Bali revival hit by lack of funds(1)

27 November 2002


SYDNEY - Any programme targeting the rejuvenation of the Australian tourist traffic to Bali will have to be initiated by Australian wholesalers, hoteliers and tour operators in Bali, according to Peter Baily, chairman of the Council of Australian Tour Operators.

Tourism authorities in Bali are anxious about the immediate future and keen to assist, they have admitted they have no funds.

Baily and his vice chairman Michael Hay have returned to Sydney from Bali after a three-day visit involving meetings with the Australian consul, Government tourist bodies and a broad cross-section of the tourist industry.

Speaking on a TV Bali programme yesterday, Baily said both he and Hay had been perfectly at ease visiting the island's major tourist centres.

Although more than 300,000 Australians visit Bali every year, neither Indonesia nor Bali have a tourism promotion office in Australia, nor are there any plans to open temporary offices to try and alleviate the current crisis.

Baily said Indonesian statistics revealed Australian visitors spend an average of about A$1,800 (US$1,007) per person on accommodation, food and beverage, vehicle rental, shopping and day trips - an annual financial injection of A$540 million, a major contribution to the Bali economy.

He added, "Balinese hoteliers from five star to backpacker establishments are now operating at between 10 and 15 per cent occupancy, so you can see how seriously the industry is distressed."

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