Bali’s most famous tourism village, Penglipuran Village in Bangli Regency, has been investing in creating a sustainable tourism model for years.
Due to the huge success of the village’s community-driven tourism initiatives, huge numbers of tourists visit the destination every day of the year. Now, they are raising concerns that if over-tourism is a risk to their project, what does the future look like for the rest of the island?
According to the United National World Tourism Organization, the definition of over-tourism is “the impact of tourism on a destination, or parts thereof, that excessively influences the perceived quality of life of citizens and/or quality of visitor experiences in a negative way”.
Conversely, sustainable tourism is defined by the UNWTO in three parts, the most pertinent to this situation being a “Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.”
@choosebali Have you been to penglipuran village? If you want to see a village that still preserves their traditional culture in their daily lives, go check this out. . Credit to: @dasha.wanderlust . Connect with Choose Bali to arrange your Bali Escape now. . #ChooseBali #Amed #BaliItinerary #TheBaliBible #BaliGuide #BaliDestinations #BaliTrekking #Balitours ♬ original sound – choosebali
The Head of Pengligpuran Tourism Village, Wayan Sumiarsa, told reporters that the huge success of the program has become something of a double-edged sword; a situation that has been playing out across the biggest resorts in Bali for decades.
Many people feel the biggest resorts have become victims of their own success.
As tourism booms, destinations become hyper-resources, the market saturates, and tourists naturally start looking for destinations that offer something new, different, quieter, or of higher quality.
@lezyjinius Desa Penglipuran #penglipuranvillage #penglipuranbali ♬ original sound – user3636929595647 – OndeOnde Terakreditasi
Sumiarsa said that he and his teams are both proud and worried about the future of the tourism program in Penglipurn Village.
He said, “When talking about this issue, every time there is a meeting with traditional village officials, I always say that if Penglipuran Village is left like this there will be many negative impacts. What we are aiming for, namely to become sustainable tourism, will be very, very difficult to achieve.”
@balipediaonline Escape the crowds for a night in the traditional village of Penglipuran – which was named one of the cleanest villages in Bali 🎋🌞 #balipedia #culture #balitourism #travelinspo #penglipuran #baliguide #travelactivities #balineseculture #visitbali #thingstodoinbali #livetoexplore #balivacation #hiddengems #balihiddengems ♬ The Weekend – 88rising & BIBI
He continued, “Over-tourism in Penglipuran would not be because we are silent, but because we are making innovations that make potential tourists interested in coming here.”
With so much national and international interest in Penglipuran Village as a tourism destination Sumiarsa and his teams can’t afford to rest on their laurels, and they aren’t.
Sumiarsa and the community are already working on solutions to mitigate the risk of over-tourism in their home village.
He explained, “We are not just standing still, we are trying to find solutions or potential for us to develop so that visiting tourists don’t just pile up in villages.”
He continued, “One of them is the development of bamboo forests which is fully supported by Pelindo. To attract these tourists, Pelindo provides support by creating new tourist attractions as the solution to over-tourism.”
According to Sumiarsa, by growing the size of the tourist destination and establishing more attractions that also help support environmental protection, there is more space to accommodate large volumes of tourists and also a better experience available to them.
He has a clear message to leaders in Bali when it comes to over-tourism. Sumiarsa is calling on regency leaders to come together to discuss higher-level solutions for the imminent over tourism in Bali, especially in the Bangli Regency.
Sumiarsa said, “The message for the Regional Government is also that the Regional Government should not remain silent.”
“This means that let’s sit down together to find a solution related to the current Penglipuran situation. Don’t just think about the economy, but also about the impact of environmental sustainability.”
Is Penglipruan Village still worth visiting even though it is busy? Absolutely yes! The iconic village is one of the only remaining examples of an unmodernized village in Bali.
A visit to Penglipuran is a great way for tourists to experience cultural immersion and better understand the island’s unique culture.
Travel data shows that tourists are increasingly interested in learning about Bali’s cultural heritage.
For those looking to experience Penglipuran Village without the crowds, it is best to visit early in the morning, as the entry gates open, or late in the afternoon when day trippers have started their journeys back to their hotels.
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