Batur Festival held to promote geopark
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, together with Bangli administration, will jointly organize and hold the Batur Festival in Kedisan village from Sept. 20 through 22, as part of their effort to widely introduce and promote Batur as one of UNESCO’s geoparks.
Bangli Regent Made Gianyar stated that his administration had implemented many programs and activities to promote Batur as a member of UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network (GGN).
“The coming festival has several objectives — to introduce the concept of the geopark to local people and visitors alike, and to attract global visitors, scholars in particular, to explore Batur’s geopark potential,” the regent claimed.
Aside from extensive promotional activities, the administration has started to upgrade facilities in the Batur area as befitting an important tourist destination and learning center.
“It will take quite a long time to pass on information and knowledge about Batur as a geopark to local residents. It is a step-by-step program starting from local government staff, to communities and school systems,” Gianyar explained.
Bagus Surya, chairman of the organizing committee, shared with Bali Daily that the festival would take place over a weekend in the hope that many people could attend the event.
“We have informed all tourism stakeholders and associations to spread the news about the festival and to ask them to bring their guests to the upcoming Batur Festival,” he said.
The organizing committee plans to provide shuttle buses and vehicles to transport visitors to the festival site. The shuttle buses will be parked at Central Parkir Kuta close to Jl. Sunset Road and Jl. Legian Raya, Ubud traditional market in Ubud and Batur Volcano Museum.
During the three-day festival, visitors will be able to watch numerous art and cultural performances from Bangli regency, including bondres comedy, joged traditional dance and the Calonarang drama.
Exhibitions promoting handicrafts and local arts will also feature.
A series of workshops on geoparks will be held during the festival, featuring noted scholars.
Bangli regency has received Rp 31 billion (US$2.84 million) in funding from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry for the improvement of infrastructure and to support the operation of the museum. The regency also obtained Rp 2 billion from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry to manage tourism facilities in Batur and the surrounding areas.
Since it was designated as a geopark, the number of visitors to Batur had increased from 300,000 persons in 2011 to 500,000 persons in 2012. It is expected around 750,000 persons will visit Batur during 2013.
— BD/Wasti Atmodjo