was that the administration upgrade Ngurah Rai airport to make it possible for larger aircraft to land there. He added, “if expanding the airport is impossible, the administration should stop issuing licenses for new hotels.”

Tourism agency head Ida Bagus Subhiksu said he was proud of the award, saying it would promote Bali and would hopefully increase tourist arrivals.

Subhiksu said the award should motivate the island to make some improvements. “Although we have been awarded the best destination, many problems persist, mainly with regards to cleanliness and traffic jams. We should improve this.”

As of June this year, 1.2 million foreign tourists, mostly from Australia, Japan and China, have visited the island, a 13 percent increase from the same period last year.

Decision of Bali Provincial Government to develop and maintain the culture-based tourism in Bali inspired by Hinduism is really no more in doubt. With the slogan of tourism for Bali and not vice versa Bali for tourism, the policy anchored by the predecessor of Bali tourism should be able to motivate all stakeholders in tourism of Bali in order they can feel proud and more steady in their belief in choice, because the attention and respect of society in the world progressively increase.

Having successfully attained the predicate as The Best Island in The World from Travel+Leisure magazine published in the United States for 9 (nine) times in succession—in the period of 2001-2009, as The Best Spa Destination 2009 from a tourism magazine published in Germany, and a number of other predicates, in this year 2010 Bali is named as The Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific by readers of Business Traveler magazine published in Hong Kong.

Head of the Bali Government Tourism Office (Diparda), Ida Bagus Subhiksu, said the award was received for the first time by Bali. Notification on the election of Bali as The Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific 2010 was submitted in writing by the Managing Director of Business Traveler magazine, Peggy Teo to the Bali Tourism Board (BTB). Since BTB is subsidiary of Diparda Bali, Chairman of the BTB, I.B. Ngurah Wijaya delivered such a notice to the Head of Diparda Bali.

It was unknown what criteria used for the assessment because Peggy Teo just informed the predicate of Bali as The Best Leisure Destination in Asia Pacific 2010 attributed by Business Traveler magazine after organizing a poll to its readers for three months from April to June 2010. Subhiksu had not known which tourism destinations becoming the rivals of Bali in the polls. However, according to Subhiksu, presentation of the award was scheduled to be held on October 10, 2010 in the Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong.

Ancestral culture

Last year, the Berlin International Bourse (ITB) named Bali as The Best Spa Destination in the World. The award was received by Minister of Culture and Tourism of the RI, Jero Wacik. One of the reasons why Bali was named as The Best Spa Destination in the World was that Bali remained to preserve the heritage of ancestral culture whose application was combined with the latest research proceedings. Moreover, the terminology pertaining to Balinese traditional spa, such as boreh and lulur had been recognized internationally.

Meanwhile, the award as The Island in the World, the triumph of Bali was due to the high scores extended by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine around the world on four of the ten parameters of the evaluation such as (1) condition of nature and outdoor activities; (2) music and night life: (3) food and beverages; (4) arts and culture; (5) social and dating scene; (6) living cost; (7) education; (8) health; accommodation and environmental awareness.

Among the ten parameters of the valuation, Bali was superior in the criteria like nature and outdoor activities obtaining a perfect score 10 (ten), the accommodation also received the score 10 (ten), then arts and culture (9) and the cost of living (8). Scores obtained from other parameters ranged from 5 (five) to 7 (seven), and the total score for Bali was 73 (seventy three).

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