One of the leading academics in Bali has pledged support to the island’s village tourism programs. Prof. Dr. I Gede Astra Wesnawa M.Si has told reporters of his support for community-based tourism initiatives on the Island of the Gods and will facilitate collaborations between the academic sector, government, and tourism stakeholders.
Prof. Dr. Wesnawa told reporters in Singaraja on Saturday, 11th February, that collaboration is key to success in community-based tourism. He said, “the important things that must be packaged in order to develop a tourism village is collaboration and cooperation on existing local potential and wisdom”.
He continued to share the ways in which he and his teams will develop existing tourism villages in Bali. This will be done through the promotion of creative economies in each village, including culinary expertise, natural wonders, and cultural traditions.
The professor shared that each tourism village must conduct future planning and utilize ‘mature mapping’ business concepts in order to establish sustainable business opportunities for communities. He used the example that if two tourist villages are located close to one another, they risk conflict if they offer exactly the same community-based tourism initiatives. So, through coaching from his teams and the use of mature mapping, each village can maximize its unique potential without treading on the toes of the other.
Prof. Dr. Wesnawa continued to use the example of northern Bali, mentioning specifically Sudaji Village, Sidatapa Village, and Wanagiri Village. He examples that these three villages in Buleleng Regency offer homestay experiences to both domestic and foreign tourists, but that improvements can still be made. He explained, “we see that, in general, tourist villages in Bali have made improvements both in terms of infrastructure and human resources”. Prof. Dr. Wesnawa said that this is where academics from Undiksha Campus have a role to play in contributing to the development of tourism infrastructure.
He concluded his observation by saying, “we hope that in the future the tourism villages will get better. We have also designed a ‘traveling pattern’ so that later the existing tourists will not stand alone but can move from one tourist village to another.”
Tourism stakeholders across Bali are investing resources into the development of tourism villages in Bali in 2023. In fact, it’s a hot topic for tourism businesses across the island. In early January, the Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali, I Putu Winastra, told reports how he and his parties will be promoting community-based tourism and nature tourism heavily in 2023. He shared that his parties have observed a subtle shift in travel trends, especially from tourists from Europe, North America, and Australia.
Winastra revealed that there are over 230 tourism villages across Bali, 70% of which are still in their pilot phase. Many communities whose workforce were impacted by the job losses induced by the pandemic have been searching for income sources that are not so heavily dependent on employment in hotels and the hospitality sector.
He added, “they [tourists] are looking for new things, not only phenomenal attractions, but they are looking for adventure… this [kind of] adventure is only in the villages. This is what the brothers in the village have developed [for themselves]”
Some of Bali’s most famous tourist villages include Penglipuran Village in Bangli Regency, Truyan Village, close to Lake Batur, and Celuk Village, which is famous for its silver jewelry. Smaller and lesser-known tourism villages include Aan Village, which opened a village tourism intake in August 2022. Located in Semarapura in Klungkung Regency, Aan Village is about one hour by car from central Denpasar. The village has opened the Aan Secret Waterfall to the public on a donation basis, and the community guides are on hand to share the stories of their rural village home.
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