Tabanan Authorities Ready to Restrict Tourism Development

The Tabanan regency government will not allow unlimited tourism development, the deputy regent said last week.

Speaking on Thursday, Komang Gede Sanjaya said that the authorities in the west Bali regency were very selective when granting permits for new tourism-related construction projects.

He said that the move was needed to protect the agricultural land in what is Bali’s main rice growing region.

Sanjaya said that many applications for large hotel projects, particularly those in rural areas, had been rejected by the regency, and that generally stringent criteria were enforced over licensing across the regency.

Sanjaya said that any hotel development in the regency needed to apply environment principles to gain licensing, including a need to keep two-thirds of the development plot as rice land or forest.

“Without it, we will never issue a license,” he said; “Let the other regencies have the starred hotels and other types of tourist accommodations. We are proud to have so much agricultural land, and we are committed to preserving it.”

Sanjaya added that in Jatiluwih, the rice terrace area recently given UNESCO world cultural heritage status a total moratorium on further tourism development was being enforced.

“We will not allow any new tourism project there,” he said, adding that other policies were being used to support farmers in the regency in the hope of encouraging them not to sell their land for development.

Tax breaks and subsidies for farmers have been put in place, and the authorities have bought up much of the rice harvest to ensure prices are maintained.

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