Showing solidarity during troubled times - Sep 24, 2006
Despite regular hiccups in the form of bombings, Bali isn?t facing any shortage of bullish investors.
It is being openly acknowledged that the island still attracts investors for super-luxury hotels for the rich and famous, providing a fillip to the tourism industry. This is despite two bombings in the past four years.
Bulgari, an Italian brand famous for watches and jeweler, has opened its second luxury hotel in the world on the cliff hills of Bali?s southwest. On its part, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is also expanding its operations in the country.
?I believe that the bombings will hurt only for a short time, but eventually the tourism will go up again. . . because Bali has the history, beauty and kindness of the people,? says company?s chief executive officer Francesco Trapani.
?Looking at Bulgari, which has set a high standard of service and price, and they think it can be reached, I think it will bring the tourism market to a higher segmentation,? Bali tourism board executive director Wiwin Suyasa reportedly said. ?It proves that Bali can achieve that target level, and adds to our pride and confidence as a main tourist destination.?
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is to expand its presence in Jakarta with the opening in mid 2007 of The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place, a 61-room boutique hotel strategically located in the heart of the city?s commercial district. This will be the third Ritz-Carlton property in Indonesia, joining The Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta and The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa.
Among other developments, the Bali Hilton International Hotel officially changed its name to Ayodya Resort Bali recently.
?Bali has changed as a tourist destination in the last decade. There is a growing demand for cultural tourism and a resort experience with a greater ?sense of place?. Our name change will enable us to respond to the rapidly increasing demand for hotels with individual character and away from ?generic? chain branded hotels geared more toward mass-market appeal,? said Peter O?Connor, Ayodya?s general manager.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia saw five million foreign arrivals last year, down from 5.3 million in 2004. The downturn coincides with an increase in tourist numbers across the world, with United Nations World Tourism Organization statistics recording a 5.5 percent increase last year.
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