December 13th 2023

Study Tour - part III - Bali

MCI Tourism - We make the world our Classroom

After five eventful and educational days, the Study Tour reached its final destination in Bali. The "Island of the Gods" is renowned not only for its over 12,000 temples and Hindu traditions but also as the most visited of the 17,000 islands in Indonesia. Bali annually records just over 4.2 million international tourist arrivals and stands out for its diverse offerings in terms of landscape, culture, and religion. Bali is particularly known for the hospitality and warmth of its local population. We had the privilege of experiencing this firsthand upon our arrival as we were warmly welcomed at our accommodation, Chesa Canggu, with Frangipani flower garlands and a traditional Legong dance.

Our first day in Bali was dedicated to exploring the Hindu religion and Balinese culture, which are intricately intertwined. Accompanied by our guides, we delved into the cultural heart of Bali, the former royal town of Ubud. We visited the Presidential Palace, the traditional market, and the numerous temples, while also receiving lectures on the island's traditional customs. A visit to the "Monkey Forest" attraction in Ubud was a must, where we witnessed how Bali responsibly showcases its natural beauty, creating a captivating experience for visitors. Another significant sector of Bali's economy is agriculture, particularly rice and coffee cultivation. To gain a better understanding, we visited the spectacular Teggalalang rice fields and made a stop at a coffee plantation. Here, we gained fresh insights into the importance of Balinese coffee culture and rice cultivation for tourism.

The following day, we visited the Bali Tourism Polytechnic, the leading institution for practical tourism education on the island. After an official welcome by Vice Rector Dr. Wayan Muliana and Head of International Partnerships Dr. Yusni Wiarti, Dr. Diah Sastri delivered a lecture on Bali's tourism development titled "From sacred roots to touristic fruits: The evolving landscape of Bali’s cultural tourism," showcasing the impressive history and evolution of tourism in Bali. Subsequently, the students had the opportunity to discuss the current challenges and issues of rapid development with Agung Suprasayasa, the Head of Research and Development. Following this, we visited the Anantara Uluwatu Resorts, a luxury hotel, with a delegation from the Bali Tourism Polytechnic. Deputy Director Putri and Hotel Director Max gave us a tour of the impressive hotel perched on the cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean. We also received a presentation on the hotel's concept, brand, and marketing activities, which was complemented by an engaging Q&A session.

The next day, we explored the southern part of the island, also known as the "Bukit." This region is particularly valuable for tourism as it is home to Bali's famous surf spots and white sandy beaches. Moreover, it houses one of the island's most important temples, the Pura Luhur Uluwatu, perched on spectacular cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean. Guided by our experts, we delved into the Hindu religion and explored the religious rituals of the Balinese. We also had the chance to witness the traditional Kecak dance at sunset, a captivating cultural experience.

The last day in Bali was devoted to exploring innovative and sustainable hotel concepts in the Seminyak destination. We first visited the Desa Potato Head Resort, considered a best-practice example of architecture, design, and sustainability. During a "Follow the waste tour," we were given insights into the resort's behind-the-scenes operations and witnessed the transformation of waste into innovative products for the hotel facility. Following this, we visited the W Bali Seminyak hotel. In addition to a tour of the hotel facility led by Hotel Director Adriana Borcean, we received a presentation on W Hotels worldwide, allowing students to draw comparisons with W Dubai – The Palm. We also benefited from discussions with the Head of Human Resources and the Head of Sustainability at the resort, focusing on employee engagement and responsible hotel management. These examples vividly demonstrated how responsible practices can succeed in line with the sustainability triple bottom line.

Bali marked the final stop of the impressive Study Tour 2023. Through our visit to the island, we were vividly reminded of the significance of tradition, culture, and hospitality in the tourism industry.

Terima Kasih! Thank you!