Bali welcomes foreign retirees

09 Oktober, 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Post

As Bali plans to develop retirement tourism, seven tourism villages have been provided with technical and financial assistance to make preparations to welcome retired tourists.

( the traditional village of Penglipuran )

The technical and financial assistance is being provided by the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) and Bank Indonesia (BI), in cooperation with the provincial tourism agency.

“We’re supporting the tourism villages so they can prepare and have the required skills to welcome and serve this kind of tourists,” BHA chairman Djinaldi Gosana said recently.

The villages are Pinge in Tabanan, Blimbingsari in Jembrana, Bedahulu in Gianyar, Penglipuran in Bangli, Pancasari in Buleleng, Budakeling and Jasri in Karangasem.

Currently, the Bali Retirement Tourism Authority (BRTA), a newly established body to regulate retirement tourism on the island, is drafting a policy on how foreign retirees could stay here for a long time and buy property.

“When the policy is ready for enactment and the villages are prepared, we will open the opportunity for investors to build retirement resorts in areas around the villages and to organize the people to come here,” Djinaldi said.

Investors are not allowed to build such resorts in Denpasar, Badung and Gianyar — the three regencies in Bali with the largest number of accommodation.

Development would be prioritized in areas around the tourism villages to improve their economy. There are also other designated areas in the island’s northern and eastern regions.

Djinaldi said that retirement tourism was a long term strategy to improve tourism in Bali and make the move toward higher quality and sustainable tourism.

“We’ve had enough of mass tourism. Wealthy tourists are no longer attracted to it. They want something authentic by getting involved in daily activities with villagers,” he said.

He added that he had received a lot of requests from retirees from European countries, who wanted to stay in Bali as they valued its laid-back lifestyle, warm temperatures, stunning landscape and gracious people.

Made Sadguna, BI deputy chief for Bali, said the central bank was managing a financial scheme for the retirement tourism program.

“As the central bank, we facilitate and encourage commercial banks to finance the program,” Sadguna said.

The central bank has also been supporting the tourism villages by disbursing funds of Rp 1 billion (US$104,300) to each village.

“Bali still has a lot of potential and, together with the Bali Hotels Association and the government, we are empowering the villages to be self-reliant, starting by developing these seven villages as the pilot project,” Sadguna said.

Chairman of BRTA, Ketut Sukardika, told Bali Daily that the authority would hold meetings with the administration to discuss the retirement tourism program.

“We hope this program is well prepared.”

 

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