Can Indonesia's New Tourism Plan Ease Mass Tourism In Bali?
Sep 06, 2019

Can Indonesia's New Tourism Plan Ease Mass Tourism In Bali?

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport saw over 6.5 million arrivals in 2018, which indicates a more than 10% increase from last year’s numbers. Tourists from Australia, China and other countries all over the world are eager to explore one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. This isn’t surprising since you can enjoy a luxurious vacation in Bali but still remain under budget. However, given the risk of over-tourism in Bali, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced a new tourism plan called “10 New Bali” that will seek to develop other destinations in the country. Can this ease the mass tourism currently seen in Bali?

Bali As A Premier Boating Destination in Asia

As one of the provinces of Indonesia, Bali has become a premier boating destination because of its pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, diverse marine life, world-class diving and best surf spots, among other amazing attractions. Tourists can hire a luxury yacht or cruise charter to explore Bali and its neighboring islands. You can also choose to ride personal watercraft to enjoy different water activities offered in the area. After some fun in the sun, tourists can head inland to visit temples and shrines to immerse themselves in the rich culture of the Balinese people. Many people flock to Bali because it’s possible to enjoy all these experiences while sticking to a budget.

While Bali’s tourism numbers are very good for Indonesia’s economic growth, mass tourism could have ecological, socio-cultural and economic consequences in the area. For example, the Benoa Bay reclamation plan in Nusa Dua, located in the southern part of Bali, could lead to the loss of marine life. A planned mega development could also threaten the livelihood of fishermen and other local businesses in the area.

Can “10 New Bali” Ease The Burden Of Over-Tourism in Bali?

Jokowi’s “10 New Bali” tourism plan aims to promote other amazing destinations in Indonesia. The destinations in this new tourism plan are Borobudur Temple, Toba Lake, Mount Bromo, Labuan Bajo, Mandalika, Wakatobi Islands, Tanjung Lesung Beach, Morotai Island, Thousand Islands and Tanjung Kelayan Beach. Many of these destinations can serve as alternative boating destinations for tourists who want to see more than Bali. Labuan Bajo, in particular, is expected to attract a lot of international tourists. The small fishing town, located on the island of Flores, has a lot of potential due to the idyllic beaches and nearby islands. It also serves as a gateway to the Komodo National Park.

Apart from boosting tourism in the country, this new tourism plan could also help ease the burden of over-tourism in Bali. However, in order to compete with Bali, the “10 New Bali” will have to receive a lot of investment from both the public and private sectors in order to build the infrastructures needed. It remains to be seen whether these new tourist destinations will be able to contribute to Indonesia’s goal of having 20 million tourists by 2020.

Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations not just in Indonesia, but in all of Asia. The province, as well as its neighboring islands, offers a wide variety of activities like boating and diving as well as gastronomic and cultural experiences as you head inland. However, with millions and millions of tourists received each year, over-tourism in Bali could become a massive problem with damaging effects. Thus, the Indonesian government has put forth a new tourism plan that promotes other amazing destinations in the country. With tourism numbers already at 18.2 million, it could be possible for Indonesia to reach its tourism goal in the next couple of years.