The Badung Tourism Office in Bali has announced that they will establish an intensive promotional campaign to encourage visitors to the island to explore local tourism villages. The Head of the Badung Tourism Office, I Nyoman Rudiartha, has shared plans to encourage more people to support community and cultural tourism programs in the regency. Badung Regency is one of the most popular areas of Bali, covering key tourism destinations, including Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu, Nusa Dua, and Uluwatu.
Rudiarta was candid about the number of visits to tourism villages in Badung Regency being lower than he would like. He said that last year 374,000 people visited tourism villages noting, “The number of visits to tourist villages is still minimal”. There are seventeen registered tourism villages in Badung Regency, with more to be developed out of their pilot phase in 2023. These include Munggu Tourism Village, Baha, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Mengwi, Bongkasa, Sobangan, and Cemagi.
Rudiarta told reporters, “Of the 17 tourist villages that exist, the most visited is Munggu Village as many as 103,136 visits.” When asked what needed to be done to attract more tourists and raise awareness of tourism villages in Badung and Bali more broadly, Rudiarta said the answer lies with influencer marketing. He said, “That’s why in the promotion later, we will invite bloggers and YouTubers to explore the tourist village that we have.” Though he was quick to add that community members in tourism villages must also play their part in promoting the programs to visitors.
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Rudiarta hopes that the village governments across Badung will also support the growth of tourism villages. The Chairman of the Badung DPRD (traditional governance office), I Putu Parwata, has shown his support for developing tourism villages and using digital media. He commented, “We [already] make short videos because people need simple ones. So we show something interesting, which will later become an attraction for tourists.” He confirmed that his teams have requested that the Badung Tourism Office move forward with promotional campaigns.
In October 2022, Rudiarta revealed that the Badung Tourism Office had budgeted huge sums to ‘aggressively promote’ tourism across the regency. He revealed an IDR 5 billion (USD 323,000) budget for the marketing campaigns to be spent on the promotion of Badung Regency both domestically and abroad.
All across Bali, 2023 is shaping up to be the year of the tourism village. Earlier this week, the Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali, I Putu Winastra, has told reporters how he and his teams want to see operators offering more nature-based tourism activities in Bali, which include tourism village experiences.
Winastra said that interest in tourism villages is increasing, especially from European and Australian travelers. “In the past, Australian tourists, who previously preferred the Kuta and Seminyak areas, are now starting to be seen visiting tourist villages,” he said.
Tourism villages throughout Bali are being offered support and resources to level up in 2023. According to the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, I Made Mendra Astawa, there are 238 tourist villages in Bali, with 70% of them still operating in a pilot phase.
Astawa confirmed to reporters earlier this month that his teams will be helping tourists village on a regency-by-regency basis throughout 2023, starting in Denpasar. He explained that Penatih Village, Kesiman Kertalangu, Sanur Kaja, Sanur, Sanur Kauh, and Serangan have all been identified as having huge potential as tourism villages.
Astawa said that communities could look to existing successful village programs for inspiration. “If we look at it evenly, it is clear that the tourist villages in the Ubud area, Gianyar, is the most visited, then Bangli Regency, where there are many waterfalls, then Singaraja City. That’s all foreign tourists who come, and now domestic tourists are starting to come in”.
Social media has played a huge role in making Bali one of the most popular destinations in the world. The question now is whether travelers will make the shift to supporting village-based tourism on the scale local leaders are aspiring to.
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