New association to promote Bali’s festivals

by Desy Nurhayati on 2014-02-21

A new association of festival organizers has been established in Bali in a bid to facilitate improvements to the quality of festivals on the island.

The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Carnival Association (AKI) was launched earlier this week and will be managed under the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD) and the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI). The provincial Tourism Agency has also given its approval and will act as the advisor to this new association.

Chairman of AKI Bali, Nyoman Sarjana, said Wednesday that Bali had established the association along with other five provinces: Jakarta, Bangka Belitung, Riau, East Kalimantan and Central Java, with support from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.

The association, he explained, was expected to optimize improvements to festivals as creative events to attract tourists and promote local potential.

“Creativity is needed to promote Bali as a tourist destination, because we cannot merely rely on the island’s natural beauty and culture, which is diminishing. Therefore, events such as festivals can be significant to attract tourists,” he told Bali Daily.

Every year, a series of festivals are held on the island, some of which have become popular and much-anticipated by tourists and locals alike. Among these are Kuta Carnival, Legian Beach Festival, Sanur Village Festival, Nusa Dua Fiesta, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and Bali Arts Festival. There are also some emerging events, such as Lake Batur Festival and Serangan Festival.

“We have various festivals throughout the year. This is an effective way of introducing local potential to tourists and to contribute to increased arrivals.”

Sarjana, who initiated Kuta Carnival, together with the association’s advisor, Jro Made Supatra Karang, the creator of Legian Beach Festival, said the association was keen to learn from the successes of prominent events held in other areas, like the Jember Fashion Carnaval held in Jember, East Java.

“This annual festival has gained popularity worldwide. It has become a much-awaited event by many people. We need to learn from this,” he said, adding that his association’s organizing committee would attend the event this year as observers.

Members of the association have already participated in some workshops and coaching clinics organized by the ministry.

Karang said that the establishment of AKI was a positive breakthrough to enhance the quality and popularity of festivals.

“This is a good step toward promoting local potential through festivals, in order to become well-known worldwide.”

In future, the Bali chapter of AKI would standardize festivals being held on the island, in order to ensure that they were handled properly.

“In a festival, every aspect needs to be done professionally, including safety and security, to ensure that the organizers and the visitors can enjoy the event,” Sarjana said.

Improving the quality of special events is part of the ministry’s program to develop destinations and tourism products.

This year, the ministry is to hold a special event themed: “Wonderful Archipelago Carnival”, in conjunction with the Jember Fashion Carnaval, which will take place in the small East Java town mid-August.

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