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Minister Predicts Retail Is The Future Of Tourism In Bali

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Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has spoken to the press about the future of tourism in the country.

Minster Uno has revealed how the country is on track to surpass tourism targets for 2023 and how the future of the sector may look in the years to come. 

Shopping Market in Bali Ubud

Speaking from the Indonesia Retail Summit in Jakarta, Minster Uno outlined tourism projections for the rest of the year.

He explained, “We at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy provide performance guidance to actors in the tourism and creative economy sectors.” 

He continued, “There have been two revisions, now the latest figure is 8.5 million [international tourists]. It looks like, it looks like we will be above target by 20-25 percent, above the most optimistic target. If the optimistic target is 8.5 million, we may see that the number of foreign tourists will reach 10 million this year, God willing.”

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With such a steep rise in tourist arrivals to Indonesia set for the remainder of the year, Minster Uno called on the retail sector to prepare for the best possible outcomes.

According to Minister Uno, more and more tourists want to shop while on vacation in Indonesia, including in the country’s leading destination of Bali. 

Minster Uno said, “I don’t want tourists to come just to be ‘spiritual’ groups just to look around, [or] groups that only ask questions. They have to be ‘rojali,’ groups [who] buy Indonesian modern retail products. Because this is modern retail, they will be a group that doesn’t use bargains.”

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Minster Uno is amongst the leaders in Indonesia who want to see more high-quality and sustainable tourism in Bali.

This, many leaders say, will require a shift toward attracting higher sending tourists who wish to spend longer than a few days in Bali.

Ministers and other political leaders are concerned that the increasing number of cases of foreigners behaving badly in Bali can be attributed to ‘low-quality’ mass tourism style offerings that attract low-spending and disrespectful tourists to the island. 

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The Tourism Minster continued to share more details about how domestic tourism will look in the coming months.

“A total of 1.2-1.4 billion domestic tourists are driven by shopping activities. So ladies and gentlemen, keep the promotions moving, and continue to use social media because of the added value of IDR 1,300 trillion from the creative economy and 45 million jobs. Very dependent on the movement and mobility of our economy.”

He noted that events, especially those promoted by the retail sector, have a huge role to play in improving both the tourism experience across Indonesia, but also boost the local economy.

Minister Uno added, “We recorded that there were 3,000 events this year that could generate up to 12 billion US dollars in terms of economic support.”


Bali is one of the leading shopping destinations for tourists in Indonesia. Even Minster Uno himself acknowledges that the poor air quality in Jakarta has both domestic and international tourists exploring other destinations.

This is something he wants to see improved in the near future. He wants to see the air quality in Jakarta improve, something that leaders in Bali are also acutely aware of.

Air quality in Denpasar and other built-up areas of Bali is rarely as bad as the capital city but is getting progressively worse. 

Minster Uno said, “That’s why we are now going to modify the weather in the short term. We are also going to fundamentally change our way of life, which previously all used fossil-fueled cars; we are aiming for electric fuels.”

Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster is also a keen advocate for electric vehicles and cutting emissions; earlier this year, he announced plans to have 140,000 electric motorcycles on Bali’s roads by 2026. 


Will improving air quality in Jakarta encourage more international tourists to visit the city rather than Bali? That remains to be seen. Bali has a lot to offer tourists in terms of a retail experience.

Even outside of the traditional markets in Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud, the retail scene in Bali is thriving. 

Trendy areas like Canggu and Uluwatu are home to incredible independent designers and boutique stores.


For those looking for an amazing mall experience, there is plenty to discover; Beachwalk Shopping Centre in Kuta is one of the most famous shopping destinations in Bali, closely followed by Discovery Shopping Mall and Mal Bali Galeria.

In January this year, the island welcomed the arrival of the biggest mall in the province, Living World Denpasar, which is a destination in its own right. 

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Saturday 19th of August 2023

If he's serious about a retail lead recovery he'll start throwing money to encourage, fund and set up local manufacturing and production. Any of the retail areas he mentions are the same...cheek by jowl, crowded warungs all basically selling the same cheap crap. Most made elsewhere. Not just the pasars, but also the main streets. Open your eyes Minister. Check the numbers. Overwhelmingly they're spectators, not buyers. They're called tyre kickers in Oz. You want quality tourists? Then discourage selling cheap crap.

Wayan Bo

Friday 18th of August 2023

Made In China


Saturday 19th of August 2023

@Wayan Bo, You might be close to the truth. Huge import of mass produced cheap tat from china sold to unsuspecting tourists for top dollar. The "new" Bali.

From 2018 article:

"TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Bali`s Indonesian SME Chairman Anak Agung Ngurah Mahendra assessed that souvenir markets in Bali are mostly dominated by foreign products that are mainly from China. Meanwhile, locally produced souvenirs are only 30 percent.

According to Mahendra, it is mainly because Chinese products are much cheaper than the products made by local Indonesian small and medium-sized enterprises. The clothes sold in Bali is also said to mostly come from China that had a Bali label on it."

Nick Mahanets

Thursday 17th of August 2023

they can from Bali. No sanitation, no meaningful infrastructure, but here's another new statue to gawk at. What a joke.

Nick Mahanets

Thursday 17th of August 2023

The Indonesian Overlords are gonna bleed every cent th