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Bali Businesses Advised That Domestic Tourism Is Not To Be Overlooked

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Tourism businesses in Bali have been reminded once again to respect and care for domestic tourists. As data continues to be collected on the impact of travel and tourism on Bali’s economy in 2023, it is increasingly clear that domestic tourism will always remain essential to the island’s revenue.

In mid-2022, tourism businesses were warned by ministers to respect domestic tourists after incidences hit the headlines where business owners were found to be untrusting of domestic tourists and putting too heavy a focus on attracting only international visitors.

Domestic Tourists Enjoy Pandawa Beach in Bali

The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, I Made Mendra Astawa, has told reporters that domestic tourists to Bali are a ‘loyal’ market that should not be overlooked. He highlighted how domestic tourism played an essential role in the recovery of the tourism sector in the wake of the lockdown.

He said that domestic tourists, both Balinese citizens and Indonesians from across the country, all play a vital role in the tourism industry on the island. He said the domestic tourist market “is a loyal market, which is loyal to Bali tourism.”

Beach Beanbags and Sun Umbrellas on Pandawa Beach in Bali

Astawa continued, “the rural atmosphere and various local wisdoms that are unique to each tourist village [and they] are prepared to invite more [domestic tourists] to Bali”. Indonesia has over 270 million people; domestic tourism will always hold incredible potential for Bali. That said, is an underlying feeling within some tourism businesses in Bali that the priority focus should always be on international visitors.

Some hold the view that international guests, especially those from Australia, North America, and Europe, will spend more than domestic tourists. However, with Indonesia’s middle-class continuing to grow and as domestic travel becomes increasingly accessible and affordable in Indonesia, the domestic tourism market should be valued just as much as the international market, especially for small businesses.

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Domestic Tourists Walk Through Temple gateway To Tanah Lot in Bali

Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has also spoken publicly this week about the importance of domestic tourism and the economy in 2023. At his weekly press conference, he said, “Indonesia will still grow by around 5 percent. Of course, we must focus on encouraging the movement of domestic tourists to reach the target number of 1.2 billion to 1.4 billion. We will greatly encourage the movement of domestic tourists”. His statements came as he also called on airlines to lay on more international flights to Bali to help recession-proof the Island for the Gods.

For tourism villages like Pinge Village in Tabanan, domestic tourism is essential as the community’s programs grow and evolve. Pinge Village offers a ‘live in the village’ tourism program where visitors can stay with a local family as a part of a homestay experience.

While the community has big ideas for the project, they have told local reporters how homestay hosts’ language skills hinder the expansion of the program. The Head of the Pinge Anak Agung Tourism Village Management Board, Ngurah Putra Arimbawa, said that the community currently welcomes around 200 homestay visits a month, with many coming as part of school trips.

Tourists-Walk-Through-Tourism-Village-In-Bali

For now, it is easier for domestic tourists to enjoy the experience to the full as not all the homestay hosts speak English. He said, “the guests are directly placed in residents’ homes. So the community’s readiness to accept foreigners with this program is still lacking…For foreigners to Pinge, even though they are not optimal, there are already several people who are active in the language.”

He said that progress on the language front is slow and steady. He added, “We will continue to push, and encourage tourism villages that have not been maximized.”

Cangguu-Village-Farm-Rice-Fields

While there are certainly similarities in travel trends and demands of domestic and international visitors, there are significant differences too. This requires tourism businesses and community-based tourism programs across the Island to market their offerings differently to each demographic to maximize success.

Domestic-Tourists-Enjoy-Bali-Beach

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, domestic tourists to north Bali complained about the high price of hotels in the Lovina resort area and told tourism officials that facilities needed to be improved to warrant the comparatively high room rates.

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Jwest

Friday 13th of January 2023

None of the photographs used in this puff piece represent Bali conditions today. Reality….pounding torrential monsoon rain, dangerous waves snatching tourists off the beach to their deaths….piles of bacterial and viral garbage spread across the sand. The idea that Bali is a destination to let your spirit soar is so ……1960.

Exp

Friday 13th of January 2023

It is not that easy. A large number of attraction and venues charge foreigners much more money compared to locals, so obviously they prefer foreign tourists ("the walking ATM's").

Randy

Monday 16th of January 2023

@Exp, especially the ones coming here on welfare money, retirees and not working.

Wayan Bo

Friday 13th of January 2023

Anyway, from poor Europe can’t be expected to much. For example, every third German is expecting annuity from below € 1200,-

Randy

Friday 13th of January 2023

This goes without saying that with any country around the world, the domestic travelers would bring a chunk of revenue within their own country. And so with citizens of Indonesia living elsewhere in the archipelago injecting a source of income to the local warungs, hotels, and the tourist shops selling local souvenirs and baked goods in Bali. Actually very few foreign tourists buy local souvenirs and local baked goods for that matter.

Balinese citizens? What a strange choice of word, how about "Balinese inhabitants".

Many upper middle class Indonesians would normally spend their holidays abroad, some would even join tour groups to Oz, NZ, Europe, UK, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, the US or even the holy land.

Kumar

Thursday 12th of January 2023

Also domestic like shopping centers, urban beaches, condos on the beach, no much green "dirt", the right customers for the commercial turn of low cost, low selection tourism of XXI century Indonesia.