The Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that the local chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) wants to see hotels and accommodation providers to stop organizing cultural and dance performances on their premises, believing such program should be organized in local villages as a means of creating tourism activities of direct benefit to the local communities.
Those proposing the new approach to cultural tourism argue that cultural shows and extravaganzas organized at Bali hotels represent unfair competition and deprive local artists of the opportunity to develop performances in their own locales.
PHRI-Bali chairman Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati insists that keeping performances linked to village settings will compel tourists to travel further afield in Bali, beyond the much-visited areas of the Island’s south.
Said Ardhana: “Let them [villages] hold these performances to attract more tourists. We shouldn’t bring all the products to hotels, rather we should promote tourist distribution instead.”
Continuing, he said: “Give them space to develop their own potential. The province should support them by all means, and the tourist industry must share income with these people.”
The PHRI chief for Bali who once served as the regent of Gianyar said hotels could hold cultural performances on special holidays, such as Christmas and New Years, and, then on those occasions only hire performance groups from surrounding communities.
Claiming his idea was workable, Sukawati cited his home turf of Ubud where, he said,
“Today, almost all hotels in Ubud no longer hold regular shows. Tourists now visit village halls where the shows are performed. If we have everything performed in hotels, tourists will stay in the building and not go anywhere”
The PHRI chief acknowledged such a program would be voluntary with no basis of enforcement existing local laws and regulations. He went on to explain: “So this is for the hotels to decide based on their goodwill to create sustainable tourism in Bali.”
It is unclear if the PHRI-Bali chairman also wishes to see Bali cultural presentations included at major hotels and conventions centers as part of conference and incentive programs discontinued.
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