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Increasing tourism will not affect Bali’s spiritual identity: Governor

October 13, 2012
Bali's "sometimes uncontrolled" tourism development has not, and will not, kill Bali's identity as a spiritual place, according to the island's Governor, I Made Pastika.
Bali welcomed 7.75 million tourists last year, including 2.75 million foreign tourists, 10% more than the previous year, and Governor Pastika predicts that number will continue to grow, Fairfax Media reports.
Speaking on the tenth anniversary of the Bali bombings, which claimed 202 lives, Governor Pastika admitted that while tourism was contributing to increased wealth, it was also bringing with it other problems.
Governor Pastika stated "our people are getting more and more prosperous, but on the other side there are lots of problems - traffic jams, garbage, water problems, [shortage of] accommodation, (and) pollution.
"We want Bali (to be) still Bali, with the unique culture, with the friendly people and beautiful landscapes, and living culture."
Governor Pastika was speaking as thousands of visitors, including Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and former prime minister John Howard, visited the island to commemorate Friday's 10th anniversary of the Bali bombing.
Governor Pastika, the former police chief who helped track down and prosecute the Bali bombers a decade ago, acknowledged that the island's "development is very rapid and sometimes uncontrolled."
Nearly 800,000 Australians visited Bali last year, following a slump in the aftermath of the infamous Sari Club bombing in 2002.

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