THE island of Bali as a favorite tourist destination states that it will focus on environmental sustainability as a step to realize sustainable tourism or sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism is one of the most important aspects for tourism development in the new era of normality and can be an investment and solution in welcoming the era of adaptation to new habits as well as efforts to revitalize the earth.

According to the Deputy for Tourism Products and Event Organizers of Tourism Ministry, Rizki Handayani, said the pandemic has made aware that cleanliness, health and environmental sustainability are very important in all aspects of development, including tourism.

“The tourist pattern will change. Tourists will look for tourist destinations that can provide a sense of security and comfort. To create a sense of security and comfort, we can start from our own environment,” Rizki Handayani said.

Rizki Handayani added that tourism rebranding which started from environmental preservation became the basis of sustainable tourism development. Let us refocus on promoting Bali as a destination that truly preserves the environment, especially in terms of hygiene.

Previously, she continued, Tourism Ministry had compiled a health protocol based on Cleanliness, Healthy, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) which must be implemented properly and disciplined in accordance with applicable standard operating procedures, especially for business actors in the tourism sector and the creative economy.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Expert Team for Tourism, Cipto Aji Gunawan, explained that the Bali Provincial Government has two Governor Regulations related to environmental conservation, namely regarding waste, one of which is a limitation or prohibition on the use of single-use plastics. In an effort to encourage Bali to become a higher quality tourist destination.

“Regulations related to waste are part of the health protocol. Currently the certification process is underway from various industries including the marine tourism industry, and in it there is a protocol regarding waste. So it is not only with the application of regulations but the implementation in the form of a protocol which now must be obeyed by all tourism business actors to implement a new, higher quality adaptation order especially in relation to this environment,” Cipto Aji noted.

Data from the World Bank shows that Indonesia’s coasts contribute 3.22 million tons of waste to the oceans, including plastic waste. However, Indonesia has prepared a national action plan that is expected to be realized or achieved in 2025, which will reduce the amount of waste in the oceans by up to 70%.

Likewise, the Founder & Executive Director of Divers Clean Action, Swietenia Puspa Lestari, explained that seeing the current pandemic conditions, it turns out that there are new paradigms that make the use of single-use plastic something normal and even more hygienic.

“However, when we visit tourist beach points, we actually find a lot of single-use plastics which are not only obtained from consigned waste but as a result of this paradigm shift. All people and the government must work together to provide understanding to all tourism business actors, that what can be recycled is actually better and healthier,” Swietenia added.

She continued that we are concerned that tourism business actors are not aware of implementing health protocols. When there are no guests, they don’t maintain cleanliness and don’t apply health SOPs properly. If we want to reopen tourist destinations, tourism business actors must really pay attention to health and cleanliness, this will also bear sweet fruit for tourism business actors themselves.

By implementing applicable SOPs to reduce waste, it will create trust and confidence for tourists in choosing tourist destinations. []