AGROTOURISM AS A FORM OF RURAL-TOURISM IN BALI

AGROTOURISM AS A FORM OF RURAL-TOURISM IN BALI

 

I Gusti Bagus Rai Utama

Student for Tourism Studies in Doctoral Program Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia

igustibagusraiutama@gmail.com

 

Abstract

            This study discusses the agrotourism as a form of rural-tourism development in Bali. This data collected through survey method using questionnaires distributed to 60 respondents from four groups of farmers as samples. This study also used 35 expert respondents who come from each local community, universities, NGOs, and local governments. The data are descriptively and statistically analyses using SWOT analysis. This study finds that (1) the most potential opportunity of agrotourism is increasing family, followed by employee involvement, generating tourism income and increasing value of the village; (2) the hardest barriers of agrotourism development in Bali is inadequate infrastructures, other barriers are limited public facilities, imperfect human resource skills, scarce investments, and insufficient government supports; (3) the ecological resources particularly lakes, social life especially farmers and their lives, and cultural resources such as unique traditions are the strength factors of agrotourism development in Bali; (4) lacks of government support, investment, infrastructures, and human skills are weakness factors; (5) generating related tourism businesses are the most potential opportunity of agrotourism development in Bali. Other opportunities generated from agrotourism are providing local employments, increasing family incomes, and increasing value of the village; (6) degradation of natural resources regarded as the riskiest threat of agrotourism development in Bali. The second most serious matter is land using problems. Other threats are pollutions, host attitude changes, increasing criminalities, and tradition commercializations; (7) agrotourism contributes lots in improving the economy of the local communities. The contributions are on agricultural product improvements and stimulations of related tourism enterprises; (8) agrotourism helps improving the social situations particularly poverty alleviation, decreasing unemployment, and declining urbanization; (9) nature conservation is the greatest contribution toward sustainable tourism development in Bali. Other contributions are visitor increase and generating economic income.    Based on the findings, the recommendations are formulated as follows: (1) promote the uniqueness of each village to strengthen the destination by combining with other related activities to reach the goals of agrotourism. (2) propose agrotourism to the provincial government and national government. (3) develop agrotourism using the local indigenous and uniqueness and apply the principles of sustainable tourism development. (4) Government empowerment, investment in agricultural sectors, infrastructure development, human skill improvement, public facilities development, and local communities’ empowerment and involvement need to be immediately committed to apply an ideal agrotourism in Bali.

 

Keywords: uniqueness, opportunities, barriers, stakeholders, farmers

 

 


Introduction

Tourism has played an important role and essential source of earning. It can be evidently seen that almost all of economic activities in Bali were depended on and leaded by tourism sector. At the same time, new competitors in South East Asia such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines confronted Bali. Inauspiciously, global issues like terrorism as Indonesia is predominantly a Moslem country also affected the inconsistency of the tourist arrivals to Bali. The decline occurred in 1998 was caused by economic crisis. Meanwhile the sharp decrease in 2001 to 2003 caused by terrorism issues and by the end of 2005 by disaster issues. Even though, the tourism sector was growing inconsistency but it’s still as important sector in Bali. The development of tourism sector should be continued sustainability because the infrastructures such as international and local hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and others local business were growing in Bali.

According to Pitana (2005), the vision and planning development of tourism in Bali shall be based on Balinese culture, as it is the only island that dominated by Hindus worshipers in Indonesia. Furthermore, Bali has a number of man-made tourism attractions and natural attractions such as lakes, mountains, beaches, and agriculture areas which should be persistently managed. The goal of tourism development in Bali is to realize the sustainability of cultural-based tourism which developed in accordance with Tri Hita Karana concept as well as both the global market competition and improving quality of life of local communities. Tri Hita Karana is the philosophy of Balinese-Hindu which comprises three main elements namely harmonious relationship among the human being, between human and environment, and human, and the Almighty God (WTO, 2005).

One of the visions of tourism development in Bali is to develop rural tourism based on local indigenous. It means whereas the tourism shall be developed in accordance with sustainable development principles by equality of people, profit, and planet. Without sustainable development, tourism will fail definitely to achieve the authentic goal of its development. One of the failure factors of tourism development identified by Subadra (2006) is that tourism is un-ecologically developed. In the similar study by McIntosh, et al. (1984) quoted by Subadra (2006) describes that the development of tourism is not always successful even though developed in an ecotourism model. Yet it sometimes fails to achieve the authentic objective of development since it also causes many negative impacts such as; solid waste generation, habitant disturbance, and forest degradation which is caused by the path erosion. Therefore, tourism may not be overdeveloped and many tourists should not visit rural destinations at the same time. Moreover it sometimes fails to give economic benefits while the local communities do not directly accept the profit generated from tourism development. In many cases, local communities are frequently left out since they normally do not have adequate knowledge, skill, and attitude to involve in tourism. Furthermore, United Nation (UNEP, 2005) mentions that development of tourism should be based on the guidelines of sustainable tourism principles and agrotourism was identified as a tourism development model which is based on environment, nature, and biodiversity. In a similar study conducted by Sudibya (2002) explains whereas the international tourists particularly the educated tourists prefer visiting the destinations which concern much on environment sustainability and nature conservation to destinations which serve modern developments.  While the current situation, the tourism sector in Bali is capitalistically and unequally developed since the development dominated in Southern part of Bali Island only. There is a gap between Northern and Southern part of Bali especially development of tourism sector (Pujaastawa et al, 2005).

 

Significance

The study is aimed at formulating the best strategies to innovate and develop agrotourism in Bali. The strategic to explore the great potencies of agriculture resources in Western, Middle, Eastern, and Northern parts of Bali Island have not been well developed and collaborated with tourism sector.

 

Research Questions  

How could agrotourism contribute innovation to the tourism sector and improve the economic, social, and environmental situations of local communities in Bali?. The questions of this research are formulated as follows: How is the current situation of agrotourism in Bali?, What opportunities are available to develop agrotourism in Bali?, What barriers are found in developing agrotourism in Bali?, What are the tourism stakeholders’ opinions toward agrotourism development in Bali?, How could agrotourism improve of the economy of local communities in Bali?, How could agrotourism improve the social situation of local communities in Bali?, How could agrotourism sustain the tourism development in Bali?

 

Literature Review

According to Jafari and Ritchie (1981), tourism is an interdisciplinary and integrates a variety of subjects, disciplines and focuses and can be seen from numerous points of views and approaches. The tourism as a central study can be studied from many focuses and created into a new form tourism development model, however tourism development model can be made in varying forms such as focus on agriculture as agrotourism, ecology as ecotourism, culture as cultural tourism, religion as religious tourism, etcetera. Furthermore, Wall and Mathieson (1989) quoted by Tjokrowinoto (2002), identifies three elements of tourism system; (1) a dynamic element which involves travel to selected destination; (2) a static element which involves the stay in the destination; and (3) a consequential element resulted from the two preceding elements which is concerned with effects on the economic, physical and social subsystems. Some external variables such as rising earnings, mobility increase, level of education increase, and desire to escape from pressure of day-to-day urban living generate effective demands on tourism which stimulate the rise of various forms of tourisms such as recreational tourism, cultural tourism, health tourism, conference tourism, historical tourism, eco-tourism, etcetera.

In an other term, Becken (2004) identifies several factors affected tourist destination sustainability in New Zealand such as sensitivity and capacity of environment, accessibility and supporting tourist infrastructure, existence of a cluster of attractions, and community attitude, support and participation in tourism development.  A similar research conducted by Syamsu, et al (2001) which took a case study in agrotourism object which grow salak pondoh located in Sleman, Yogyakarta- Indonesia identified many factors related to sustainability of the destination such as scarcity, uniqueness, nature, improving host community, as well as equality between stakeholders. Furthermore, these factors turn into more important things to apply the tourism destination sustainability.  According to WTO (2005), sustainability as a concept involves a number of perspectives comprises environmental, ecological, social, cultural, and economic issues. Furthermore, according to UNEP (2003) to apply the sustainable tourism development, the strategies should be based on a formal expression of principles for sustainable tourism. Moreover, the guidelines, techniques and principles are presented important for national governments, destinations and organizations which wish to be guided by the ethics of sustainable and responsible tourism. The guidelines and principles include: community participation, stakeholder involvement, local ownership, establishment of local business linkages, sustainability of the resource base, community goals, cooperation between local attractions, businesses and tourism operators, carrying capacity, monitoring and evaluating, accountability, establishment of education and training programmes, and positioning.

In the context of rural, rural tourism is a complex multi-faceted activities as Lane (1994) explains which quoted by Page and Getz (1997), it is not only farm-based tourism but also comprises special interest nature holiday and ecotourism, walking, climbing and riding holidays, adventure, sport and health tourism, hunting and angling, educational tourism, art and heritage tourism, and in some areas, ethnic tourism.  In addition, Page and Getz (1997) explain that rural tourism should be based on rural areas, small scale enterprise, open space, contact with nature, traditional, long-term good of the area development, and representing the complex pattern of rural environment, economy, history and location. While, UNDP (2005) interprets that rural tourism is any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture and heritage in a rural location, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially as well as enabling interaction between the tourists and the locals for a more educational tourism experience which can be termed as rural tourism with essentially any activity which takes place in the countryside.  Nevertheless the future perspective of recreation and tourism in rural areas really depend on the successful integration among the traditional and the new forms of leisure and the traditional and new forms of other economic activities in these areas. The stakeholders involvements are highly required to assure the recreation and tourism in rural areas are sustainable and meet the future directions of tourism development.

One of the rural-tourism is agrotourism. Agrotourism is collaborations between tourism and agriculture because the visitor go to travelling as tourist to enjoy, relaxation, spend time and money for enjoyable and happiness in addition to visiting agricultural area, doing activities related agricultural such as harvest, planting, fishing, etc (http://www.farmstop.com). Reynolds (2005) mentions that agrotourism is businesses conducted by farmers whose working agricultural operations for the enjoyment and education of visitors. In extensions meaning, agrotourism presents the potential generating farm revenues and increasing profitability. Additionally, visitors of agrotourism contact directly with farmers and support the increase of agriculture products indirectly. Furthermore, according to WTO (2005), that agrotourism is part of rural tourism and relates to tourism on farms. It gives farmers options to expand their activities and receive more income. Agrotourism is a small part of rural tourism and agricultural practice worldwide, excluding in some European countries such as Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland, the number of farms that offer some form of tourism is remarkably large. In some areas and countries, agrotourism forms a large part of rural tourism as a whole.

The philosophy of agrotourism is inspired to improve the farmers’ earnings and the quality of rural society lives which then expectedly represents opportunity to educate the societies on agriculture and ecosystems. Related and similar opinions described by Lobo, et al (1999), whereas the development of agrotourisms will offer opportunities for local farmers to increase their earnings and improve their lives as well as sustain their operations. The opinions can be detailed as such: (1) it educates people or society about agriculture and contribute to local economic, (2) it decrease the flood of urbanization as people are able to get jobs and earnings from agrotourism, (3) it promotes local products, and regional in marketing effort and create value added and direct-marketing and stimulate economic activity as well as give benefit to society where agrotourism developed. Rilla (1999) describes more clearly the reasons of developing agrotourism as such; (1) it educates for the purpose of keeping the relationship among local societies, interest sectors, and visitors. (2) it improves the health and freshness of visitors, (3) relaxation, (4) adventure, (5) natural food or food organic, (6) unique experiences, (7) cheap tourism.

The philosophy of Hindu called Tri Hita Karana which mainly consists of three principles of harmonic relationship among human and being, humans and the environment, and humans and God has been used as a fundamental concept in all developments in Bali. Agrotourism is identified and considered to relate and be relevant with this philosophy, represent one of the traditional values and cultures to pay attention on environment sustainability (Pujaastawa et al, 2005). Additionally, Pujaastawa et al,  (2005) lists three fundamentals of Tri Hita Karana concept namely; parahyangan (spiritual environment), pawongan (social environment), and palemahan (nature environment).  As agrotourism has been identified as a tourism development model which is based on the principles of sustainable development, therefore agrotourism is prospective to be developed in Bali Island for the purpose of improving motivations of working by spirit “parahyangan”, increasing local earnings “pawongan”, and conserving the nature “palemahan”.

The literatures review conclude that agrotourism is the best form of rural tourism in Bali based on the relevancy of the philosophy of Hindu is predominantly of religion in Bali. Agrourism also is stated as the form of tourism related to the principles of sustainability development.

 

Conceptual Framework  

Tourism sector has been developed by interactions and interconnections among linkage sectors. In the context of tourism destination as a product, it follows product lifecycle. It interacts between demand and supply dynamically. Innovations and creativities should be done to sustain the tourism development in Bali. The demand and supply should be identified and known by those who intend to develop tourism as well as agrotourism. The opportunity of agrotourism can be predicted by demand and supply. The demand is needed to identify the chances of agrotourism as tourism product from the consumer side and the supply is an important thing to identify of opportunities to develop agrotourism especially to host communities, providers, and government as policy maker. This study will assemble the opportunities and chances of agrotourism in Bali as an alternative form of tourism. Information and opinions of stakeholders (farmers, government, tourism industries, NGOs, Universities, and visitors), will be analysed and formulated using SWOT analysis. Finally, the finding of this study will be used as a recommendation and strategy to develop agrotourism in Bali.

 

 

 

Figure 1 Research Conceptual Frameworks

 

Methodology

The case study is used, and this research will be focused in Bali Province since it is presently used as the icon of tourism in Indonesia.  The villages are collected as case studies of agrotourism in Bali, they are: Bayung Gede Village, Kintamani District in Bangli Regency, Candikuning Village, Baturiti District in Tabanan Regency, Blimbingsari Village, Melaya District in Jembrana Regency, and Pelaga Village, Petang District in Badung Regency.

This research uses qualitative approach which involves some library researches and observation. Qualitative method according to Veal (1997), refers to the methods and techniques which describe and emphasize more on qualitative rather that quantitative information.  This research is designed using qualitative descriptive research methods.

The data used to answer the problem statement and research questions are collected through: direct observation, and structured interview (questioner and open questions). This study uses SWOT survey and combined with qualitative and quantitative data which analysed and focused on the following key areas: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The collected data are descriptively analysed using software Microsoft Excel 2003 to determine the means, scores, and ranks of the internal factors (strengths and weaknesses), and to determine the external factors (threats and opportunities) of agrotourism as an alternative form of tourism development in Bali. While the data from direct observation used as primary data to compare opinions and factual described into check list tables, chart, photos, and pictures.

 

Results and Discussion

 

  1. 1.     Bayung Gede Village, Kintamani District-Bangli Regency

Bayung Gede is the first village surveyed to collect information relate to rural and agrotourism. It is a rural tourism projected by Government of Bali Regency located nearby the eco-tourism Kintamani which famous for beautiful sceneries of Batur Lake and active volcano Mount Batur. The main tourist attraction offered at Bayung Gede Village is “Kuburan Ari-ari” (placenta grave). The local communities of Bayung Gede Village believe it as spiritual of inhabitants of familiarity. The district government of Bangli sees the potency and develop it become tourism object which added with some creations and innovations to enrich alternative tourist attractions in Bali.  In addition, Bayung Gede Village also has other potencies such as orange farms and the beautiful panorama that developed as agrotourism. Besides, lush vegetables grow in this village. Oranges and vegetables are currently produced to supply local markets in Bali Province. Tourists who visit Bayung Gede Village are dominantly still attracted by the unique of “Kuburan Ari-ari” although the village has lots potencies on agricultural resources.

 

  1. 2.     Candikuning Village, Baturiti District-Tabanan Regency

Candikuning Village is a project which was initiated by the district government of Baturiti, Tabanan Regency. Following the success story of Bedugul “Beratan Lake” and “Ulun Danu Temple” and the botanical garden of Kebun Raya Bali the village is surveyed and promoted as agrotourism in Bali.  The Eka Karya Botanical Garden is one of the leading tourist attractions in Tabanan Regency contributes lots to the local communities and stimulates related businesses such as flower “krisan” shops, vegetable traditional market, fruit “strawberry”, and organic plantations.

 

  1. 3.     Blimbingsari Village, Melaya District, Jembrana Regency

Blimbingsari is a small village of approximately 200 couple families, located in western part of Bali Province approximately 120 km from the Capital City of Denpasar. The village was formed and developed once the Dutch colonized Indonesia. It is predominantly populated by Christian Protestant communities. Albeit it becomes a Christian village, Blimbingsari still exists in Balinese culture and tradition practices.  Predominantly, the populations work for agricultural sector. The cacao and coconut farms are the main products of Blimbingsari Village. The opportunity of Blimbingsari to become an agricultural attraction was motivated by “Suyaga Ayub”, a pastor of Blimbingsari church. Dominantly, tourists attracted by the unique traditions of Christian communities which are implemented by Balinese-style church, and its story becomes one of the Christian villages in Bali. The village is also nearby Palasari Village with Catholics populations, moreover it is both close to West Bali National Park which functions as ecotourism and conservation and Palasari water irrigation (DAM) which have been developed and promoted by the local government as tourist destination in Bali.

 

 

  1. 4.     Pelaga Village, Petang District, Badung Regency

Pelaga is a small town in the middle part of Bali. It is surrounded by mountains and forests. The agrotourism at Pelaga is motivated by private entrepreneurs for the purpose of becoming motivators of farmers in Pelaga Village (Astawa, 2007).  Agro Bagus Pelaga is one of the agrotourism objects developed by a Balinese entrepreneur named Sudibya. The main goal is to supply organic agricultural products like vegetables and fruits such as strawberry and tomato for hotel industries in Bali. Currently, the tourists are attracted by beautiful panorama of mountain, rice fields, and organic farms as the main attractions.

 

  1. 5.     Stakeholders’ Opinions toward Agrotourism Development in Bali.

Using SWOT Analysis, this paper attracts research finding by strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and treats factors in each case study before formulating the best strategy to develop agrotourism in Bali. The data collected through interview involving 35 respondents which comprise stakeholders from four local governments of Bayung Gede, Candikuning, Blimbingsari, and Pelaga Villages; and representative respondents from NGOs, universities, and hotelier (see appendix). The research finding can be described as below:

 

(1). Strengths

The strengths of agrotourism development in Bali predominantly are resourced by ecological, social, and cultural resources. The surveyed strength factors used as indicators consist of lakes, rice fields, plantations, forests, rivers, existing farmers, unique traditions, agricultural organizations, events, agricultural ceremonies, organization linkages, human resources, agricultural regulations, information systems, and heritages. In general, the respondents who represent agrotourism stakeholders predominantly agree that ecological, and social and cultural resources are the strengths factors agrotourism development in Bali. More specifically, the stakeholders strongly agree that ecological resource particularly lakes, and social and cultural resources especially existing of farmers and unique traditions as the most strengths factors as means.

 

(2). Weaknesses

Although the stakeholders agree that Bali has lots of strength factors to develop agrotourism, however the weaknesses factors also should be considered. The weakness factors comprise; lack of government support, lack of investment, lack of infrastructures, lack of human skills, and lack of public facilities. According to the stakeholders selected as respondents whereas the most weakness factor contributed to agrotorism development in Bali is lack of government support which its mean accounts for 3.89. Besides, lacks of investment and infrastructures as well as limited human skills are still regarded as the weaknesses factors. Yet public facilities are not supposed to be the weakness factors since its mean only reaches 2.86 and position on the last rank.

 

(3). Opportunities

The stakeholders predominantly agree that the agrotourism development in Bali generates certain opportunities such as; creating local employment, increasing family income, and increasing value of the village. In particular, generating related tourism business opportunities become the primary and most reasons (mean of 4.46) proposed by the respondents.

 

(4). Threats

Basically threats toward agrotourism development are classified into two namely ecological threats which comprise degradation of natural resources, lands using problems, and pollutions; and social and cultural threats which comprise changing of hosts’ attitudes, increasing criminalities, and commercialization of traditions. The agrotourism stakeholders in Bali strongly agree that degradation of natural resources the most dangerous threat of any tourism developments including agrotourism in particular. It is clearly described by the mean of 4.51. Land using problems are supposed to be the second most risky hazard which potential to destroy the existence and development of agrotourism in Bali. Meanwhile the last four indicators pollutions, changing of hosts’ attitudes, increasing criminalities, commercialization of tradition are consider to be the threats factors, yet they are not as significant as the two exposure factors as degradation of natural resource and land using problem.

 

Implications 

Agrotourism contributes lots to the improvement of economy lives of the local communities. The contributions are in the forms of agricultural products sales, various of hand-made souvenirs or handicrafts sold for the tourists, chances to establish food stalls or restaurants and certain types of accommodation such as home-stay, bungalow, villa, and hotel, as well as village development. With respect to economy improvement, the stakeholders predominantly agree that increasing agricultural products are the most contribution generated from agrotourism development with mean of 3.97. There are three indicators which empower the potency of agrotourism development such as poverty alleviation, decreasing the number of unemployment, and declining the urban. The stakeholders mostly agree that the agrotourism enables to alleviate poverties and decrease the unemployment since it provides work opportunities which can help to improve the quality of the villagers’ lives. These two contributions are considered to be the most essential contributions of agrotourism development in Bali.

Agrotourism development is highly expected to play role in applying sustainable tourism development in Bali. Stakeholders predominantly agree that the agrotourism development contributes toward nature conservation as one of the important goals of sustainable tourism (sustaining nature, social life, and culture, as well as generating income for the local societies). Nowadays, tourists are more interested in visiting tourism destinations which serve natural attractions since their lives and educations improving day by day which encourage them to pay more attention nature and increase their awareness on the importance of saving the nature. This newly paradigm is expected to increase the number of tourists visiting Bali. The stakeholders also agree that agrotourism facilitates the local communities to run certain kinds of related tourism businesses in their villages.

 

Recommendations 

The ecological resources such as lakes, rice fields, plantations and farms as well as forests; the social and cultural resources such as existing farmers, unique traditions, agricultural organizations, events, agricultural ceremonies, organizations linkages, human resources, agriculture regulations, information systems, heritages should be well developed, and promoted since these strength factors are able to generate potencies for other tourism business establishments, employment opportunities, enhance the family income and value of the village. The uniqueness of each village should be well promoted and described to position strong images of the villages, indeed to combine agrotourism with the local indigenous and uniqueness.

The main attractions of Bayung Gede Village are “Kuburan Ari-ari” (placenta grave) which used as the icon of the village and orange farm shall be used as the icon of agricultural products. The foremost attractions of Candikuning Village are organic farm and beautiful panorama of Beratan Lake and Eka Karya Bali Botanical Garden. They should be promoted as the icon of agrotourism of this village. The primary attractions of Blimbingsari Village are the unique tradition of Christian communities; Balinese-style church, and story of the village becoming a Christian village in Bali should be promoted as icon of pluralism and harmonic situation in Bali. Meanwhile the coconut and cacao farms should be used as the icon of agricultural products of this village. The core attractions offered at Pelaga Village are beautiful panorama of mountain, rice fields, and organic farms. They are used as the icon of the village. The programs which should be formulated such as entire cooperation with tourism operators, packaging events in the village, and provide village information system.

 

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