Benoa Habour is about to receive a huge investment of funds to create what will be known as the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub. The development is partially funded by the Indonesian government and is being delivered by the private company Pelindo.
The investment, totaling nearly USD 80 million has been signed off, and will be used to develop the infrastructure and waterways management of Benoa Harbour to establish the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub.
A report by Antara News, Indonesia’s national news agency explains how the project will directly impact the local economy, and the local government and bring benefits all the way up to government and business at a national level. The intention is for the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub to be a source of business growth for micro, small and medium enterprises across Bali.
With this in mind, the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub management team is looking to develop facilities on land, but first, they must improve the infrastructure in the sea. They must specifically improve anchorage and shipping lanes. When this work is complete Benoa Habour and Bali Maritime Tourism Hub will be able to welcome commercial cruise ships.
Plans for the anchorage improvements at the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub would mean that the port could welcome cruise ships up to 350m in length, that carry up to 6,000 passengers. At present Bali and Indonesia in general, do not feature high up the list as top cruise destinations. This is largely due to infrastructure restraints. Instead, many cruise operations offer their guests a taste of island life in the Caribbean or Europe.
Bali does cater to cruise travel, but the primary focus of the sector has been on fast boats as a method of transportation, rather than an experience. In the Flores Islands and other parts of Indonesia, some companies offer sailing charters, but Bali has tented to see boat travel as functional rather than experiential.
Royal Caribbean International, a global leader in cruise travel, offered comparatively small boat cruise experiences to Bali before the pandemic. According to their booking website, they are currently only offering cruises in Asia that visit Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Speaking to the media, the corporate secretary for the project said ‘We will continue to accelerate the dredging of anchorage and ship lanes in the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub area concurrently with the construction of facilities on land’.
He explained how the dredging process will work. He said that the anchorage and shipping lanes will be dredged to a depth of 12m, from the current 9m. Once this is complete the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub will be able to welcome bigger cruise ships.
The team behind the project has big visions for the scale of the project. Benoa Harbour sits at the perfect position along the Indonesian cruising route called The Butterfly Route. The Bali Maritime Tourism Hub will develop the Benoa Cruise Terminal of Benoa Harbor which according to reports is projected to become the largest cruise ship berth in Indonesia, with hopes of it becoming the biggest in all of Asia.
The Benoa Cruise Terminal is planned to become a major maritime tourism center. The plans indicate that the development will include a yacht marina, yacht club, theme park, and water sports facility.
The complex will have other functional resources that are needed for the smooth running of a major cruise port. This includes access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, liquid cargo storage, and wet berth and dry berth units.
The management teams will develop the Bali Fish Market area and bring in a range of micro, small and medium enterprises to help boost employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for local people.
Benoa Beach and Harbour is currently home to dozens of water and adventure sports outlets and is a popular destination for both international and domestic travelers. The plan for the development of the Bali Maritime Tourism Hub is a part of the government’s larger initiative to diversify tourism opportunities on the island.
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