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History of Tourism in Bali


Dissemination of information about the island of Bali either through literary writings and drawings, as well as conversation makes Bali is known in foreign countries since long time ago. Even now BALI name is still more commonly known than the name of Indonesia in foreign countries.

Glimpses into the history of tourism and development on the island of Bali ....

Ages 6 : A long time ago, Bali has been designated as a place to do a search and journey by the spiritual aspirant. Rsi Markandeya was recorded as the spiritual leader of the Javanese who first set foot in Bali. Travelling to do a search inward purity and balance of nature also placing Hindu religious on the southern slope of Mount Agung, now known as Besakih Temple.

Ages 11 : Then came the Empu Kuturan who developed the concept of Tri Murti in Bali

Ages 16 : Dang Hyang Nirartha (Pedanda Sakti Wawu Rawuh) to Bali with a religious mission with emphasis on the concept Ceremony

1597 : International Travel in Bali began when the Dutch expedition led by Cornellis de Houtman on its journey around the world to look for spices, into Indonesia. The mission of Java Island sailed to the East and from a distance saw an island filled of trees. They did not find spices, just a life with a unique culture, very beautiful nature and has a special attraction which is different with other areas. The island of Bali is called by its people.

Century 20 : Coinciding with Indonesia that known as the producer of spices, Bali became known to the world from the culture. Mastery Netherlands to Indonesia was the 17th and 18th century, not much influence on the religious and cultural life in Bali.

1906 : The Dutch military arrived at Sanur Beach and with troops marching toward the royal palace Puri Denpasar. With the aim to meet the king of Puri Agung Denpasar in his palace for having refused to give Compensation claims and alleged slander. With the ritual dressed in white, king and family together with his followers hold a battle against the Netherlands with a dagger and spear guns. Unyielding fight, fight to the death to defend the truth of the sublime. Puputan ritual is repeated in the afternoon at Puri Pemecutan and two days later at the court of King Tabanan. Since that tragedic, known as Puputan Badung. 7000 Bali people were killed in this War History of Puputan Badung on 20 September 1906.

1908 : Puputan Klungkung occur in Gelgel. Dutch bombard Smarapura palace, Gelgel, and Satria with cannon shots for six consecutive days. 28 April 1908, the King of Klungkung Dewa Agung Jambe with family, the crown prince, loyal troops and the people who fall defending the sovereignty of Klungkung kingdom and fulfill `dharmaning ksatria` the highest obligation of a true knight.

1914 : After Bali is considered quite peaceful, the Dutch government replace the role of population soldiers with civilian personnel. At this time, Bali can be achieved from Surabaya by ship. Once arrived in Bali visitors rent a horse for the journey. They can use the rest house `pesanggarahan` provided for colonial officials during their inspection tours.

1917 : Built roads linking Pengastulan villages to Tejakula through Pabean, Buleleng and Sangsit. Likewise, a number of bridges over the river connecting the road from Singaraja to Celukan Bawang. In the following year a bridge that complements the road from Singaraja via Pupuan and Tabanan to Denpasar. Singaraja as the administrative center of Bali has three lanes of traffic networks. First: towards Kubutambahan and Kintamani to Denpasar along 118 Km. Second: Singaraja path, Bubunan and Pupuan along 113 km. Third: through Lake Bratan is only 78 km.

1920 : European tourists started coming to Bali, they are writers, photographers, artists, and others. They came together with the Dutch merchant ship that is KPM (Koninklijke Paketcart Maatsckapy) and the Bali tourist was introduced in Europe as `the Island of God`.
Dr. Gregor Krause is a German who was sent to the Wetherisnds East Idies (Indonesia) lived in Bali which is assigned to make the writings and photographs about the livelihood of Bali people.

1924 : Tourists in particular come to Bali after opening the weekly cruise between Singapore, Batavia, Semarang, Surabaya layover in Buleleng (Port Singaraja) and then to Makassar. KPM Representative in Singaraja was appointed as the official representative Nederlandche Indische Touristen Bureau in Bali. This year recorded 213 travelers who came to Bali.

1926 : Tourism Magazine in the Netherlands East Indies February 8, 1927 edition, recorded 480 tourists visiting Bali. This magazine offers tour packages including accommodation for those who want to watch the cremation ceremony in Karangasem Bali in May 1927. Mentioned the enthusiasts will be transported by ship Swartbandt which departed from Surabaya. Arriving in Bali, tourists provided a car and stay in accomodation `pesanggarahan` owned by the government.

1927 : Among the prominent travelers, they are Brigadier General L.C.Koe of British Force Army who came with his wife to Bali in January 1927.

1928 : KPM opened Bali Hotel as a substitute for the rest house in Denpasar (the Leading House in Bali). In addition there is a rest house in Kintamani to see the sights of Lake Batur.
The main reference rating based on observations of Walter Spies a Germany painter and musician who stayed in Bali in 1927 and up to the time of World War II. He became a guide for artists, painters and figures who visiting Bali. Travelers stop at his house in Ubud. Walter Spies was introduced to the world of wealth and cultural diversity of Bali, beside of the beauty of women of Bali. Spies house in Ubud often visited by European artists and intellectuals. Anthropologist Margaret Mead (from America), painter Miguel Covarrubias (Mexico) with his book The Island of Bali in 1930, actor Charlie Chaplin (USA), Adrian Vickers in his Bali Paradise Creatid, Vicki Baum an English novelist with his book Love and Death in Bali, until sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (Germany) had been a guest of Spies. Spies and Beryl de Zoete write Dance and Drama in Bali, one of the earliest records of dance and drama outside Western culture. He was also involved in the filming of 'The Island of Demons` with Baron Viktor van Plessen. Spies fund the filming with money from Friedrich Murnau, who died in 1931. The film had a huge influence on the world's perception of Bali.
In 1936 Spies founded the Pita Maha group of artists together with Rudolf Bonnet (founder of Ratna Warta Museum, Gusti Nyoman Lempad, and Tjokorda Gde Agung Sukawati). They preserve Balinese art that start to change into art order to meet tourist demand. Pita Maha opens the horizons for Bali painter in terms of theme, coloring, to the perspective and the play of light.

Besides, there are other travelers from the class of writers and artists who influence much in Bali Tourism historical and development. Popularize Bali  with their works which is spectacular and famous in the world, such as : a musisian Collin Mc Phee and author Jane antropoligist Bello (Canada), litterateur Dr Roelof Goris (Netherlands) with his Bali inscription `Chartes de Bali` in 1928, novelist Louis Marie-Anne Couperus (Netherlands).

Poets and fighters Muriel Pearson (USA) has another name in Indonesia is Miss Walker, Miss Tenchery, Mrs. Muriel Pearson, Mrs. Manx, Miss Daventry, Surabaya Sue, K'tut Tantri, Ni Ketut Tantri, Miss Oestermann, Sally van de As with her famous book `Revolt In Paradise`

Painter Le Mayeur (Belgium) married a Balinese girl, settle in Sanur Bali owned of Museum Le Mayeur. Painter Antonio Blanco (Spain) married to beautiful Balinese girl Ni Ronji then settled in Ubud owned of Antonio Blanco Museum. A famous painter Wilhelmus Adrianus (Arie) Smit with his work that you can see in the Neka Museum.

1933 : The opening of the flight track Surabaya and Bali

1934 : The opening of shipping line crossing from to Gilimanuk and Banyuwangi. Most travelers only stayed for three days in Bali. They arrived in Buleleng Friday morning, departure and return with the same ship on Sunday night. Except for those who like Bali adventures, will stay in Bali for ten days while waiting for the next ship. After landing in Buleleng on Friday before sunrise, tourists rent a car together with a tour guide, helping by Tor and Travel Bureau. Exploring Bubunan coast road to the west, then turned to pesanggarahan Munduk, where they can continue to visit the area by horse riding to Lake of Tamblingan and Buyan.
In the afternoon they're going to Denpasar via Tabanan and stay at Bali Hotel. After dinner, they watched Balinese dance performances. Museum Bali, Goa Gajah Bedulu, Tampak Siring, Pejeng, Goa Lawah are  tourist attractions that visited in this time. On Sunday morning tourists went to Bangli see Kehen Temple before heading Penelokan Kintamani. Usually they have lunch at Kintamani Pesanggarahan to have beatutiful panorama of Mount and Lake Batur, then return to Singaraja to ride Ship of KPM.

1936 : A couple of Americans, Bob worked as a photographer and Louise Koke as painters, arrived in Bali, from Denpasar to Singaraja by ship. In the book `Our Hotel in Bali` he wrote, illustrated that the hotels in Bali at that time already had a modern bathroom with hot water. And the book is much affected to exotisme sensuality photo of Balinese woman with an open chest clothing  (topless) as its strange to Westerners at that time.

1942 : World War II, a number of German and Dutch people, including Walter Spies captured. With the German prisoners were sent outside of Bali. But on the way, the ship was sunk by the Japanese fleet. Walter Spies were killed. On February 19, 1942 the Japanese Army troops landed on Sanur beach without resistance from the Dutch East Indies soldiers.

1946 : After the proclamation of Indonesia independence, Mr. I Gusti Ketut Pudja arrived from Jakarta to become governor of the Lesser Sunda. Like many other areas of Bali also organized resistance of the Dutch army that return to Bali. As I Gusti Ngurah Rai did, known as Puputan Margarana on 20 November 1946.

1950 : Bali slowly recovered as a tourist destination. Bali reportedly safe for tourists who stay at the hotel. The entertainment began, Denpasar in 1950 already has three theaters and singaraja three also. It was no more women who topless. Travelers who come already begun handled well by the people and the king at that time.

1953 : A.A. Panji Tisna start building a seaside accomodation in Kampung Baru, Tukad Cebol village (now the village of Kaliasem). In addition to built the restaurant also built three guest rooms. And three years later the world of tourism in Bali made new history, when Ida Bagus Kompiang and Anak Agung Mirah Astuti be indigenous entrepreneurs who built the first hotel in Sanur - Denpasar, which is named Segara Beach Hotel.

1955 : The government attention also began after the 1950s, when President Soekarno bring State VIP guests to Bali. The range of 1952-1965, Sukarno sent many cultural missions abroad. The missions was to introduce the Republic of Indonesia to the world. Hundreds of dancers in that year sended. They were sent not only to the Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, China, Japan, and North Korea, but also Russia and Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland), Western Europe (the Netherlands and Paris), Africa (Tanzania), and USA (New York)

1956 : Tourism infrastructure and development in Bali restyled. In 1963 established the Bali Beach Hotel (Inna Grand Bali Beach now) and was inaugurated in November 1966. Hotel Bali Beach (Grand Bali Beach) has its own history which is the only one 10 (ten) storey building in Bali, more than 15 meters high. The hotel was built before there is a provision that the maximum height of buildings in Bali is 15 meters, according to the Decree of the Bali Governor on 22 November 1971 Number : 13/Perbang.1614/II/a/1971. It contained that buildings height in Bali, maximum as same height with palm tree or 15 meters.

1969 : Precisely in August the Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) was opened as an International Airport. Until now, all tourist destinations and attractions in Bali, access and facilities to support tourism in Bali has done repairs. And tourists who come to Bali is not only from the European continent, as well as Asia, Australia, America, Africa and others.

2002 : Terrorist attacks have occurred on October 12, 2002, by the 2002 Bali bombing attack (Bali Bombing 1) in the Kuta Beach tourist area, causing of 202 people were killed and 209 others injured. 2005 Bali bombing attack (Bali Bomb 2) also occurred three years later in Kuta and Jimbaran beach. These incidents received by international media because most of the victims were foreign tourists and this tragedic causing Bali's tourism industry is facing severe challenges. Until now the Bali bomb attack perpetrators have been arrested and severely punished.

Bali is an island in Indonesia who loved in peace. People in Bali are maintaining the harmony of life. Tourists visiting Bali will feel comfortable with safe and secure situation. And not only the people of Bali, but also tourists who come to Bali always helped to keep Bali as BALI.

........... `Tat Twam Asi` .............
“aku adalah engkau, engkau adalah aku”. 
"I am you, you are me".

Various nickname given to Bali as a tourist Island :
The Island of Gods
The Island of Paradise
The Island of Thousand Temples
The Morning of the World
The Last Paradise on Earth
and many more...

Do you have a nickname for Bali?

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  • Jalan Intan No 5 Ubung, Denpasar 80116
    Bali - Indonesia
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