Research Paper: Cultural Tourism Effects That Tourism Had at Bali Indonesia

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Cultural Tourism

Culture Tourism Research the effects (both positive and negative) that tourism has had on Bali, Indonesia.

When most people think of Bali, they will often associate it with the beaches and their unique traditions. This has helped to make it one of the most popular cultural tourism destinations. What has helped to enhance its reputation is their ability to combine modern dance, painting, sculpting, music, metal working and leather craft. The combination of these factors has resulted in Bali realizing a dramatic increase in cultural tourism. (McKean, 2010) (Howe, 2005)

Evidence of this can be seen with observations from McKean (2010) who said, "In the past decade, tourism was encouraged by the Indonesian government, the World Bank, international corporations and local entrepreneurs has become important on part of life isle of Bali. These are the effects of an annual onslaught of nearly a half million increase in tourists every single year. This is because Bali has favorable weather conditions that are augmented with cultural factors." (McKean, 2010) (Howe, 2005)

These insights are showing how it has become one of the most popular destinations for a variety of tourists. This is having both positive and negative impacts on Bali. To fully understand what is taking place requires examining the effects this is having. This will be accomplished by focusing on: its history, the culture, the impact of tourism, the residents' feelings and suggestions for dealing with these challenges. Together, these elements will highlight the long-term influences these areas are having on Bali. (McKean, 2010) (Howe, 2005)

Brief history or overview of the region prior to tourism development: describe the culture and climate of the location.

Bali is a province of Indonesia. It has a land that mass covers several small islands in the area of approximately 10 km. In 2000 BC, the Taiwanese (called the Austroesians) first settled in the region. They have cultural ties that are close to Indonesia, the Archipelago, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Moreover, they have strong ties with Chinese and Hindu traditions. (Howe, 2005) (Pringle, 2004)

The Europeans first arrived in 1585 when the Portuguese established a colony in Bali. This was followed by the Dutch (who were interested in it because of its close proximity to Asia). They established major operations in the region and began to use it as a trading center. Over the next several hundred years, there was a focus on ensuring complete administrative control of these islands. This resulted in a series of conflicts between the 19th and 20th centuries with the locals wanting the Dutch to leave. (Howe, 2005) (Pringle, 2004)

In the 1930s, anthropologists began to show how Bali had unique traditions that were augmented with the image of an enchanted island paradise. They were known for their unique local traditions that were combined with unique geographical conditions. During World War II, the Japanese invaded and occupied Bali. To resist them, locals began to organize under the Balinese Freedom Army. They were focused on driving out the Japanese and establishing their own government (which was controlled by local officials). (Howe, 2005) (Pringle, 2004)

However, after the war was over, the Dutch quickly established their pre-colonial government and continued with the same practices. The problem was the Balinese were using their army to fight against the Japanese in order to resist any kind of occupation by foreign powers. This led to hostilities against any kind of direct or indirect rule. Then, in 1949 it became a part of the Republic of Indonesia. (Howe, 2005) (Pringle, 2004)

This was supposed to provide the people with greater control of their future. Yet, a variety of challenges continued to emerge, as they wanted more local autonomy. This allowed them to begin having normal relations with Western countries and it became the foundation for the island as a tourist destination (which it has become known for). (Howe, 2005) (Pringle, 2004)

These factors are illustrating how the culture of Bali is a combination of Asian and Western traditions that are augmented with each other. At the same time, they have a climate that is very hospitable for a number of activities including tourism and farming. Evidence of this can be seen by looking at the below table (which is highlighting the weather).

Temperature and Climate Conditions of Bali

Month

Minimum (in Celsius)

Maximum (in Celsius)

Season

January

26

32

Wet

February

26

32

Wet

March

26

32

Wet

April

25

33

Dry

May

25

53

Dry

June

23

31

Dry

July

23

31

Dry

August

23

31

Dry

September

24

32

Dry

October

25

33

Wet

November

26

32

Wet

December

26

32

Wet

("Bali Weather and Climate," 2011)

These figures are showing how Bali has a warm and humid climate. This is what makes it a popular destination among tourists. (Howe, 2005) (Pringle, 2004)

Impact of tourism (positive, negative, economic impact, socio-cultural impact and cultural impact)

The biggest factors that make Bali such an ideal attraction for tourists are the relaxed atmosphere that is combined with tropical weather and unique cultural traditions. The positive effects are helping to improve the standard of living for the Balinese. This has resulted in an increase in the standard of living for the local population of three million inhabitants. It has also helped to enhance its image and reputation on the world stage with $380 million in exports. (Fiegenbaum, 2012)

At the same time, the industry has created 200 thousand jobs. These changes are supporting local farmers, businesses and other organizations. They are benefiting directly from the positive economic impact it is having on the economy every single year. These factors are leading to an increase in tourism with more people choosing to make Bali their destination of choice. (Fiegenbaum, 2012)

However, the negative effects are that Bali is facing tremendous challenges from the onslaught of tourists. They are increasing in number and placing greater demands on its limited resources. This is resulting in worries that they will strip the island of water supplies, place added strains on the infrastructure and it is damaging the environment (from the larger number of visitors who keep arriving). The net effects are that the industry is contributing to an ecological crisis that is only becoming worse. (Botetar, 2012)

Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Bali's Governor who said, "There is a framework of projecting a good image for Indonesia, especially Bali. But, that image may be changing with a recent article in Time magazine dubbing Bali as a potential 'holiday from hell' because of its problems with infrastructure, waste management and traffic. There are problems with over-development on the beachfront, roads are chaotic, power from Java is unreliable and the water system is literally falling apart. Getting building approval in Kuta and Legian today is usually more about who is given an incentive to approve the development rather than about what is suitable and appropriate for the area." This is illustrating the negative effects that tourism is having on Bali and its resources. (Botetar, 2012)

Economically, tourism is resulting in a reduction in unemployment and an improvement in the standard of living. The net effects are that this is accounting for nearly 80% of all economic activity. At the same time, this has helped to contribute to an increase in real estate and land prices. These factors have allowed locals, who own various plots of land, to realize an improvement in their standard of living and quality of life. (Howe, 2005)

Social - culturally, this is transforming the way everyone is interacting with each other. This is occurring with many practices becoming a standard part of the package to reach out to the increasing number of tourists. The problem is that society is slowly becoming overly influenced and a number of people in the younger generations are losing their identity of who they are. (Howe, 2005)

The cultural effects are that Bali is becoming packaged product that is focused on meeting the needs of tourists. However, it is unable to maintain the deep connection with its roots. Instead, most people are slowly becoming Westernized and do not understand the meaning of these traditions. This is hurting their self-identify and comprehension about how who they are. (Howe, 2005)

The resident's feelings on tourism

The residents believe that this is helping to benefit everyone by making Bali a place that is open to different cultures. This is because they will cite how it has been continually influenced by outside sources. However, despite these transformations most people will continues to practice and embrace their traditional customs and cultural beliefs. (Pickard, 1996)

Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Picard (1996) who said, "Culture is Bali's defining feature, and Balinese culture is renowned for its dynamic resilience. The Balinese have been readily praised for their ability to borrow whatever foreign influence suits them while nevertheless maintaining their identity over the centuries. Today, there is no dearth of observers to claim that the Balinese have adjusted to the tourist invasion… [END OF PREVIEW]

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