Bali Farewells a True Leader of Tourism
I Gusti Agung Prana 1949-2018
A pioneer and leader in Bali’s tourism industry, I Gusti Agung Prana, died on Friday, July 6, 2018, in The Sanglah General Hospital at the age of 70.
After laying in state in Banjar Uma Abian in Marga, Tabanan, his remains were cremated on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
“Gung” Prana led pioneering efforts in conservation and protecting Bali’s environment long before such work became fashionable. In response to devasted coral reefs at Pemuteran, North Bali, Prana sought foreign expertise on “bio-rock” - a revolutionary and rapid way to grow new reef formations installed by volunteer divers from both Indonesian and abroad. At the same time, Prana successfully engaged with the local community giving them a vested interest in preserving the reef by granting then an exclusive right to operate dolphin and snoreling tours for visiting tourists. As a result, the people who once dynamited the local reefs in search of fish became the most ardent environmentalist and guardians of new coral.
The former head of the Bali chapter of Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA-Bali), Agung Prana has won numeous honors and awards, including The Equator Prize and UNDP Special Award presented to him in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2012. His coral reef foundation (Yayasan Karang Lestari) received a coveted Tri Hita Karana Award in 2011 and, most recently, a Tourism for Tomorrow Award in 2018.
Members of Gung Prana’s family reported that the tourism leader suffered from diabetes and lymphatic cancer over the past decade but remained steadfast in promoting his vision of environmentally sustainable tourism as part of Bali’s future.
Agung Prana is survived by his wife, I Gusti Ayu Arini, three children, and ten grandchildren.