Nusa Dua, Bali. Badung district in Bali is gearing up to host the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 on Oct. 8-14, and has been speeding up development of infrastructure and amenities in the popular tourist area.
The Island of the Gods’ most popular destinations, including busy Kuta Beach, Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, are located in Badung. Besides being home to 75 percent of Bali’s hotel rooms, Badung is also the center of "MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] tourism" on the island.
Badung Tourism Office head I Made Badra told journalists at Bali & Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF), taking place at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), on Thursday (28/06) the IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting will involve 15,000 delegates from 189 countries and around 42,000 of their staff.
A total of 89 meeting venues at the BNDCC, Bali International Convention Center (BICC) and Laguna Resort will host as many as 1200 meetings during the busy week. There will also be 55 business centers ready to take care of the delegates' administrative needs.
So far 4600 hotel rooms in Nusa Dua have already been booked for the conference delegates.
A 9000-strong security force made up of police and military officers and pecalang (Bali's traditional security guards) will be on standby during the conference.
The Badung administration has already upgraded street lighting in the area and will install surveillance cameras at 986 spots in the district to improve security even more.
Free wi-fi will be available throughout the district by October, before the conference starts. As reported by Antara, by June 2016 Kuta already had 115 free-wifi spots.
Badung will soon also take delivery of 250 21-seat buses to transport conference delegates to their meetings.
Badra said to ensure a smooth traffic flow in Badung during the conference, and in line with the district's ambition to become a "smart city," traffic in the area will be organized and controlled from an integrated high-tech command center.
"We have two [internet] providers in the command center. If one provider gets hacked, the other will step in and back up," Badra said.
Bali's biggest airport, the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, is also located in Badung.
An underpass – 712 meters long, 17 meters wide and 5.2 meters high – is currently being constructed to reduce congestion to and from the airport. The project is expected to wrap up in August.
Badung is also trying to have a large-scale statue of the mythical garuda bird – the national symbol of Indonesia – at its Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) cultural park to be finished before October.
Designed by sculptor I Nyoman Nuarta, the statue is expected to be inaugurated by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Aug. 8.
"Later on we will have an 11-floor MICE venue there," Badra said.