The Indonesian government may be testing its Islamic stretch in Bali. Senior officials appear eager to support “Shariah tourism,” for objectively sound economic reasons. The segment offers strong potential amid an otherwise sour outlook. But Bali-based businessmen seem less enchanted with the idea. Local industry fears erosion of the island’s carefully crafted reputation; the area awkwardly suffers from ongoing terrorist concerns. One lesson here may be the importance of building public awareness in support of target-group marketing. Shariah tourism already exists in Bali, albeit less formally than advocated by some tourism authorities.

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