Bali 'should improve tourist attractions'

INDONESIA - As an international tourist destination, Bali should improve the quality of its tourist attractions to make tourists more comfortable, officials have said.

Lokot Ahmad Enda, director of destination planning and tourism investment at the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, said many tourist attractions in Bali still lacked proper basic facilities, including well-maintained toilets and parking lots.

"These facilities are important to make tourists more comfortable. As the representative of Indonesia's tourism, Bali should set a good example for other destinations in Indonesia."

A lack of funds should not be an excuse, he said, calling on each regency on the island to allocate a special budget with contributions from various relevant institutions.

The central government has also allocated a special fund through its programme PNPM (the National Program for Community Empowerment), which includes tourism. Any group of people managing a tourist spot can submit a proposal to receive funding through this programme.

Tjokorda Oka Artha ArdhanaSukawati, head of the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD), said that improving destinations was one of the priorities of the board's programme, in which it urges local administrations and tourist spot operators to improve their destinations.

Bali has numerous tourist highlights distributed throughout the island, each offering its own unique attraction.

"However, in many places, the facilities still need much improvement. This is what the regency administrations should do," he said.

I Ketut Astra, head of data and research at the provincial tourism agency, said that as of the end of last year, his office had recorded there were 16 tourist areas with 270 attractions across the island.

The 16 areas are Sanur, Badung (Nusa Dua, Kuta and Tuban), Gianyar (Ubud and Lebih), Klungkung (Nusa Penida), Karangasem (Candi Dasa, Ujung and Tulamben), Buleleng (KaliMbukbuk, Batu Ampar and Air Sanih), Tabanan (Soka), and Jembrana (Perancak and Candi Kusuma).

The 270 tourist attractions are located across the island's nine regions, comprising 27 in Denpasar, 35 in Badung, 61 in Gianyar, 38 in Bangli, 17 in Klungkung, 15 in Karangasem, 38 in Buleleng, 24 in Tabanan and 15 in Jembrana. The attractions include museums, palaces, temples, beaches and villages.

Half of the 270 have developed into a location often visited by tourists, while the remainder still need to be promoted further.

He admitted that many locations still lacked supporting facilities. "Most of the locations still have no parking space, toilet, ticket counter or kiosks. Even where those facilities are present, they are not wellmaintained.

We continue to push regency administrations to be responsible and improve the facilities."

In 2010, the provincial administration issued a governor decree about the standard of tourist spots, which stipulatedcertain facilities that should be present at every location.