Nov 19, 2018 Last Updated 2:51 AM, Nov 19, 2018

Tourism in question

Tourism in question

 

Emma Baulch

Displaying a needlefish on Nain Island, Bunaken National Marine Park
Leila Sievanen

The tourism industry is notorious for papering over cultural complexities in the interests of building an image of a place as attractive and desirable to tourists. Given this, it is apt that Inside Indonesia, a magazine with a mission to expose stereotypes and give voice to Indonesian people’s perspectives, dedicate an edition to the theme of tourism. In different ways, the articles in this edition disrupt the conventional tourist gaze.

The articles pursue two broad issues. Firstly, there are those which critically discuss prevailing tourism development models. In her piece detailing the tourism bureaucracy’s efforts to recover from the first and second Bali bombings, Dina Wipsar Andari draws attention to the intricacies of recovery, and some of the mistakes that have been made along the way.  Graeme MacRae’s piece suggests that a recovery to pre-bomb style tourism may not be altogether desirable, given its negative consequences for local farmers. MacRae is optimistic, however, about the prospects for a symbiosis between expatriates and hotels on the one hand and a sustainable, organic agriculture on the other. Leila Sievanen’s article provides a different view of sustainable tourism. In her article, ‘sustainability’ is mere rhetoric and serves foreign capital much better than local livelihoods.

The second group of articles, those by Michele Ford, Laurens Bakker, Geoff Mulherin and Bart Barendregt, all highlight instances of Southeast Asians as tourists in Indonesia. In Barendregt’s article, rich Indonesian spa tourists embrace the romanticised ‘Orientalist’ depictions of Asia, and identify themselves with such images. In Michele Ford’s and Lenore Lyons' piece, lower class Singaporean men find comfort in the Riau islands, where they can live out their fantasies. In Laurens Bakker’s article, wealthy tourists from Kalimantan visit Bali, where Western tourists become the object of their gaze, while Geoff Mulherin describes a site of local tourism and nationalist edification in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

We did not set out to denounce tourism by favouring articles that expose the industry’s negative social, cultural and environmental impacts. Nor did we wish to champion particular kinds of tourism, or promote particular destinations. Overall, this edition gives voice to a cross-section of tourists’ perspectives, and of different perspectives about tourism.  Each article has surprises in store for the readers. Together, they tell some of Indonesian tourism’s untold stories.     ii

Emma Baulch (ebaulch@gmail.com) is a researcher based in Bali and a member of Inside Indonesia’s editorial team. Her new book, Making Scenes: Reggae, Punk, and Death Metal in 1990s Bali, is published by Duke University Press.

Inside Indonesia 91: Jan-Mar 2008

Latest Articles

Essay: Contesting urban beauty in Jakarta

Nov 15, 2018 - JORGEN DOYLE & HANNAH EKIN

Source/ Doyle & Ekin  Wish images

Walking Jakarta’s northern coastline reveals communities experiencing disruptive and rapid change

Photo essay: Hope in the face of disaster

Nov 02, 2018 - MELANIE FILLER & TIM BARRETTO

Source/ Melanie Filler & Tim Barretto

Palu after the tsunami

Surviving while seeking asylum

Oct 26, 2018 - GEMIMA HARVEY

Hazara asylum seeker Shiringul first fled Afghanistan to Pakistan and then when the danger spread to Pakistan, she was forced to flee again, this time to Indonesia. She said the streets outside of Kalideres immigration detention centre were her best option. Source/ Gemima Harvey

A change in Australia’s asylum policy has denied refugees in Indonesia vital support

Review: The killing season

Oct 01, 2018 - FRANK BEYER

More than 50 years on, mis-truths about the 1965-66 killings and what motivated them prevail in Indonesia. Geoffrey Robinson's and other books and films on the issue, based on archival research...

Subscribe to Inside Indonesia

Receive Inside Indonesia's latest articles and quarterly editions in your inbox.

 


Lontar Modern Indonesia

Lontar-Logo-Ok

 

A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar