2009 – Bali, Indonesia
This WFTGA Convention of promised unparalleled opportunities for delegates and individual guides to exchange views and information. Country–representatives were able to form small or regional groups to address their own needs and requests, and to provide advice and solutions to problems encountered. As for individual tourist guides, they were able to learn new skills that may not be offered at their home country, and to establish new friendship and contacts. From the lectures and workshops that covers a wide variety of subjects, all participants were able to have clearer mindset of our guiding profession and in order to enhance beyond their guiding profession.
Bali, as a province within the archipelago with its population of 3 million of which a large portion follows the religion of Hindu, has given an important value to the uniqueness of cultures in the archipelago. Since the beginning of history when some of the other islands in the archipelago had became destinations for economic reasons Bali had become a destination for spiritual quests. The flora and fauna in tropical Bali provides the most beautiful scenery, which has inspired its people to take care of its natural resources. Although other islands have similar ecologies, the harmonious relationship between nature, culture and human activities has made Bali a very special place. This special feature of Bali has attracted the attention of artists, cultural observers, and travelers from many different countries.
When Bali came into contact with the other islands and the wider world, especially with the Netherlands, the island came to be renown among connoisseurs of eastern culture. Bali was colonized by the Dutch, the uniqueness of its nature, people and culture led foreigners to view the island as tourist destination. During the mid 1960s, when the Bali Beach Hotel became operational, tourism development boomed, and Bali became a key resort, not only in Indonesia , but throughout the whole of Asia. Bali experienced great economical growth, and with this, ritual life and local culture became even more significant tourism and culture are closely tied, making Bali a place of endless wonder for tourists.
Throughout the course of its history, Bali has received influences from foreign cultures.
This could lead to the decline of its own indigenous culture if the challenge is not faced with a determined mind. Changes in the attitude of the Balinese towards the environtment have been felt by the people who have come to love the island, especially foreigners, and without doubt, there will continue to be change. Together, the people of Bali have been making efforts to sustain and further their understanding of the values of their history and culture while, at the same time, keeping up with the progress of time and technology in order to protect its taksu (spiritual charisma). In written history, it is clear that Bali became the final crystallization of the development and flourishing of Java’s ancient Majapahit culture. The harmonious integration between the local traditions of Bali with Javanese Majapahit culture, with its Hindu nuances, gave birth to the Hindu culture in Bali, which spread from the east to the west, Bali, with its unique culture, is often called Nusa ning Nusa or ‘the island amongst a thousand islands’. Today, Bali ‘s charisma is not only reflected in its economic development, but in its ability to invoke spiritual revelation. Bali is inspiration.