Fifi, travel agent | Kuta, Bali, Indonesia | January 27, 2010
Fifi is a Balinese native and a travel agent in Semiyak, an upscale beach area near Kuta Beach.
Kuta was one of the first beaches to open to tourism in Bali. The area is filled with hotels, restaurants, tour operators, guesthouses, bars, night clubs, vendors all catered for tourists.
LPT: What do you think about tourism in Kuta?
Fifi: In Kuta, it’s so busy, yeah? About the impact of tourism…for the economy, it’s very good for us, yeah.
LPT: Are there some negative impacts of tourism?
Fifi: For negative impact, maybe our culture. Yeah, our culture.
LPT: Why is it negative?
Fifi: Ah, because tourism…the first maybe, the local people have…what we call…one moment. How do I say it in English? For our culture, local people have little time for their culture when they work in tourism. Because working in tourism, you have to be on time for things, like that. They work long hours so they can’t socialize and don’t have so much time to stay in their village.
LPT: Do you think also it takes time away from their religion too?
Fifi: Yeah, the religion and takes away time from family too.
The fashion of the tourists, also gives impact on the locals. Yeah, before we dressed like traditional and now, we follow the fashion from abroad.
LPT: Maybe tank tops, and things like that?
Fifi: Yeah, yeah.
LPT: How do local people feel about their fashion changing?
Fifi: Maybe it depends on people, yeah. Maybe if we see, for example, a woman wearing mini…I mean just<motions short skirt>
LPT: Mini skirt?
Fifi: Yeah, yeah. It’s like no good for our culture. For a modern girl, maybe it’s nice but for Balinese culture, it’s no good. It’s like that. It’s difficult to stop it. From tourism we can develop but there’s positives and negatives.
2BBC, Poverty ‘surged’ after Bali bombing, October 13, 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3186436.stm