The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Bali Celeste?
October 11, 2006, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Comment

In Bali for work [honest] and despite being one of the most wonderful places on earth – no one is here!

It’s weird, because the hotel is still geared up for the hundreds of tourists it used to attract, but as I walk around, I only ever meet my shadow. 

It shouldn’t be like this … the people are astoundingly warm, the food is incredibly tasty, the architecture is truly breath-taking and the cost is laughably cheap … and yet, because of the actions of others, this spiritual place is on its knees.

It’s a perfect example of how a brand can be destroyed by external factors … and yet so many companies ignore this issue and continue with their myopic approach which often ends up alienating consumers rather than engaging them.

Don’t get me wrong, brands shouldn’t change what they stand for willy-nilly … God no … but it’s bloody important they continually gauge the winds of change to ensure they express themselves with relevance and resonance.

Ironically, I’m here to help Bali identify ways to boost its tourism … lets hope we find a way quickly. 

[My dear friend Andy suggested, “BALI: Safer Than North Korea” … unsuprisingly, he won’t be involved any further in this project!]

14 Comments so far
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What a shame, not like the world needs any more British tourists in Spain…

People don’t stop using the tube because some nutcase bombed it; so why should they avoid such a wonderful location?!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

That is a very good question .. and I think it could have something to do with the fact the UK is pretty used to acts of terrorism whereas the most common tourists to Bali [Aussies] are not.

It’s mental that in a weird-sort-of-way, the IRA have sort of helped England get back on her feet quicker and stronger than many other nations in similar situations.

Not only that, but their actions resulted in the British Intelligence Service being one of the most informed and properly structured in the World.

As they say … you sometimes don’t realise what you can learn from events till much, much later.

Comment by Robert

I think that could be it. It’s all new to Australians… I wonder whether there is much data on what the UK did after the IRA events to boost tourism?

I do wonder how many recent acts of terrorism have been prevented because of the information learnt back in those dark days.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I was in Bali in April to judge the Asian advertising awards and it really was heartbreaking how empty things were in the middle of high season – save a handful of adfolk.

Occupancy was so low the rate to stay on in my room at the Ritz Carlton for an extra days was a few dollars over $100 US.

Sadly, Bail did see a bit of a rebound in tourist activity between the two bombings as the general Aussie buzz was that it was safe to go back and there were great deals to be had.

Bombing number two slammed to door on that.

Comment by Sean G

And yet Aussies still go in their droves to the UK … weird isn’t it.

Maybe they just feel their more on top of things ‘terrorism-wise’ over there – which sort of screws up Bali given the place exists on an atmosphere of calm and tranquility.

Comment by Rob

Well I definitely think there is an element of chaos to Indonesia (really most of Asia) in the Aussie mass-mind that leaves the perception that it couldn’t be as secure…

and again bombing two confirmed this suspicion, undoing months of “come back it’s safe” PR/WOM

Comment by Sean G

Hi Sean … please don’t think I’m ‘having a go’ – I just find it interesting you say it’s linked to the number of bombs that have exploded when it seems more to do with our fear/prejudice/ignorance of culture/religions other than what we’re ‘used to’.

Comment by Rob

Just read my response to you Sean … and it’s pretty aggressive when it most certainly wasn’t meant to be. Sorry … I do understand (and agree) with what you’re saying – I guess this proves I shouldn’t check my blog when I’m still half asleep. Oops …

Comment by Rob

Well you are correct of course Rob and I was skirting that issue. Cultural bias is definately at the heart of what I was calling a perceived “element of chaos”

And I’m not that sensitive so fire away. At any rate, I’m just sharing observation, not exposing personal opinion.

What I observed (as a foreigner here, mind you) was that Australia started to heal – started to get over it – there was a good amount of positive press in between the bombings. People started to say “those poor Balinese, we shouldn’t let a couple of people ruin it for all of them”

That sentiment has not returned after the second bombing and it most certainly has something to do with the cultural bias but it also has to do with the fact that it was all so unbelievable the first time and all too familiar the second.

Comment by Sean G

Cultural Bias – I love it – the polite way to insult someone/something. Cherie Blair has another good phrase … ‘Moral Compass’, classic!

I know you’re not expressing personal opinion, just observation – but my god, what you say does apply to a hell of a lot of Aussies I know.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia and consider it ‘home’ – but it’s not this harmonious, multicultural society that the Government tries to promote – sure, there’s alot of different cultures but unfortunately their level of integration has a hell of a lot to be desired.

Just like in France, Holland and England [to name but a few] – if something isn’t done about it soon, we’re in for one hell of a shitstorm.

Comment by Rob

I just thought “cultural bias” sounded catchier than “mild xenophobia”

Comment by Sean G

What about ‘Racial Confusion’?

Comment by Rob

What about Societal Puzzlement?

Ive heard that about Australia actually, quite a big task ahead there. “Attempt to swing the mild xenophobia of a percentage of the population” …ouch.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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