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Bali named world’s ‘best island’  

by on Sunday, 30 July 2006One Comment | 1,614 views

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bali has again been named the world’s best island by the readers of U.S. magazine Travel+Leisure.

It is the fifth time the popular resort island has topped the list and it was also named Asia’s best island for the seventh time.

In the top islands ranking, Bali was followed by Hawaii’s Kauii and Maui and the Great Barrier Reef Islands in Australia.

Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said he had not been certain Bali would win considering the 2002 and 2005 bombings on the island.

“I had a strong feeling, but the bombings made me not so sure. But it turns out tourists still think Bali is the best among other islands in the world,” he told The Jakarta Post in Garut, West Java, on Thursday evening.

Three of Bali’s hotels ranked on the list of the world’s 10 best hotels: The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan and The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay came in second and fifth places respectively and the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort & Spa placed seventh.

“This award makes we Indonesians proud of Bali. We have a tendency of not appreciating what we have, but other people out there appear to have higher opinions,” Jero said.

The Education Ministry’s director for foreign promotion, Tatang Rukhiyat, said the award was accepted by Andri Hadi, the Indonesian embassy’s deputy chief of mission in Washington, and the embassy’s acting chief representative, Harbangan Napitupulu, on July 20 at the Rockefeller Center in New York.

The award, he said, was based on a survey of 23,000 respondents, who were asked to pick the world’s best island, city, hotel, airline, cruise liner, car rental company, tour operator and spa. The magazine has 915,000 subscribers.

“The award doesn’t mean we should stop developing Bali. It should instead make us keep trying to bring in tourists and make them feel at home,” Tatang said.

Jero said more than 6,000 foreign tourists a day were on Bali in peak seasons, but in the weeks after the bombings in 2005 it had been more like 500.

“The situation is getting better now, with around 4,000 foreign tourists on the island a day,” he said.

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