This is a response to Nuria Coma-Cros article: Destination image of north Bali among south Bali visitors
Nuria wrote an interesting research paper on the Tourism Destination Image of North Bali for South Bali visitors. In recent years Bali has developed into a tourism hotspot for a wide variety of travellers. Here exactly lies the challenge as all these travellers have different backgrounds and different needs and wants. What travellers seek in the Southern part of Bali cannot, or only partially, be found in the North and the other way around. Here lies an opportunity, because from my personal perspective the North of Bali is an undiscovered pearl. As Nuria described in her research the area has many attractions and beautiful scenery, but tourists (or not the right segments) know about this yet. Therefore, as Nuria explains the focus on post TDI can play a very important role. The travellers who have visited the North of Bali are enthusiastic about this area and it is important that they share these experiences via word-of-mouth communication and social media with other like-minded travellers. The tourism providers in North Bali play an important role here as they have to stimulate their guests to spread the message via online reviews or social media. In this way the pre TDI can also be influenced for potential travellers and more awareness about the activities and national parks in North Bali can be stimulated.
Nowadays travellers are looking for authentic local experiences which are present in the North of Bali. However, as Nuria also explains there is a lack of awareness of this area, so most of the tourists decide to visit the regular hotspots in the South of Bali. Of course, it also takes time to develop a tourism area. Several years ago, Ubud was also an undiscovered pearl in Bali, but soon many, many tourists visited this place. When I visited Ubud in 2017, I was shocked by the number of visitors and I felt overwhelmed by the many traffic jams. This spoilt the whole tourist experience.
In Tourism Destination Management the balance between promoting areas and managing visitor flows should be found. For North Bali the first step is to create more awareness among the right traveller segments and with the suggestions given by Nuria tourism providers can definitely make a step forward in improving their Tourism Destination Image.