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Souvenirs Worth Their Salt: Bali Tourists Encouraged To Buy Hyper-Local

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Leaders in Bali are always looking for opportunities to diversify the tourism experience.

Opportunities to diversify the tourism sector in alignment with local tradition, boost supporting industries, and highlight Balinese culture is always a double win. 

Salt farmer on Bali Black Sand Beach.jpg

Tourists in Bali are being encouraged to buy souvenirs that have been created or produced in Bali.

Food, drinks, and beauty products, all made from locally sourced and locally grown ingredients, are always a popular souvenir choice for Bali tourists.

With the Island of the Gods, the perfect fertile environment for growing rare spices, tropical fruits that can be made into teas and beauty products, and some of the finest coconut oil in the world, it’s hard for tourists to turn down the opportunity to go shopping. 

One company in Bali is working to boost the island’s image as an exceptional salt producer.

Around the world artisanal salt is a huge market, with foodies eager to experience how different salts and their mineral profiles can impact the depth of flavor in any dish. 

Balinese salt can be harvested as a table salt, combined with herbs, spices, and even smoked to become an artisanal cooking salt and harvests to be used as a bathing salt or body scrub salt in health and wellness products. 

@kandaka_dua_ Fun fact 🌴 Did you know that salt farming is the main profession of the local balinese people of Amed? Amed is a little beach town/ fishing village in the east coast of Bali. So chill and feels like what bali would look like decades ago before all the development took place. Walking around you casually see the sea salt trays everywhere and I was so curious. Turned out salt farming is the main heritage and profession of the locals here who have been producing salt for hundreds of years😍 Bali Amed Salt had been appointed as the salt producer to the Kings of the Karangasem Kingdom since 1578 BC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bali #balitraditions #amedbali #saltfarm #organicseasalt #amedsaltcenter #amedsalt #garamamed #saltfarmers #oldschoolprofessions #baliindonesia #balilife #explorebali #travel #beachlife🌴 #balineseculture #balinesepeople #fyp #fypシ゚ ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

Salt farmers in Bali are some of the most hardworking agricultural laborers in the province. 5kg of hand-harvested salt sells for around IDR 20,000.

With the costs being pushed ever lower, many of Bali’s sea salt farmer have had little choice but to abandoned their ancient craft and seek work in other sectors. 

Yet, there are businesses in Bali who are eager to support this sector in turmoil and are keen to create products that tourists will be interested in buying.

Garam Spa Kusumba is a highly regarded Balinese beauty product brand that works with sea salt farmers to help create a guaranteed market for their products and create high-quality souvenirs for tourists. 

The Indonesian Economic Heroes, also known as the PENA program of the Ministry of Social Affairs, had helped Garam Spa Kusamba upgrade their products, which are now used in top beauty spas.

The spa salt, once only sold directly to Bali’s world-leading spa, is now displayed and marketed at the Krisna Bali Souvenir Center in Gianyar. 

The sea salt originally used by Garam Spa Kusumba was processed in the traditional way. However, in 2022, the Ministry of Social Affairs launched a collaboration with the Sepuluh November Institute of Technology (ITS) Surabaya to build a modern tunnel system in Kusamba Village, which is managed by the Training Segara salt farmer group.

The group has 17 members who all received livelihood support from the program and have a guaranteed market for their products.  


Ajik Krisna from the Garam Spa Kusumba told the Minister of Social Affairs, “As long as I am given the opportunity to live, I will continue to help society. This is one form of me helping the government empower the community.”

These are affordable, high-quality, and highly usable souvenirs that also come with a great story.

In the coming months it is not only sea salt that tourists will see on the shelves of souvenir shops, but seaweed products too.

Much like sea salt farmers, Bali’s seaweed farmers out on Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan are amongst some of the most poorly paid laborers in Bali. 


Speaking in April, the Head of the Regional Research and Innovation Agency in Klungkung, I Ketut Budiarta, said that the tourism industry should collaborate with the seaweed farming sector to help create more opportunities for local people and more engaging and culturally inspired experiences for tourists. 


Budiarta said “The innovation we are carrying out is a synergy in developing this superior product (seaweed), with developing tourism destinations, and creating a supply chain for seaweed and its processed products to support the creation of seaweed tourism destinations in the Nusa Penida Islands.”

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Brian Hicks

Wednesday 15th of May 2024

My first time in Bali was over 40 yrs ago, I decided to travel back there again last Oct 23, they've ruined the place...


Wednesday 22nd of May 2024

@Brian Hicks, my first time was 1996 .. what a great place .. now I would never go back even if they pay me .. that a "horror" place it has turned into .. huhuu


Saturday 11th of May 2024

Quote "The spa salt is now displayed and marketed at the Krisna Bali Souvenir Center in Gianyar."

Oh great. But if you buy and find prices are steep, it is all for a good cause as the owner has a number of supercars that needs to be paid for:



Friday 10th of May 2024

most of the stuff sold as traditional Bali produce is cheap chinese junk


Wednesday 22nd of May 2024

@bob, exactly... my favorite shop sign is " antiques made to order" .. so just like any other tourist destination .. fully with cheap fake rubbish .. dont buy anything !!