20 July 2001
Apprehension over the upcoming peak season has prompted
the Bali Tourism Board to step up marketing activities with
a greater sense of urgency.
The move comes as its chief marketing event - Bali
Travel Mart - comes under scrutiny.
The board has unveiled a programme of activities for the
year which include the launch of a new destination website,
the production of new quality collateral and the
establishment of a new events calendar - all firsts for the
Bali is approaching its peak season with some
apprehension, due to a possible change in the Indonesian
Presidency in August.
The board is also reviewing its primary marketing
activity to date, the Bali Travel Mart, following its first
Bali Tourism Dialogue last week, which bought together
representatives of the Bali government, travel trade and
media under one umbrella.
A board meeting in late July with PCO SIPCO Bali will
discuss this year's much-criticised event, and decide on
Bali Tourism Board vice chairman Made Suryawan said he
felt the show had served its purpose.
"Personally I will say it's unlikely that BTM will
continue, and the government must come up with a more
effective event to enhance the image of Bali."
Suryawan said he felt Bali should regroup and support
Indonesia's Pasar Wisata (TIME), while putting serious
planning into more creative non-business showcases of the
New PATA Bali chapter chairman Ngurah Wijaya said it was
time for the country to focus on quality, not quantity, in
its inbound shows.
"Indonesia only needs two events - one for the
international market, one for the domestic," he said.
Wijaya, who is also Bali Village chairman, said the role of
the new PATA Bali board, appointed last week, would be to
push for greater integration of the various tourism
groupings on the island, and a more intense focus on public
He said impatience with Bali's marketing efforts to date
should be measured against the country's recent
"We have only had our autonomy for less than one year.
Give us a chance to put all these things together. It's
time for Bali to market together as a whole package."
But with the PATA Bali chapter's Bali Update newsletter
recently sold, complete with database, to former chairman
Jack Daniels' tour operator Bali Discovery Tours, Bali's
collective marketing from its member groups will look a bit
thin if BTM is also cancelled. (The Bali Update was sold
for what Daniels said was US$100.)
In response, the board is forging on with plans to boost
destination marketing, despite uncertain financing. It last
week boosted its secretariat by two fulltime staff and
plans to launch phase one of a new destination website, www.balitourismboard.org , in
Further phases would emphasise sophisticated interactive
elements, said Suryawan. The website will also house a
booking engine, Balitravelportal.com, which the BTB
hopes will be a source of revenue.
A spokesperson for the BTB secretariate told
TravelWeekly East that its programme included new
island-wide events such as shopping and food festivals; new
quality Bali trade collateral; and a media programme to
boost press coverage and support crisis management.
Suryawan said he was confident that once the board
showed the Bali trade and government that it was serious,
further financial support would come.
"If we show good quality results first, after a while
many people will support it and claim to be a part of it,"