Who invited you to Bali?

This summer, many of us are heading overseas. Australians are the world’s largest spenders on international travel on a per capita basis. In 2012, one in three of us headed overseas.


After New Zealand, the most popular destination is Indonesia, or rather Bali. Close to a million Australians will visit Indonesia this year, many in the summer holiday peak. They form the largest single group of overseas tourists to Bali, accounting for around 25% of foreign arrivals.



Is tourism creating a problem?


Bali is a relatively small island, but it is densely populated – especially as domestic migrants come from across Indonesia to work in the booming tourist economy. Yet the domestic population is dwarfed by the influx of tourists. It is expected that 2013 will be a record year for tourist arrivals, with roughly 4m foreign arrivals and over 3m domestic tourists.


Although Balinese society and culture has proven resilient in the face of the tourist onslaught, signs of tension are increasing. As hosts, locals don’t want to offend their guests; nor do they want to risk alienating them for fear they will take their tourist dollars elsewhere. Yet the environmental, social and cultural impacts of tourism are being felt across the island.