Bali and Indonesia as a whole are gearing up in preparation for the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in 2013, says the Bali Hotels Association (BHA). The association is recognized as one of the key stakeholders involved in organizing this international-scale event.
“The Indonesian government, along with BHA, is taking this event very seriously, and so we are working with the Association of the Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies (ASITA) as well as the Association of Hotels & Restaurant (PHRI) to guarantee that delegates experience—and so take away—the most memorable impressions of the island,” said BHA chairman Jean-Charles Le Coz.
For hotels, this means having professional “liaison officers” on hand to ensure that visitors get the best information about tours in Bali and beyond, as well as eco and nature tourism, community-based tourism, cruises and more, said Le Coz. Hotels would be receiving delegates weeks before the actual event, so readiness for their VVIP guests will be vital he stressed.
Meanwhile, at an August 25 meeting with BHA at Sanur Beach Hotel in Bali, Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, said, “Everything is (and will be) done to impress all our visitors and show them the best of Indonesia and Indonesian culture.”
She added that key projects will see completion between May and July 2013, including the Bali toll road and underpass project, and the new airport. As such, the island is more than ready to welcome a predicted and welcome increase in MICE tourism over the next few years.
Bali Hotels Association is also keen to stress that all such improvements are part of its ongoing efforts to solve the island’s challenges in the face of increasing popularity.
“One project that is benefiting from the island-wide preparations is the Bali Clean and Green program for sustainable tourism,” said Le Coz. “The fact that Bali (and Indonesia as a whole) has been chosen to host the meeting means we can engage schools, parents and teachers on changing their mindsets to think of the island as a prime international destination, and, of course, a source of pride.”
Initiatives like these represent the best illustration of how effective the stakeholders in Bali—such as BHA, the ministry of environment, other local authorities, NGOs and schools—are when they work together. Le Coz added that the momentum that is building up in advance of APEC should continue afterwards and become a continuous activity that promotes sustainable tourism in Bali.
Source = Bali Hotels Association