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Indonesia's foreign tourism woes

Discussion in 'Bali News - Indonesia News' started by balinews, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. balinews

    balinews Member

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    “The tourist industry is sleeping.” This comment by Asnawi Bahar, chairman of the Association of the Indonesia Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita), says it all. Last year, 7.7 million tourists visited Indonesia, a 9 percent increase over the previous year. But while officials hailed the figure as demonstrating the success of government efforts, comparisons with neighboring countries reveal the country’s tourism sector to be little more than a sleepy backwater.

    Despite floods and plenty of negative publicity about the domestic political situation, Thailand greeted 23 million tourists last year. Neighboring Malaysia welcomed 24 million.

    A look at the results of a survey conducted by the tourism ministry reveals yet another worrying development. Last year, the average length of stay for tourists in Indonesia fell from 8.04 days to 7.84. Fortunately, an unexpected rise in the amount of money each tourist spent resulted in foreign exchange revenues remaining strong. But how long can such a situation last?

    The problems facing the tourism industry are legion. Chief among them is an issue that bedevils business across the country — the lack of sufficient infrastructure.

    One of the most unusual attractions in Indonesia, for example, are the colored lakes near the summit of the Kelimutu volcano in Flores. To get there, tourists must make use of the nation’s widely maligned domestic airline system by taking a 3 1/2-hour flight to Maumere from Bali. The drive from Maumere to Moni, the town at the base of the volcano, takes another three hours. Available accommodation is limited to small, non-five star hotels.

    Another area with significant tourism potential is the Raja Ampat Islands, located off the north-west tip of the Bird’s Head Peninsula in the province of West Papua. Although widely hailed for its scuba diving, surfing and massive coral colonies, there are no direct international flights. Instead, visitors must fly to Sorong from Jakarta, before taking a boat to the islands.


    Indonesia Nothing More Than ‘Sleepy Backwater’ for International Tourists | The Jakarta Globe
     
  2. no.idea

    no.idea Member

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    Removing the 300% duty on imported alcohol may go a long way towards helping as well.
     
  3. SHoggard

    SHoggard Member

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    More to the point, neither Thailand nor Malaysia charge for an entry visa - they know you'll spend much much more once you're in the country - or have an exit 'visa' RP150,000 is highway robbery!

    It's 1960's civil service thinking
     
  4. hermit

    hermit Member

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    airport tax

    i agree,but the 150.000rp on departure is airport tax,wich in most countries is included in the price of your ticket.
    You will see that for that reason a ticket from Bali to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur is cheaper than the other way round.
    Easy to check on the air-asia site.
     
  5. sakumabali

    sakumabali Active Member

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    many tourists are tired of the traffic jams, the highly polluted rivers, the trash on the streets....and the huge new building sites EVERYWHERE, somebody saw the new MULYA project recently? It's a nightmare! They destroyed the whole community on the beach, Nusa Dua Neach Grill is dead (for now at least), went there yesterday on a Sunday...nobody....just hundreds of workers everywhere :-( I'm here quite a couple of years, every year I like it less and less....looks like what they did to the eastern part of Spain. In 20 years people will asking: Why nobody stopped this madness as it was so obvious that this is heading into the wrong direction? Than they will start the blame game...
     
    #5 sakumabali, Apr 2, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  6. andrewbaker77

    andrewbaker77 Member

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    Flores note:
    100% worth the hassle of going. (which is simply sitting on two short flights, pretty easy) Maurmere to Moni, such a cool drive, and in Moni, wow, great place. Stayed at the EcoLodge, and though a bit pricey, think it was about $70US, it just had a really nice vibe, rooms, w/c, food etc. The crater lakes are way worth it, and with the right guide, you'll also go to local hot springs (just a hole, no tourism infrastructure) that are really nice. Labuan B is a bit dusty, but the diving more than makes up for it. Overall, Flores is just a gorgeous almost untouched place to experience. - AB
     
  7. andrewbaker77

    andrewbaker77 Member

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    Agree. We're leaving this week after 1.25 years. Mostly because of the air pollution/burning plastics. Too bad, as there is so x 100 much potential, but the real estate bubble and lack of management has everything happening to fast for its own good.

    If you need a break but don't want to burn your social budaya pass, go to Flores. The island is beyond cool (see my previous post) and also consider a boat from Labuan Bajo to the Dragons. And sunset from Paradise cafe over admittedly dusty Labuan Bajo is gorgeous x 100.

    But, overall, Indo suffers from lack of vision. Too bad, one of the most magical parts of the world.
     
  8. Barekarma

    Barekarma Member

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    Sakumabali,
    I regret to say that I agree with you. However, I think that a lot of the issues are linked to a 'not-my-problem' attitude. Although I am in favour of local community government, I fear that (in Bali) more time is spent talking about arranging the next upacara than about rubbish collection. In other countries (including China, with its massive building programme) rubbish collection is very profitable from the waste being recycled (material bought for other processes) or burnt (to create electric power), but more importantly the producers of the waste paying heavy fines for dumping waste. That requires enforcement, and that requires enforcement officers and a effective fine collection system. It also required coodination, so that one developer in one area didn't just load up trucks to dump thier waste into another teritory, and say it's not my problem now.

    It could be said that Bali is too individual to become coordinated, but Bali has a very defined village structure. People know who is local to their village, so a truck driven by a 'outsider' is easily spotted, and (had Bali an effective Police force - another problem altogether -) they could report the truck number and get the deliverer to pay for the dumping clean up (based on a full truck tonnage). The local Banjar appear to be looking for money all the time (I think to pay for the very many upacara) so maybe there is a exsiting system of local enforcement that could work. Naturally, as soon as money is mentioned, then corruption appears to follow, but Indonesia is actually trying to face that problem and prevention is talked about almost daily. If only expats could find a way of explaining this to the local people without appearing to be old style colonialists.

    Opps, this is too long a tirade for this forum. Sorry, folks, someone just hit the right button.
    Barekarma
     
  9. SHoggard

    SHoggard Member

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    Oddly I was thinking exactly the same at the weekend when surfing the property listings online (again!)
     
  10. mugwump

    mugwump Member

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    Hi Marc,
    Recently returned from Da Nang Vietnam. Wide highways, beautiful beaches, no garbage, decent food, moderate weather (in March), reasonable accommodations, reasonable traffic, little air pollution, few tourists, cheap booze but with few English speakers they are not ready for the big time. When they get it all together it is going to be tough competition for the tourist dollar.
    I share your disgust for what is happening to Bali, and the vanishing tourist may be the shock that is needed.
    Don
     
  11. Barekarma

    Barekarma Member

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    Hi Mugwump,
    You have a point. When the news of Kuta's rubbish hit the USA news, the Indonesian Government appeared to say it was not true and planned to do nothing. Meanwhile, the Governor of Bali said it was true, and somehow the beach was quickly cleaned up. So this shows that where there is an acceptance that appearance is important to tourists and that (with enough pressure) something can be done. It appears to be me that there is a lack of co-ordination, and problems with internal polictics, which is an overall Bali problem. As expats, it may be difficult to influence the local situation without sounding arrogant. But, at least we can start to talk about the problem, and offering solutions. There are eco-groups working on those issues, so may be the trend can be reversed. Da Nang Vietnam sounds wonderful.... until the resort corporations arrive!
    Now getting off my soap box.
    Barekarma
     
  12. mrsgabry

    mrsgabry Member

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    Hi Sakumabali,
    you are absolutely right. What happens at Geger Beach is a shame. This Mulia-Complex is huge! I cannot understand why they are allowed to build this high. We live in Taman Mumbul and always used to go to Geger Beach. But not anymore. The water is polluted, the air is full of dust and the noise from the construction site is awful. I can imagine that nobody goes to the Nusa Dua Beach Grill any more. There it must be even worse. The whole thing is a real desaster.

    Gabriele
     
  13. hanzrobby

    hanzrobby Member

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    agree with hermit. it's very expensive leaving australia we just don't notice as it's on our ticket price. have a look one day
     
  14. dav733

    dav733 New Member

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  15. dav733

    dav733 New Member

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    Indonesia has and or still is milking the Bali cow for all it can.too greedy few are pocketing the cash .while the sayang Balinese are suffering..too much greed will kill the golden cow..executing Australians and so many others..coz it's cheaper to rub them out than keep them in hotel K...killing them does not make any international friends and the 300 % on wine is actually stopping Ozzie tourists going to Bali.. I have friends who like a few wines but refuse to pay $60 in bali for a$8 in oz wine...i still go but I am a dedicated Bali guy...been ten times now...but there were a few times I considered pulling the plug on Bali...it can be a great place..thailand and Malaysia get 3 x times more visitors per year!!!?? Come on Indonesia wise up ..give us a great Bali again..
     
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