Officials in Bali are voicing their concerns about the impact of traffic and trash on tourists’ experience of the island.
The Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, a local group that develops community-based tourism projects on the island, have shared their anxieties about the future of tourism on the island if the situation doesn’t improve soon.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, Made Mendra Astawa, has told reporters that he and his teams fear that the mounting piles of plastic waste on the island and frequent gridlock traffic will negatively impact the island’s public image.
He noted that the issue of waste management and traffic congestion is already a source of concern for tourists in Bali.
@trashcaulin #duet with @paplove.vn THIS IS INCREDIBLE, 150,000KGS IS AMAZING WORK 👏🏼♻️ #garbage #plaaticpollution #cleanup #waterways #litter #trash #bali ♬ Paris – Else
Astawa told reporters, “If tourists to Bali decrease, visits to tourist villages are also at risk of decreasing.”
While many tourists visit Bali and stay in one of the island’s many coastal resorts, there are an increasing number of people who want to experience community-based and village-based tourism programs.
The local and national governments also want to promote art, culture, and spirituality to tourists visiting Bali through the development of tourism villages.
Bali’s most famous tourist village, Penglipuran Village, is currently welcoming over 3,000 visitors a day.
Yet, if traffic congestion continues to get worse, tourists won’t be inclined to leave their resorts for a day trip to the stunning tourist villages and other more rural destinations.
This will have a negative impact on the island’s economy and also a negative impact on the tourist experience.
The more diverse a set of experiences tourists can have on vacation often equates to more positive feedback.
@wanderwithivana I’ve never seen anything like this in my life 😂😱 #bali #canggu #balitraffic #balitravel #travel #traveltok #fyp #pov ♬ pass the dutchie sped up – vevonix
Astawa said, “Tourists and us in general certainly don’t like polluted environments and those that make them uncomfortable.”
A visit to a tourist village in Bali is a great way for tourists to learn more about the unique way of life on the island and how Balinese Hinduism informs the way communities and land are managed.
As Bali moves towards a new era of tourism with an even stronger focus on sustainability and cultural preservation, tourism villages will become a flagship experience for tourism leaders to promote.
@sunsetoverwater_ 3 km 54 min #bali #canggu #indonesia #balitraffic #canggu #fy #fyp #fypシ #travelbali #visitbali ♬ Calm Dooowwnnn Lalalaaa (Remix) – FAITAH NADA
According to Astawa, the issues around waste management and traffic are starting to inform the decisions tourists make.
He suggests that tourists are starting to think twice about visiting tourism villages in case they aren’t as pretty as they appear in photos and are perhaps struggling with waste management.
Similarly, tourists don’t want to be sitting in traffic for the best part of their vacation, so in order to avoid the risk, some tourists are not taking day trips to different parts of the island.
Astawa wants communities and tourism leaders across Bali to step up and take a more active role in tackling traffic congestion but especially waste management.
He said, “Among tourism practitioners, this problem has often become a topic of discussion, both directly and via social media. In tourist villages, the problem of cleanliness (garbage) is urgent.”
It is evident that Bali’s mountain trash problem is impacting the quality of tourism experiences on the island.
There are thousands of videos online and even more comments from tourists who have been surprised by the volume of plastic waste they encountered on the island’s most popular beaches, waterfalls, and even urban areas.
There are many stakeholders working to address the issue, though the real question is whether impactful solutions can be excused before Bali’s public image is permanently damaged by these problems.
The founder of environmental NGO Sungai Watch, Gary Bencheghib, has said that the solutions are available right now but that funding is preventing rapid progress.
Sungai Watch focuses on cleaning up illegal landfill sites and removing waste from Bali’s network of waterways.
All trash removed from the landscape is taken to Sungai Watch’s dedicated processing facilities.
According to Bencheghib, with 100 of these processing facilities costing USD 40 million, Sungai Watch would be able to clean up Bali in under three years.
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