Research Consortium Expect Ecotourism Involves Local People

DENPASAR

Tourism Research Consortium of Udayana University expects that the development of ecotourism in Bali may involve more local people so that benefits are not only achieved by investors.

“If not, then people will not get the benefits from tourism despite being directed to the village. Local people will just be a spectator,” said Chairman of Tourism Research Consortium Dr Agung Suryawan Wiranatha Unud in Denpasar.

He did not deny that there are various ecotourism in Bali, but according to him not a few that seem still in the process of the search for identity. As a result there are things that appear and disappear.

“Opportunity of ecotourism in Bali is quite potential, though not a big scale. Those small ecotourism if the number is much greater it needs to be developed,” he said.

Ecotourism, he added, is expected to become a popular alternative tourism as many tourists who want to get back to nature is not just the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment with mass tourism.

“So tourists who come to Bali will choose to climb mountains, diving, hiking and so on. If it is increasingly developed, the tourist destinations become more varied,” he said.

According to him, the development of ecotourism indeed it is an obligation to involve as many local people in the process. He took example the marine ecotourism that involves local people as laborers transporting dive equipment, guiding divers, opening a restaurant, securing the accommodation, and being a driver.

“Moreover, ecotourism relying on mountain panorama, the surrounding community can work as a trekking guide and porters. If the tour guides from the outside, they actually might make the travelers get lost,” said the Head of Research and Culture of Tourism Unud.

However, Agung Suryawan stated that the challenge of developing tourism village in Bali not fully getting the attention of the government because it still relies on industry-based tourism.

“In the future the government should plan from the beginning and even have a clear map of development,” he said.

Unud Tourism Research Consortium is a combination of academics and tourism practitioners from Udayana University, Bali Tourism College, Polytechnic of Bali, Indonesia Tourism Industry Association, and PT Bali Tourism Development Corporation.

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