Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday 31st May, Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced his new 15-point plan to support the recovery of Bali’s tourism sector. The Governor’s vision is to see a series of standards delivered in all sub-sectors of the tourism industry in all corners of the island. He began by saying that he will not compromise on seeing these standards delivered in full.
Speaking at Denpasar’s Ksiraranwa Building, Koster described how his compliance with his new tourism standards will ensure rapid economic recovery and promote Balinese heritage and culture. He went on to say how there will be strict sanctions for non-compliance and that there are no excuses for disorganization.
This speech was deeply impassioned by Koster who circled back several times to the need to organize the tourism sector in Bali around harmony with nature, culture, and the needs of the Balinese people.
The 15-points are focused on implementing standards specifically in the cultural tourism sector of Bali. All the new standards have been created in alignment with the Bali Regional Regulations that are already in place to ensure that cultural preservation efforts are reinforced by law.
This includes the use of signs in public places and within the business, buildings to be written in the Balinese language, in addition to Bahasa Indonesia and within tourism-related spaced signs are often also written in English.
As a part of the promotion of Balinese heritage, Koster announced that those in the cultural tourism sector must wear traditional clothes twice a week. Every Tuesday staff in these sectors must wear endek woven fabrics of any kind, this may be a shirt or sarong.
Traditional purnamma (full moon) and tilem (new moon) ceremonies must be conducted at places of work and on these days staff must wear their full kebaya on these days.
He went on to say that tourism cafes and restaurant businesses must use Balinese grown products where possible, and made special reference to Balinese sea salt.
He said that all companies must work to eliminate plastic waste from all aspects of the tourism supply chain, in alignment with Bali’s ban on single-use plastics by the end of 2022. He also encourages businesses to shift towards rooftop solar power units.
The new standards have been created with Balinese cultural values front and center, they have been designed with a Balinese spiritual lens. Speaking after the press conference Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said ‘”Revitalization of the tourism ecosystem for the better by strengthening the harmony of life between elements of nature, humans, and Balinese culture in niskala (spiritual) and sakala (physical)’.
Koster was clear that the new policies would help to improve the public image of Bali both within Indonesia and around the world. He was to ensure that the Bali tourism sector is competitive with other destinations of its kind, like Phuket in Thailand or the Pacific Islands.
The impact of these new standards has also been designed to create benefits for the sectors of Bali that indirectly support the tourism sector. For example, farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen whose income has been decimated by the global lockdowns will also benefit from the rapid recovery plan.
Governor Koster was also impressed that he did not want to see sacred places destroyed and disrespected in the ways they have been in recent months. He believes that his 15-point plan will promote awareness and respect for Balinese culture that will go a long way in ensuring the foreigners do not pose naked at sacred sites nor do they feel it appropriate to climb temple walls, take selfies in no-photo areas or make accusations against the authorities in Bali.
As Bali reopens to the world Governor Koster’s no-compromise approach will undoubtedly be seen as the right choice when the sector is thriving once again.
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