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Bali’s philosophy, a universal appeal

July 14, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Tri Hita Karana, a traditional philosophy of life on the island of Bali that is adopted for development of tourism in Indonesia, has a universal appeal for sustainable development. Literally meaning the three causes of prosperity, it’s a principal of balance and respect between mankind, nature and the almighty.

I Gede Ardika, Member, UNWTO World Committee on Tourism Ethics and Former Minister for Culture & Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, said: “Balinese culture which is inspired by Hinduism and the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana helps realize dynamic relation between tourism and culture and in creating synergetic harmonious and sustainable development to bring welfare to community, culture and nature conservation.”

According to Balinese belief, a combination of intangible aspect of life that relates to philosophy, ethics and ceremonies and physical aspect of life relating to goods, physic and space gives way to happiness and quality of life. Mr Ardika said: “We’re developing Indonesia as a sustainable tourism destination.” He quoted Mahatma Gandhi who said ‘there is enough in this world for everyone’s need but not for greed’.

More than 4300 temples and a temple outside most houses have made Bali, an island of gods. Each temple hosting two festivals a year keeps the island in festivity mood throughout the year. Variety of landscapes with long stretches of beaches, agriculture activities, art, craft, culture and smiling people render pleasant experiences that appeal to many.

Temples are an attraction in Bali

Bali is the tourist gateway to Indonesia, the largest economy in South East Asia. A small island measuring 153 kilometers wide and 112 kilometers long was adjudged as the top destination among 25 most popular destinations of the world in 2017 by Trip Advisor.

I Made Badra, Director of Badung Tourism Authority, Bali, said: “We believe that tourism sector’s rapid growth is due to abundance of natural resources, variety cultural heritage and most importantly because of the people. We welcome guests with open hearts to this land of cultural plurality under the belief of Tri Hita Karana, a local genius principle that is still applied in our day to day lives.”

I Made Badra, Director, Badung Tourism

Badung, one of the nine regencies of Bali, is the fastest growing tourism economy on the island and in Indonesia. Spread over just 7.43 % of area on Bali Island, Badung receives 40 percent of tourist arrivals into Indonesia and generates 65% economy for Bali mainly through its premier destination-Nusa Dua.

Each regency in Bali is unique. Badung regency is characterised by urban north, rural central and upscale seaside accommodation options in the south. Jembrana in western Bali is a lesser tread region with forest, waterfalls, underwater attractions, home-stays and buffalo races.  Ubud is art collectors’ haven and a healing destination. Kuta and Legian are tourist hotspots known for beaches and nightlife.

I Made Badra said: “Our efforts are on to involve local community in tourism development program through our Desa Wisata-Village Tourist Destination initiative. Under this, 11 villages are ready as tourist destinations.”

Balinese welcome

Representatives from each of these 11 villages exhibited at Bali & Beyond Travel Fair(BBTF) 2018 held at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre. At Bongkasa Peritiwi village, one can experience Bali’s rich cultural heritage and also can witness ‘Subak’, Bali’s ancient water irrigation system, a form of resource administration that equitably distributes water to farming community.

Bali welcomed 5.65 million tourists in 2017, as much as its own population. The island has 135,000 hotel rooms. Bali’s tourism economy is targeted at Rp 7.2 trillion ($505mn) by year end and to reach Rp 10 trillion ($700mn) next year.

The island remains a haven of peace, happiness and festivity despite rapid growth, due to its ancient philosophy that governs an individual’s lifestyle to bring about harmonious relationships with the community, environment and the creator.

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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