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Cultural Tourism, Where for Art Thou?

Balinese Religious Scholar Wants Bali Tourism to Embrace Tri Hita Karana

(2/22/2014) An observer of Balinese culture form the Hindu Dharma National Institute (IHDN) in Denpasar, Dr. Ketut Sumadi, sees the environmental pressures on Bali continuing to escalate via the uncontrolled development of tourism accommodation and infrastructure.

As quoted in the National News Agency Antara, Sumadi, who heads the post-graduate program in religious studies at IHDN. said: “The development is happening because of the increasingly rapid rate of tourism development.”

The respected academic said Bali’s appeal as a tourism destination is happening in concert with its hosting of a number of conferences and meetings on the Island.

“The problem now is to determine who is making the greatest contribution to safeguard the image and spirit of our natural inheritance handed down from our ancestors,” he added.

Sumadi explained that past generations of Balinese possessed local wisdom – known as Tri Hita Karana; understanding the need to maintain their position in the cosmos by always considering natural and religious law in their daily activities in matters affecting the environment, the relationship with society and their spiritual connection to the Almighty.

Sumadi said that the promotion of “cultural tourism” was stipulated in Provincial Law Number 3 of 1991 on Cultural Tourism and the Tourism Law Number 10 of 2009.

The laws and regulations are very clear in championing cultural tourism as a central theme of Indonesian tourism development both on a provincial and national level.