The Indonesian government just unveiled ambitious goals to boost tourism and increase foreign visitor numbers to 12 million tourists nationwide for 2024. About half is expected to visit Bali. Tourism is already responsible for 53% of Gross Regional Product (PDRB) and already 5.3 million tourists arrived in the island in 2023. So to achieve the goal Bali has to cope with the challenges of increased waste production, logistics and the already severe congestion of the motorways in the popular south part or the island.
The Coral Farm we operate is located relatively close to Balis capital Denpasar and benefits from tourism in one way especially. The airplanes that carry tourists from and to the island are our vehicle to send life coral all over the world. So we will be careful to condemn growth in the tourist sector. We welcome the increase in air traffic, as it allows us to ship coral to more destinations with direct flights and even with routes that include stopovers. We are able to schedule shipments with minimal layover times and shorten the transit hours in many cases. So we are all in favor of speed, and so is our precious cargo. Life coral does better in shorter transits and we are able to keep temperature stable if we do not have to deal with prolonged shipment to our wholesale distributors of ornamental fish and vertebrae. The increase of visitors have their share of challenged but also opportunity for the island. Balis environmental challenges can act as a catalyst to employ more and new environmental protection measures. It can foster dialogue that can propel our little island to develop another way to engage with visitors.
Beyond conventional Tourism there is a strong demand for convenient locations to host Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) and two Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Health Sanur SEZ and Kura Kura Serangan SEZ in Denpasar are equipped to attract top events in the international Arena. We just had the international Conference on Fisheries and Aquaculture and in a few days the conference on Natural Science and Environment (ICNDE) will commence. There are a large number of other international conferences scheduled for just the first quarter of 2024.
Gus Agung the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) sees potential for growth from countries like China and India. He foresees also a tremendous potential in the market with more environmental conscious travel choices. Bali’s tourism industry is committed to implementing sustainable practices such as utilizing eco-friendly energy sources.
As a commercial aquaculture coral farm we welcome environmentally focused tourism experiences and a shift from mass to class. An increase of visitors will pose challenges and we need to take on opportunities to find a balance between the needs of the locals as well as economic demands. It will not be always ideal with already overloaded infrastructure and congestion as we see it in Bali’s favorite tourist destinations. But we are confident that our little island will be able to continue to be the welcoming and friendly spot it is known for. When you leave after a pleasant visit to fly back, know that there is a good chance, that with you in the plane are a few of our beautiful colorful corals on their way to a new home.