The future of tourism in Bali looks bright as the island celebrates its two newly appointed ambassadors. During a dazzling ceremony on Sunday, 12th February, Ketut Wahyu Tamaja, 20, and Dinda Audreya Azhari Barenns, 22, were elected as Bali Tourism Ambassadors 2023.
The duo is now in the running to become Indonesian Tourism Ambassadors for the year and have spoken to the press for the first time since they were awarded the impressive title.
Speaking to reporters this weekend, Tamaja said, “I feel besides being happy, of course, I am grateful that I can be in this position. Not only having the title of being a Tourism Ambassador, but also having a big responsibility. After all, we represent the entire millennial generation, especially in the tourism sector, to bring the good name of the Province of Bali to the national arena.” Tamaja is currently studying for a degree in Business Management at Udayana University in Bali.
Barenns is equally enthusiastic about the opportunity to promote her home on a national and international stage. She explained, “The advocacy plan that I will carry out is in accordance with my vision, namely, I want to realize tourism for all, meaning that anyone can access tourism, especially people with disabilities and the elderly. Maybe I will have an audience with the government and also educate the surrounding community.”
Originally from Sumbung Gede Village, Kerambitan District, Tabanan, Barenss told reporters that she is always willing to try new things, which is why she entered the tourism ambassador election. She is currently studying for a degree in psychology at Udayana University.
The duo has suffered their fair share of imposter syndrome as this year’s competition was fierce, with dozens of young Balinese students applying for the honor of Tourism Ambassador. Tamaja said that they are looking ahead to the national conception. He added, “After being appointed as Bali Tourism Ambassadors, we have been prepared for a national event, but the time is uncertain. So ready and not ready, we must be ready at that time. Therefore, from the beginning we were crowned, we have prepared ourselves for the national event”.
Barenns is clear in her intention to encourage the younger generations in Bali to maintain and preserve their cultural heritage. She explained that protecting Balinese customs, culture, and the physical environment, as well as maintaining good Balinese hospitality to tourists, are all key aspects she wants to focus on in the year ahead.
Discussions around the importance of cultural preservation in Bali are often bought up by the Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster. This week the Provincial Governor was awarded the National Cultural Preservation Award. The accolade was given to Koster by the Indonesian Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Nadiem Anwar Makarim. The award was given to Koster to celebrate his work in preserving the Balinese language and the campaigns he has created to promote cultural conservation.
Governor Koster’s language preservation work has been written into provincial policy. It is now a requirement for Balinese script and language to be used in businesses and government documents and signage. He also launched the Balinese Language Month, where events are held across the island. These include workshops, literary exhibitions, and language festival events.
Governor Koster is also the leader responsible for the establishment of the Balinese Script computer keyboard that was launched in 2021. The computer program and keyboard make it easier for students to write in Balinese script and in turn, reintegrate widespread use of the island’s language within the younger generations.
Koster has also created local rules that state that school staff and students, business employees, and government office workers must wear traditional Balinese clothing every Tuesday and Thursday. He is also an avid supporter of Balinese artisans and craftsmen. Most famously, Governor Koster is known to promote traditional Balinese arak, the local liquor.
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