Bali’s Penglipuran Village is a real pioneer of tourism on the island.
The village shot to international fame when it was honored as the Cleanest Village in the World in 2016. Since then, the village has continued to find innovative ways to engage with tourists.
Penglipuran Village, in Bangli Regency, is one of the few remaining examples of a fully preserved and thriving traditional Balinese village.
The welcoming community sees over a million tourists a year, with the village becoming a significant cultural landmark for domestic tourists from around Indonesia as well as international visitors.
In late August, the team in charge of managing Penglipuran Village as a tourist destination introduced a novel way for tourists to pay for their entry tickets.
Now, just over a month into the new program, the team has shared how progress is going.
The We Care Penglipuran program enables tourists to support the community’s endeavor to ensure the village remains one of the cleanest in the world.
With this in mind, it is now possible for tourists to trade litter for an entry ticket. It’s a win-win situation.
The Penglipuran team has incentivized tourists to support their mission to keep the village clean, and tourists can return to the stunning cultural hub again for free.
The tickets are valid and can be used by anyone, and therefore gifted to another person if the tourist does not have time to return during their current trip to Bali.
Wayan Sumiarsa, the Head of Penglipuran Village, told reporters, “In order to strengthen the branding of the cleanest village, we created the We Care Penglipuran program. This program involves tourists to care about the cleanliness of Penglipuran Village.”
He added, “We hope that with We Care Penglipuran, we can strengthen the branding of the cleanest village and that tourism in Penglipuran Village can be sustainable until it is enjoyed by the next generation.”
@aurabalitour A must-visit in Bali ✨ The village is just 30km from Ubud and the best time to visit it is during the Balinese religious Galungan & Kuningan holidays which will next take place on 2-12 August 2023. #bali #panglipuran #desapanglipuranbali #balitravel #ubud #balitourservice #balidestination #balitrip ♬ suara asli – AURA BALI TOUR
But, since Penglipuran Village is so clean, it may be hard for tourists to even gather enough trash to exchange for their reward. It is not a mandatory participation program, and those offered the chance to take part can politely decline if they so wish.
Tourists who do wish to take part can pick up a small bag at the ticket counter, collect inorganic waste like plastic bottles or wrappers, and return it to the counter when they leave.
This model is only in place in Penglipuran Village but has got Bali lovers asking if it could be a model that could be rolled out at other leading destinations in Bali to help tackle the island’s mounting plastic pollution issues.
A small drop in the ocean, maybe, but bringing more incentives into play could be just one way to help raise awareness for tourists, at least, to be more respectful of the Balinese landscape.
A visit to Penglipuran Village is a truly magical experience. Visitors can now stay overnight in a traditional homestay for a more immersive experience and to learn more about how the community is keeping Balinese culture alive and thriving in the area.
Sumiarsa told reporters, “We manage a village-owned guest house. There are 3 rooms. In it, the concept we offer is a concept that gives tourists the sensation of staying in the cleanest village in the world with an old-fashioned concept. There is no TV and internet.”
The village is within cell signal range for those who need to stay connected, though!
The overnight packages range from 1-3 nights and include entry to Penglipuran Village, breakfast, and a truly unique dining experience.
Once all the day guests have left the village, the community comes together to lay on an exclusive dinner for overnight guests in the middle of the road!
Since there are no cars or mopeds in Penglipuran Village, the community can safely lay tables in the central pathway, and guests can have a dining experience like no other.
Sumiarsa said, “Our dinner offers a megibung (buffet) concept. In it, there will be local menus from Penglipuran Village. The menu includes satay lilit, tilapia nyat-nyat, vegetable urab, jukut undis, nasi sela, and marrow porridge as dessert.”
He added, “Visitors say they get the sensation of staying in a village that they rarely get when living in the city. Like the sound of chickens in the morning and dogs barking.”
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