The tourism industry is a major revenue earner for Bali. The impact of having so many tourists visiting this country is felt in positive and negative ways as follows:
- The economy of Bali has improved greatly due to the impact of the tourism industry. As such, the standard of living here is very high and there has been a reduction in the levels of poverty. Unemployment has also been reduced.
- This influx of tourists has attracted investors to Bali who builds entertainment spots and hotels. They have also built a recreation center and other such places that have drawn more tourists to Bali. These have included restaurants, luxury resorts, villas and malls to name a few.
- Job creation has been the result of having all these developments, accommodations and tourist entertainment spots. Bali residents can now work and make a living from the opportunities availed by the facilities that support the tourism industry. As such, the unemployment rate in Bali is very low.
- Tax revenues from the tourism industry have increased the government’s revenue stream, which has enabled the government to invest in infrastructure that supports the industry.
- Preservation of art has been another positive effect of tourism. Music, painting, carving, dance and the like have flourished. Those who perform dances and music get to make some money and the artifacts created by the various artisans and purchased by tourists.
- Overcrowding has become a big challenge. The overcrowding is both by tall buildings that are being built continually as well as by an influx of people. The waste coming from the many villas, restaurants, hotels, malls and discos is damaging the environment and particularly the rice fields.
- The people of Bali are also changing and have become more materialistic with money as a top priority. Instead of the socialism that they were known for, they are not becoming more individualistic.
- Rice fields have been affected in that they are becoming fewer. Some have been purchased for development, and many wetlands have also been sold to investors. Irrigation channels have been shut down to make way for roads and buildings too.
- There has been an increase in criminals, prostitution and drug traffickers. One of the areas that have been hardest hit by this is Kuta, which is the nightlife capital of Bali. Here, the vices of prostitution and drug trafficking have become the norm. As tourism increases, these negative impacts have continued to thrive and to grow with it.
The tourism sector had both positive and negative impacts on the island’s economy, on the people and on the environment. The above factors collectively boost the economic reserves of the region thus leading to rise in income and better disposable income. Tourism industry can also benefit economies at regional and local levels, as money comes into urban and rural areas which in turn stimulates new business enterprises, greater markets and promotes a more positive image of the area.