Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika admitted he was “jealous” of Malaysia because the neighboring country was able to attract up to 22 million foreign tourists in 2008.

Bali which was much more famous internationally had just set a target of attracting two million foreign tourists in 2009, Pastika said at a workshop themed “Terrorism Prevention in Bali Tourism Environment” here on Saturday.

Made Mangku Pastika

Made Mangku Pastika

The Island of Gods as a tourist destination that is quite popular to the international community actually had many places of interest in addition to its unique society and culture.

Bali island which was sometimes called “heaven” by the international community had beaches, mountains, lakes and even rivers which provide beautiful panoramas, Pastika said.

But despite these assets, Bali was not able to draw more than or the same number of foreign tourists as Malaysia, he said.

Malaysia`s success in attracting foreign tourists in large quantities was thanks to its (capable) human resources, guaranteed security and good infrastructure, according to Pastika.

The governor who is a former Bali police chief promised to prioritize development in three important areas in Bali, namely human resources, education and people`s health.

The security issue must also be tackled so that the safety and comfortable condition of Bali will become an attraction for the international community to visit this area, he said, adding that infrastructure construction should be accelerated, so that it can attract more than ten million foreign tourists in the years to come.