During an official visit this week, the Governor of West Java voiced an interest in investing in Bali’s Bangli Regency. At present, Bangli Regency receives a moderate amount of tourist interest, less than Badung Regency but far more than Jembana or Karangasem. Bangli Regency is expansive, incorporating Mount Batur and Lake Batur, as well as some of Bali’s most popular tourist villages.
The Governor of West Java, Ridan Kamil, was invited to Bali to explore potential new resort areas in Bangli. Kamil and his team visited Kintamani, Sulahan Village, and the world-famous Penglipuran Village. He revealed to reporters that this week’s visit was, in fact, a return visit. He and his teams have visited Bangli previously to conduct research for potential investments.
Kamil told reporters, “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.” He stated that it’s not only the tourism sector that could receive investment but those interested in education and innovation.
Most significantly, though, he shared that he and his teams have identified Bangli Regency as an area for more resorts. He noted that, in his view, resort areas like Nusa Dua should be more widely available across Bali. He even proposed that resort tourism become a flagship of the regency that is currently best known for rural, cultural, and traditional village tourism.
Kamil said he wants to see tourism and business development come together in Bangli Regency to bring a whole new set of industries to the area. He said, “so the resort atmosphere is relaxed, but not as tourists on vacation. But for work. And this is a new industry that must be brought here”.
The Regent of Bangli, Sang Nyoman Sedana Arta, shared his reaction to Kamil’s insights with the press. He shared that development may be welcomed but should be done differently than in other parts of Bali. Inferring perhaps that the rapid growth of areas like Canggu would not be of benefit to currently quaint Bangli. Arta said, “he [Kamil] saw several locations related to the possibility that he would invite some of his friends who are investors engaged in education and innovation.”
Arta feels that the development of resort-style infrastructure in Bangli may align with the promotion of Bali as a destination for digital nomads. As the Ministry of Tourism promotes its new partnership with Airbnb, lesser-visited areas of Bali will be promoted to new audiences. The new collaboration promotes Bali as the destination of choice for remote workers and markets the B211a socio-cultural visa as Indonesia’s digital nomad visa.
All this comes at the same time as Indonesia has announced the creation of the second-home visa for high earners, investors, and retirees. As areas like Ubud, Canggu and Uluwatu become even more popular with international residents. Naturally, entrepreneurs, developers, and those seeking a quieter life will be looking toward the next most popular area. With an endorsement from the Governor of West Java, Bangli Regency could well be the place.
Arta said, “Americans work from Bali. [Investment and tourism] already exists in Bandung, and will be developed in Bangli. Because geographically and climatically, it is very possible…Hopefully [Kamil’s endorsment] will be followed up with subsequent visits by the governor’s team. Regarding the places that Ridwan Kamil is ogling, namely several in the Kintamani area, as well as the development of the Penglipuran area with supporting areas”.
Tourism Minster Sanidaga Uno has previously committed to promoting lesser visited areas of Bali as a part of his ‘serenity, spirituality, and sustainability campaign for the island. He has focused his attention on north and west Bali.
There is a clear directive to promote all that Bali has to offer, though locals, tourism experts, and travelers are all hopeful that any further development on the island will be in alignment with Balinese values. A principle that Bali Governor Wayan Koster has been vocal about in the past.
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