Tourism in Bali
Arthur: Stephanie A. Thullen.
The island of Bali, Indonesia, always has been an enchanting place for foreigners. Images of rice paddies, beautiful beaches and temples and a fascinating culture draw tourists from all around the world. It was only in the 1970s that tourism in Bali started to develop. The industry did bring many benefits to the island, such as increased employment, and its transformation from a marginal economic area of the country to the most important area in Indonesia after Jakarta. However, Bali s tourism development occurred quickly and without proper planning. Therefore, tourism has caused some serious damage to the island's environment. As one example, the sleepy village of Kuta became a tourist enclave, with its natural resources degraded and its infrastructure overwhelmed. This paper will discuss the origins of tourism in Bali and how it has affected the island's environment. It also will discuss proposed alternatives to let tourism and the environment coexist in a more balanced fashion. Description
Mass tourism in Bali began in 1969 with the construction of the new Ngurah Rai International Airport, allowing foreign flights directly into the island, rather than arrival via Jakarta. Three years later, in 1972, the Master Plan for the Development of Tourism in Bali was drawn by the government of Indonesia. The government wanted to make Bali the "showcase" of Indonesia and to serve as the model of future tourism development for the rest of the country.(1) The plan was financed by the United Nations Development Programme and carried out by the World Bank. A consulting company from France, SCETO, drew up the plans, which called for the development of tourism in the southern peninsula of the island, Nusa Dua, and allowing day- trip excursions to the interior in order to protect the cultural integrity of Bali, the island's main attraction. (2) The plan was to cater to well-to-do tourists from Australia, Japan, Europe and North America. The original government strategy did not produce the expected results. Instead of attracting the well-heeled to luxury hotels and resorts, the island drew many young and budget-conscious travelers,eager to see more of the island than just resort facilities. Consequently, the tourist industry in Bali unintentionally evolved in order to cater to two types of tourism: the "package-tour group high-spending tourists on the one hand," and "individual low-spending tourists on the other." (3) Locally owned tourist facilities sprung up in Kuta, Ubud, Batur, Lovina and Candi Dasa to cater to the increasing number of budget travelers. The big, luxury resorts pampering the upper- scale tourists were owned by big multinationals from both Indonesia and abroad. (4)
It was not until the 1980s, however, when an oil market collapse forced Indonesia to promote other exports and investments that the expected tourism targets the government anticipated were reached. Moreover, after Garuda Airlines, the Indonesian airline, decided to allow foreign airlines to fly directly into Bali, tourism soared. Tourist arrivals in Bali grew from 30,000 in 1969 to 700,000 in 1989. (5) From 1990 to 1993, these numbers rose from 2.5 million to 4 million. (6) Bali's population in 1992 was about 3 million. (7) The rapid and unplanned tourism development of Bali has had a great impact on its natural environment, affecting water resources, increasing pollution and localized flooding and putting pressure on the island's infrastructure. (8) There has been an increasing generation of waste due to the rising local population and tourist numbers. In the capital Denpasar, for instance, about 20 percent of the solid waste was not collected or disposed of. Instead, it was left in "informal" landfills, dumped into canals or left on the streets. (9) Other environmental problems due to mass tourism are deterioration of water quality in coastal areas and destruction of coral...