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Bali picked as pilot for creative economy development

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The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has selected Bali and two other provinces as the pilot areas for innovative economic development based on arts and culture.

I Gusti Atu Ambari, Bali Tourism Agency secretary, said Tuesday that Bali, along with West Java and East Java, would receive Rp 1 billion (US$82,300) in financial aid to run the project that was expected to start this year.

The decision to choose Bali, Ambari said, was based on several considerations, including the world’s acknowledgement of the province as an international tourist destination and its arts and cultural attractions that had enticed foreign travelers to visit.

Ambari said the project was aimed at stimulating the people’s creativity to further develop arts and culture in Indonesia, thus not only preserving current forms but to also promoting them as tourist attractions. He said the designation would boost Bali’s economy.

“If we can promote these to tourists, not only businesspeople will benefit but also the public and artists," he said. “Culture-based entertainment will certainly compete with modern attractions."

According to Ambari, the project could revive long-neglected arts and culture and even develop them further. More than that, he said it could revitalize and expand existing traditions to become more attractive to tourists, especially foreigners.

Ambari explained that the Balinese believed that some art forms must not be performed for profit, being only allowed in religious ceremonies, while other forms could. “It is why many new dances appeared, new clothes and other things were developed especially for profit-oriented performances," he said.

“As a result, performances live, business grows and people keep receiving the income. This is what the project is aiming for," Ambari stated.

As a follow up, Ambari said that his side had prepared several events to support the planned project, from performances at the Denpasar Arts Center to Balinese Legong dance workshops.

To run the workshops, the agency will collaborate with institutions, artists, academics and local leaders from the nine regencies and city across the island. The project is expected to not only record the several types of Legong dance found in the province but also to trigger the appearance of new ones.

Senior tourism observer Bagus Sudibya cited the importance of tourism product diversification to compete with other destination countries. He mentioned, as examples, the development of accommodation, tourism spots and performances.

“We need to diversify [the products]. Artists and humanists need to be more creative and produce new works," Bagus said. “It will have a huge impact if all elements support this."

Bagus said that Bali was well-known today due to its culture, such as the improvised Barong dance performances in Batubulan, Gianyar, and Waribang, Denpasar, and the Cak dance exhibitions in Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, which attracted tourists.

“There are many more art and culture forms we can make into attractions, such as the traditional farming culture using buffalos, planting paddy and many more," he said.

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Last changed: Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

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