The first month of the year may almost be over, but tourism leaders in Bali are still mapping out the year ahead. Earlier this week, Bali was announced as a strong second place in Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards; now, tourism leaders are speaking out about their predictions for travel trends in 2023.
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. This comes as part of a bigger strategy to promote sustainable tourism on the island.
Winastra said that both the government and ASITA want to support sustainable tourism in Bali, with a strong emphasis on promoting quality tourism products. He believes that one way to do this is by providing more nature-based tourism experiences across the island. Speaking at Asia Bali Regional Working Meeting at the Frame Plaza Hotel, Sanur, the ASITA Chairman said that MICE tourism (Meeting, Incentive, Convention, Exhibition) should not be the only focus in 2023.
@long_journey01 Desa Penglipuran, salah satu desa terbersih di dunia yang selalu ramai dikunjungi wisatawan baik lokal maupun mancanegara. https://youtu.be/1evj3ey6HgA #penglipuran#bangli#bali ♬ Gamelan Bali Indonesia Thailand(955210) – Kei
He continued to explain that tourism villages will become the icons of Bali. He noted that two of Bali’s most famous tourism villages received awards from the Indonesian Ministry for Tourism in 2022. In terms of demand and demographic, Winastra said that tourists from Europe show the most interest in village and nature tourism, with Australian tourists following close behind.
@wherebmere We loved visiting Tenganan Pegeringsingan Village and seeing these beautiful textiles being made! #balitravelguide #balitravelers #travelwithme #balineseart #baliart #balineseculture #tengananvillage ♬ I Think I Like When It Rains – WILLIS
Winastra explained, “In the past, Australian tourists, who previously preferred the Kuta and Seminyak areas, are now starting to be seen visiting tourist villages.” It has already been agreed by tourism leaders in Bali that throughout 2023, tourism villages in Bali will receive developmental support. Speaking earlier this month, I Made Mendra Astawa, Chairman of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, told reporters that a program is in place to promote and develop the existing 238 tourist villages already in Bali.
Astawa revealed that 70% of existing tourism villages are still in their pilot phase, with many communities coming together in the wake of the pandemic to establish new ways to generate a more secure and independent income.
He said, “There are more and more tourists coming to Bali now, and they are looking for new things, not only phenomenal attractions, but they are looking for adventure. Then this [kind of] adventure is only in the villages. This is what the brothers in the village have developed [for themselves], which has made it a tourist village.”
The Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum also sees the expansion of tourism villages as an opportunity to spread tourism revenue more evenly throughout the island. Astawa explained, “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”.
The diversification and redistribution of tourism revenue is a hot topic for the tourism sector. Also speaking at the Asia Bali Regional Working Meeting on Wednesday, the Head of the Bali Tourism Office, Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, said he hoped the future of tourism would not be so concentrated in South Bali.
He said that the government and tourism leaders are all on the same page, noting, “We and ASITA have met the Governor, and he assigned ASITA to make packages that really go to economic centers throughout Bali.”
As tourism villages and nature tourism in Bali grows in popularity, so too do the innovation and ideas behind tourism products. Just one example of this is in Bali’s most famous tourism village, where local tourism facilitators are launching a new cultural and culinary program. The pilot project was concluded to be a success, and so organizers in Penglipuran Tourism Village will launch the Penglipuran Authentic Dinner in March 2023.
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