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Brand Bali - Tourism boom complicates the issue....
Thursday, 19th June 2014
Source : Martin Kelly

The day was dragging, the conference panel dawdling, then someone in the audience raised the burning issue of Brand Bali: are historic images of peaceful rice paddies and pristine beaches well, just a little out of date?

Suddenly, everyone woke up, people became engaged, had an opinion. Bali, what is it? That's the question on everyone's minds.

But there's no easy answer Bali's a complicated place, a booming tourism destination with more than 10 million visits last year, well up on 2012, and further strong growth forecast.

Yet it remains a tropical paradise still madly beautiful, intriguing, spiritual and stylish but one that is facing all the classic Southeast Asian growth issues: pollution, traffic jams and inadequate infrastructure, to name just a few.

Of course, the flip side is that the urbanisation of Bali also brings benefits great restaurants, beach clubs, bars and shopping are some that come to mind.

Yet these aspects of a Bali break are largely (and understandably) ignored by much of the Balinese tourism industry, which appears to have made a collective decision that nothing has changed since tourists first started coming in the 1980s.

Clean beaches sell, urbanisation (most prevalent in the Denpasar-Kuta-Legian-Seminyak corridor) does not, certainly for the traditional markets such as Australia and Europe.

Read the full story HERE

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