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Tourists Have to be Carefully Taught

Local Arts Educator Calls for Mandatory Visits to Handicraft Centers During Bali Tours.

(9/15/2007) The Assistant Rector of the Institute for Indonesian Arts (ISI) in Denpasar, Drs. I Ketut Murdana, has called on the Government to require Indonesian tour operators to include handicraft manufacturing centers in their island tour packages.

Such a requirement, according to Murdana, would increase sales of local handicrafts while at the same time giving visitors a greater appreciation of the effort and processes required to produce native goods. Not content with sales through local art shops, the educator thinks visitors will only truly appreciate the quality of locally-made products when they can see first hand the actual production process.

Murdana points to Japan as a positive example of local handicraft promotion where a special handicraft manufacturing zone has been established in Iwate that is a required stop of tours of the that area. Also cited was Malaysia where Murdana claims tour companies are required to show visitors chocolate and bread being produced.