As the part of its World’s Best Award 2007, the prestigious New York based travel magazine Travel + Leisure has just named Bali as The World’s Top Island for the sixth consecutive years.
Despite of our pride in getting such a glorious International appreciation, it is interesting to find out why Bali has been so attractive to International holiday makers, this way all stakeholders of travel industry in Bali can work out the right way to make the interest even higher.
As expressed by the editor-in-chief of the magazine Nancy Novogrod, the choice of the islands was based on the natural attractions, activities, sights, restaurants, foods, people, and value. In addition she also cited that 2007 result underlines the magazine’s readers’ ever increasing embrace of global travel in their search for distinctive and authentic experiences. Quite interestingly, officials and executives of Bali tourism industry have different opinion. As quoted by the Island’s only English newspaper The Bali Times, Cok Oka Arta Ardana Sukawati, deputy head of the private run Bali Tourism Board, said “Why most distinguishes Bali is its culture, which is why Bali keeps being named the world’s best island.”
However, difference is not something to set us back, it is indeed to strengthen us even more. Preserving natural attraction, increasing quality of tourism services including food, accommodation, transportation, and activity operation, as well as better presentation of rich Balinese cultural heritage remain the main keywords.
The main question remains to address is how we translate this prestigious appreciation into real figure in number of visitors and their spending, which immediately related to flow of wealth into the island which its economy is very much depend to tourism industry. Wisna Wedhana, the MD of Private Leisure who operates online holiday rental business in Bali and other Asian island destination confirms that inquiries for Phuket is higher than Bali, regardless Phuket’s eighth position in L+P nomination.
Following are the top 10 in consecutive order: (1)Bali, (2)Maui, (3)Kauai, (4)Glapagos, (5)Santorini, (6)Vancouver Island, (7)Dalmatian Islands, (8)Phuket, (9)Hawaii, (10)Great Barrier Reef Island.