Festival at the famous Batur lake of Bali

11 Oktober, 2012 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Batur Lake in Kintamani, Bangli regency, will host a festival next week that is expected to attract more tourists to the destination that has been recognized by UNESCO as a geopark and included in its Global Geopark Network.

In its second year, the three-day festival, starting on Oct. 19, will feature a range of Balinese cultural performances presented by local artists.

There will also be various competitions, including baleganjur (traditional music), photography, making gebogan (fruit offerings) and penjor (decorated bamboo poles), as well as decorating traditional boats.

“We will also hold some other interesting events, like a culinary competition, trekking, fun bike event, and Kintamani dog festival,” said Bagus Surya from the organizing committee.

Local people will also take part in the handicraft exhibition and culinary bazaar, in an effort to improve local industries in the Bangli regency.

Bagus said the festival aimed at increasing local people’s awareness to preserve their culture and traditions, as well as attracting foreign tourists to come to Kintamani, a popular destination in the 1980s and 1990s, but now seeing a decline in tourist numbers due to poor management.

Batur is one of the biggest active calderas in Indonesia, even worldwide, and has long been an icon of Bali’s tourism. Nyoman Artika, secretary of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) for Bangli, told Bali Daily that Kintamani was no longer a competitive tourism destination due to the absence of good management.

“Its image as an enjoyable tourist destination is fading because of its lack of good management and regulations,” he said.

Through its UNESCO recognition, the local administration expects the area to become more famous globally and is aiming for 1.5 million tourist arrivals to Batur each year by 2014, a huge number compared to last year’s figure of only 400,000.

This ambitious target to increase tourist arrivals to the famed mountain and lake is facing many hurdles because the administration itself has yet to be able to deliver proper basic services for tourists. Although fees and taxes are imposed on hotels, vendors and tourists, the administration has failed to provide the basic facilities to make tourists comfortable.

Tourism stakeholders agreed that Kintamani still had a long way to go to become a world-class destination, the primary obstacles being its poor infrastructure, water scarcity and frequent electricity blackouts.

 

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