Responsibility to respect and be a good guest, ET TravelWorld


India and Indonesia share deep historical, cultural, and economic ties. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on enhancing connectivity and trade between the two countries. This has led to the development of various corridors and initiatives to facilitate economic cooperation. The travel relationship between India and Indonesia has also been growing steadily over the years, and both countries have implemented visa policies to facilitate tourism and business travel. Many Indonesians visit India for various reasons including tourism, business, education, and cultural exchange, with Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, and Jaipur being popular destinations. The travel relationship is further facilitated by direct flight connections between major cities in both countries. On the other hand, Indonesia is a popular destination for Indian tourists, known for its beautiful beaches, rich culture, and vibrant markets. Bali, in particular, is a favorite among Indian travelers. Recent Airbnb data has revealed an almost 2X increase in searches for stays in Bali among Indian travellers , highlighting the island’s growing appeal. This surge reflects the growing interest among Indian travellers to delve into unique international destinations with rich cultural offerings. With its pristine beaches, verdant landscapes, and a culture deeply rooted in spirituality, it often finds itself at the apex of global travel destinations. However, with this acclaim comes the responsibility of preserving its essence for the generations to come. And the responsibility doesn’t just lie with the residents of Bali, but with every traveller who visits this beautiful island. Bali isn’t just a destination, it’s an experience, a vibe, an emotion. As its stunning landscapes beckon visitors from around the world, the imperative for sustainable, respectful tourism is now more crucial than ever.Here’s how travellers can travel responsibly and experience Bali like never before:

● Immerse in the local culture – As tourists, the first responsibility is to educate ourselves. Understand the significance of temples and other sacred places. Respect local customs, which might seem different from our own but are integral to the Balinese culture.
● Engage with the community – The Balinese are known for their warm hospitality. Engage in meaningful conversations, participate in local traditions, and learn from the community. It makes the travel experience richer and more memorable.
● Support the local economy – Local businesses are the backbone of Bali’s economy. From artisanal crafts to local eateries, each purchase you make can make a significant difference to a local entrepreneur.
● Be environmentally conscious – Bali’s natural beauty is the most significant asset. Avoid single use plastics, be mindful of water usage and ensure that you leave the places as you found them.
● Adhere to the local guidelines – Engage with licenced tour guides, authorised money changers and abide by all local regulations.
● Safe transits – Whether on a bike or in a car, adhere to the local traffic rules.
● Dive into the local language – While Bahasa Indonesia is spoken nationwide, familiarising oneself with basic local dialects can enhance interaction and experiences. Bali’s lingual tapestry is rich, with English often woven in seamlessly.

At Airbnb, we envision travel that’s not just about exploring destinations but also about fostering cultural exchange; and have therefore been at the forefront of promoting responsible tourism in popular tourism hubs like Bali. Not only does the platform offer an array of unique stays that capture the island’s essence, but it also advocates for guest awareness and local cultural appreciation.

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Set in the form of a contest, the proposed programme aims to reduce the language barrier and equip travellers with essential language skills to enhance their appreciation and understanding of local customs and traditions. Through a contest, Airbnb and Duolingo will choose two winners (with one companion each) to engage in at least a continuous 10-day-language learning streak on Duolingo.

Airbnb also recognises the power of community. Our Hosts in Bali are more than just accommodation providers. They are ambassadors of Balinese culture, eager to share their stories, traditions and the ethos of Bali. By opting to stay at a local homestay, travellers don’t just get a place to stay, they get a holistic and immersive experience.

As travel picks up, there’s an opportunity for all of us to redefine how we travel. Let’s be more responsible, more conscious, more respectful and more engaged. Let our travels not just be about the places to see or visit but also about the memories we create and the positive impact we leave behind.

To Bali and its residents, thank you for sharing your paradise with the world. And to every traveler heading to its shores, let’s ensure we’re the kind of guests Bali deserves. Travel with purpose, travel responsibly.

The author is General Manager, India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.

  • Published On Dec 17, 2023 at 12:58 PM IST

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