Bali turning into urban-resort destination

Bali is turning into an urban-resort destination, as it will be welcoming many new internationally branded properties in a long pipeline of projects within the next several years. Some luxury hotel companies, including Rosewood, Jumeirah, Raffles and Shangri-La, were set to open their properties on the island, said Bill Barnett, managing director of C9 Hotelworks, a property consulting group. “Bali is changing now because it’s welcoming more urban-type resorts. Just like Phuket, it is becoming an urban-resort destination.

It’s not going to be the same Bali,” Barnett told Bali Daily recently. “We’re going to see some big projects like Rosewood, Jumeirah, Raffles and some other international brands coming in. It’s quite a big pipeline.” In spite of the oversupply of accommodation in Bali, investors keep coming and building more hotels on the island. Commenting on this, Barnett said, “This situation is no different to Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and many other countries, in which the government has not imposed a master plan on hotels, and the private sector is guiding tourism policy.

The companies keep building and the government is not controlling it.” According to the “Bali Hotel and Branded Residential Update” released late last month by consulting groups Horwath HTL and C9 Hotelworks, over the past few years, the property market on the island has witnessed a dramatic shift in demand toward hotel-branded projects. The hospitality-led residential property sector has been strengthened by domestic buyers, creating strong demand and favorable market conditions.

With increasing access from Jakarta, Surabaya and other cities, Bali continues to be a popular playground for Indonesians. “Looking forward, a series of upcoming international branded products with real estate offerings, such as Rosewood, Raffles, Jumeirah and Shangri-La will induce more demand on the island. It is anticipated that the Island of Gods will attract a wider base of international visitors,” the report stated. As announced on the company’s official website, Jumeirah Group — the Dubai-based luxury hotel company, will operate Jumeirah Bali, a luxury resort expected to open in 2015.

Located on the southern tip of Jimbaran, Jumeirah Bali will consist of 80 spacious hotel suites and 25 private villas. The property will look out over Dreamland Beach. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has also published on its official website that it will operate Rosewood Tanah Lot Bali, a new property comprising 80 suites, 40 villas and 20 Rosewood Residences for sale, set to open in 2017. The company has been appointed by Ciputra Group to manage Rosewood Tanah Lot Bali, to be located on a 12-hectare plot of land near the world-famous Tanah Lot Temple.

Despite the many international brands, it is expected that Bali will not lose its character. “The key is how to retain the characteristics. The Bali brand is the strongest brand in the world for resorts, and it still appeals to many people. They want to see something different, feel the sense of this place, and the elements of authenticity,” Barnett added. Tourism practitioner Bagus Sudibya said he was concerned about the situation, where the flood of foreign investments in the tourism sector had marginalized local businesses.

“Local businesses have begun to feel the impact. We’re suppressed by the power of foreign investors,” Sudibya said. “The opportunity for local people to open businesses in the sector has been systematically killed by the power of capitalists,” he added. He feared that the characteristics of Balinese culture would slowly diminish, which was not good for tourism, as the island remained attractive for tourists not because of the beauty of its resorts, but because of its culture, something that they could not find in any other place in the world.

Sudibya also shared his concern that the mushrooming of new properties would affect the island’s environmental carrying capacity. Mass resort development on the island has affected the supply of electricity and water, causing concern in the local community. “An addition of one hotel room will increase consumption of electricity and water, sacrificing local people as they face shortages of these limited resources.”

source : bali daily

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