Responsible TourismBusinesses and NGOs band together for a collaborative campaign championing sustainable tourism initiatives.

Bali makes a comeback with a green travel campaign

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Bali's tourism stakeholders have teamed up for "KemBALIK Becik," a collaborative campaign championing green tourism initiatives on the island.
Bali's tourism stakeholders have teamed up for "KemBALIK Becik," a collaborative campaign championing green tourism initiatives on the island. Photo Credit: Niklas Weiss/Unsplash

As Bali's tourism industry ramps up its post-pandemic recovery efforts, industry stakeholders have teamed up for a collaborative campaign championing green tourism initiatives on the island.

Under the banner of “KemBALI Becik”, local businesses and NGOs have banded together with government support for a greener tourism recovery. (In Indonesian, kembali means “return”, while becik is Balinese for “well” or “good”.)

Through its website and social media campaigns, the collective highlights businesses adopting clean energy and offering environmentally-friendly products, such as Mana Earthly Paradise, which is run by the NGO Earth Company.

“The movement is getting larger,” said Aska Hamakawa, Earth Company’s founder and executive director. “But this cannot be achieved by only by a few small groups. It needs to be collective impact by multi-sector stakeholders, and without the government’s committed initiative and actions, island-wide implementation will be very difficult if not impossible.”

Hamakawa noted that 81% of travellers say that sustainable travel is important to them, and 59% say they want to leave places they visit better than when they arrived, citing a recent Booking.com survey of over 30,000 people across 32 countries and territories.

“If Bali could become the world’s sustainable tourism capital — or even better, the regenerative tourism capital — the island could be the role model for the future of tourism.”

For hotels aiming to improve their environmental impact, the World Travel & Tourism Council has recently launched a set of sustainability guidelines.

Locally, a new NGO, Eco Tourism Bali, is collaborating with research and development organisation Kopernik to create simplified and affordable sustainability certification for independent budget to four-star hotels and restaurants.

The main outcome of the programme will be detailed guidelines, a roadmap, and a tool for hospitality businesses to see where they are and to know how they can achieve sustainability, said Kopernik’s Oscar Casalderrey.

Some hotels such as The Apurva Kempinski Bali are now offering sustainable wedding packages. Featuring a dress designed by award-winning ethical fashion brand SukkhaCitta, biodegradable decorations by Designmill Co., and souvenirs created by Balinese craftspeople from Puri Ata and Taga Woodcraft, it aims to inspire the community to reduce weddings’ carbon footprint.

“We view sustainability as absolutely essential, not only as a business entity, but also for the next generation,” said Vincent Guironnet, general manager at The Apurva Kempinski Bali.

“As the largest industry in Bali, hospitality has a profound responsibility to take ownership of reducing the impact we have on society and the environment. Incorporating sustainability into our business will bring more attention to the subject and influence other businesses in the sector to follow suit.”

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