Maintaining human and natural resources key to sustainable tourism

Maintaining human and natural resources key to sustainable tourism

Tourists watching Kecak dance in Uluwatu, Badung, Bali, on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. (ANTARA FOTO/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo/aww/my)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Governor of Bali Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati has emphasized that maintaining human and natural resources as well as ensuring the welfare of Balinese people are the keys to maintaining sustainable tourism in the island.

At a  webinar on the 2nd Planet Tourism Indonesia 2021 - 'Beyond Recovery, Towards Sustainability', Wednesday, Sukawati said that every tourist spot must maintain certain aspects for sustainable tourism. He cited the example of Singapore having technology as a tourism attraction or the main selling point, while Bali favored culture. Thus, the culture must be maintained.

"This is what we have to hold on to. How (to make it), so that sustainable tourism does not get out of the concept. If we want to maintain culture as the attraction of Bali, the human and natural elements must be preserved," he remarked.

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Another important key was ensuring that the welfare of Balinese people was guaranteed through sustainable tourism. He believes that the people of Bali did not want to just be considered as objects of tourism on a popular island but also subjects, who partake in promoting tourism in their own place.

If the well-being of the local people is overlooked, he expressed concern that small problems would arise that can lead to social crises and jealousy. These problems will complicate the development of sustainable tourism.

Hence, he called on tourism actors and related parties to reflect on whether the current tourism industry was in favor of nature and provided space for Balinese people to partake in tourism in their own place.

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He also urged tourism players to make the most of digitalization to survive amid the pandemic. Despite tourists not being physically present in Bali, the economy could continue to run owing to the Internet. He revealed that the "Beli Bali" (Buy Bali) program, which is a collaboration between Bali and West Java provinces, had yielded positive results.

"A few days ago, I and Governor of West Java Ridwan Kamil  launched a digital platform to sell special Balinese products to civil servants in West Java," he remarked.

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Just within a few days, transactions valued at almost Rp500 million (around US$35 thousand) were recorded from the sales of Balinese handicrafts in West Java, he remarked.

"This shows that transactions can take place even if the buyer is not in Bali, and with the (digital) platform, they can choose the desired product at an affordable price," he added.

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