Resource Three

Tourist Images of Asia: Bali

We can learn a lot about tourist development by looking at the images through which destinations are marketed. The following descriptions of a tourist destination in Asia are typical of those produced for the tourism market. In reading the material, consider what it shows about the image of Asia as a tourist destination.

Bali on the Beach

On Bali's popular beaches you can be as active or as idle as you wish. Cold drinks, soothing massages and tropical fruits are at your fingertips thanks to the ever friendly beach vendors. You can take to the water on a surfboard, a sailboard or hop on a local prahu for a sailing adventure with a difference. You can indulge your passion for skin and scuba diving on the island's reefs , or just play in the waves and comb the coral reefs for colourful shells.

On the Road

Jump in a bemo or a hire car, and you're off through a fanfare of lush vegetation spilling onto the roads. Banana and Pepper trees, frangipanis and coconut palms all in a hurry of wild growth. Take the road into Denpasar for lunch. Here, vendors pushing their two-wheeled carts wander the streets with all kinds of incredible edibles - spicy soups, exotic fruits, coconut icecream, roasted nuts. On the roadside, embers crackle and glow beneath the skewered pieces of meat. Satay is everyone's favourite, and special fried rice, noodles and gado-gado with delicious peanut sauce is a treat not to be missed.

Into the Hills

Head up into the hills for the art of Bali: paintings in Ubud, Mas for wooden and sandstone carvings, Celuk for silver. Young boys merrily work away on mysterious deities and magical garudas. Enigmatic demons with fang-like teeth cast wild looks with bulging eyes. A cassette player pumps the rhythmic beat of popular western culture while nearby smouldering incense drifts from an altar where an offering sprinkled with holy water pays homage to the Hindu deities and divine spirits. And while you are there, no trip to Bali would be complete without a visit to the Monkey Forest at Sangeh. Experience the beauty of the temple and meet the resident monkeys who have made the sacred forest their home.


1. The Description

§  What aspects of the places are highlighted?

§  What have the writers assumed the tourists want?

§  What kind of person is this implied tourist?

§  How successfully does the material stimulate your interest? How does it do this?

§  Are there things you might want to do in these places which are not mentioned? If so, why are they omitted?

2. Images

§  What is the dominant image of the place? Is it a narrow stereotype or does it reflect the variety of life in these destinations?

§  What images of the people are presented? How well would they recognise themselves in the material?

§  Does the image in any way enhance or demean their standing as people?

3. The Effect of Images

§  How would this image feed back into the construction of the environment and life in these places?

§  What kind of environment would the realisation of the images create?

§  What problems might arise from the construction of it?

§  What impact would the provision of these images have on the life and work of the people?