We’re calling it, Bangli Regency in Bali is the island’s next most popular tourist destination. Over the years, visitors have slowly migrated westward from Kuta through to Seminyak, Legian, and Canggu. Some have moved upwards to Ubud, others east to Amed or just further south to Nusa Dua and Uluwatu.
There is now a clear but subtle shift of focus toward Bangli Regency. It has been confirmed this week that the area will receive a huge boost of funding next year to invest in up-skilling tourism workers. This can only mean one thing, investment and tourism development is moving into Bangli quicker than ever before.
The Tourism and Culture Office of Bangli will focus on improving the area’s human resources and tourism management in 2023. The region’s tourism training budget has been announced as a healthy IDR 1 billion, around USD 63,000. The Head of the Tourism Marketing Division of Bangli Regency, Ida Bagus Sutha Maharinaldi, has spoken with reporters about the injection of funding.
He explained that the budget would be used to help bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic and to develop new tourism potential in Bangli. The training offered will cover everything from how to run a tourism business and legal support to digitization, the development of tourism villages, increasing geotourism and exploring the culinary potential of the regency.
Maharinaldi said, “Training activities in 2023 will add geotourism. Geotourism is special interest tourism by utilizing the potential of natural resources such as landscape shapes, rocks, geological structures and earth history, so it is necessary to increase insight enrichment and understanding of the processes of natural physical phenomena.”
The budget awarded to Bangli for tourism development in 2023 is greater than the budget they were given in 2022. Another positive sign for the region is that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economies, the provincial government, and business sector are all looking favorably on the area. Speaking about the success of this year’s programs, Maharinaldi said the 2022 program is nearly completed. He told reports, “We still have one training activity, namely homestay management, which will be held [soon]. After that, the participants will conduct a visit in Ubud District, Gianyar,”
Being more inland than popular beachside hotspots, Bangli Regency will do well to take learn from the positives of the tourism sector in Ubud. As a honeypot, Ubud has topped all manner of ‘best destination for…’ lists over the years. Most recently, Ubud was named as the Best City in Asia by Travel + Leisure Magazine, as well as the Must Visit Destination for Solo Travellers in 2022 by Forbes Magazine. Bangli Regency is geographically similar to much of Gianyar Regency, where Ubud can be found.
Some of Bangli Regency’s most popular tourist attractions include the tourist villages of Kintamani, Mount Batur, Lake Batur, and the Pinggan Sunrise Spot. Bangli is also home to countless waterfalls and gorgeous jungle and forest hikes that are generally far quieter than the waterfalls found closer to Ubud.
Villages and remote getaways in Bangli Regency are also now being promoted on Airbnb in partnership with the Indonesian Tourism Board, Wonderful Indonesia. In a new collaboration announced earlier in November, Airbnb is partnering with Bali to promote the island as a leading destination for digital nomads. The Live and Work Anywhere Bali campaign is marketing some of Bali’s lesser-visited areas to remote workers seeking a better work-life balance on the Island of the Gods.
The Governor of West Java has also expressed his intentions to invest in tourism development in Bangli Regency in the near future. During a visit in early November, Ridan Kamil told reporters that he was conducting research with the view to investing in turning parts of Bangli into Bali’s next resort destination. He explained, “I have said, God willing, to bring investment to Bangli so that I can advance to class. Today we will see several locations, investors have also come. I just connect it as a person who really loves Bali, especially Bangli Regency.”
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