04 January 2013

Busy year for Bali

With the coming of 2013, Bali is ready to host numerous national and international events throughout the year.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika said that 2013 would see Bali in the international spotlight. “It is a year when we have to prove to the world that Bali is able to host large events. The image of Indonesia, especially Bali as a major gateway into Indonesia, will be at stake,” Pastika said.
The success of the upcoming events would dramatically affect Bali as an international holiday and conference destination. A major political event — the gubernatorial election, will take place in May, deciding whether Pastika or another candidate will take the governor’s seat.

Between June and July, the island will host its annual cultural landmark — the Bali Arts Festival at the Arts Center in Denpasar. Also in June, hundreds of Hindu leaders and high priests will be gathering at the World Hindu Summit.

In September, for the first time in Indonesia, the island will host the Miss World Pageant, bringing the most beautiful young women to the island.

In November, dozens of state leaders, hundreds of top diplomats and high-ranking officials from the Asia Pacific region, including American President Barack Obama, are expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Nusa Dua resort complex.

Another annual event will be the Bali Democracy Forum, scheduled for December 2013.

To prepare for the international-scale gatherings, many infrastructure projects are being implemented, including the construction of the Benoa-Nusa Dua toll road and the Dewa Ruci underpass. The two projects, started at the end of 2011, are part of the resort island’s latest efforts to cope with its severe traffic congestion that often strangles its main tourist routes. The 12-kilometer Benoa-Nusa Dua toll road, predicted to cost Rp 2.49 trillion, will largely run over the sea along the island’s southern shoreline. The toll road, which will connect Benoa Harbor, Ngurah Rai International Airport and the Nusa Dua tourism enclave, is being built under a public-private partnership.

Meanwhile, the Dewa Ruci underpass is being built at a busy intersection next to Mall Bali Galeria in Kuta. It is the critical point of convergence for traffic to and from the island’s most important tourism sites, including Ngurah Rai International Airport, Nusa Dua, Kuta, Sanur, Denpasar and Ubud. Prolonged gridlock is a common sight at and around the intersection. The underpass will be 450 meters long and is estimated to cost Rp 136 billion, funded from the state budget.

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