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Keeping it in the Family

People of Ubud, Bali Urged to Retain Ownership of Ancestral Lands; Avoid Surrendering Control to Non-Balinese

(4/19/2013) Dr. Wayan Sayoga, a Balinese observer of the island’s tourism industry, is urging Balinese living in and around the popular island destination of Ubud not to transfer ownership of their property to investors coming from outside Bali.

In comments made on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 and quoted in Bisnis Bali, Sayoga urged the people of Ubud to be proud of their community and its worldwide reputation as a tourism destination. This sense of pride, in his view, should motivate them to introduce measures to prevent local lands from being acquired by outsiders.

If Ubud natives are unable to manage their own land holdings, as a final alternative they should only rent their properties to others for limited periods of five years with options to extend thereafter.

Looking at the development of tourism in the current situation in Bali, Sayoga wants Ubud lands to remain in the ownership of local people. In cases where land is considered under-productive, he suggests home stays could be established to provide income and employment for the people of Ubud. In turn, Ubud tourism operators can promote local cultural activities to people using the home stays for their holiday visits.

Continuing, Sayoga says that by focusing on locally owned and operated home stays Ubud will be able to retain the unique character of the region's tourism and culture. Sayoga, who was born in Ubud at Sukawati, says the government should facilitate the licensing of home stay operations owned by people from Ubud as a measure to enhance the economic welfare of the community.

Sayoga pointed to tourism areas outside of Gianyar, citing Nusa Dua as a location where investors from outside of Bali are in control.

By ensuring their direct involvement of the people of Ubud in the development and management of home stays, Sayoga says the local residents will become stakeholders in the Island’s tourism and this will help in the preservation of Balinese culture.