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As the climate change problem is becoming the greatest challenge of our time, a headache that does not go away for politicians in all ranks of the international relations’ system and as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Nusa Dua last month with the participation of 190 nations, voted for a resolution to start negotiating on slashing emissions. Subsequently, we believe that it is more than appropriate to dedicate this article to a shining example of an eco tourism destination, Nusa Dua.

Nusa Dua was not chosen to host the UNFCC due to its uprising popularity as the top, luxury resort in Bali, but rather for its ecological status. The existence of Nusa Dua is the realization of an innovative idea, which was first launched in Indonesia by developing and managing a resort complex by one supervising body, simplifying in this way, procedures and thus making them cost effective.

More important however, is the fact that when management is centralized, policies and laws are easier to pass and in the case of Nusa Dua such implemented policies protect the local culture and the environment and enforce standards of quality to be integrated into a coherent concept.

But despite the centralized management of the Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC), which was only formed to make the Nusa Dua project a reality, what other reasons played their role in transforming the Nusa Dua concept into a template for similar projects in Indonesia?

First of all, its an environmentally friendly concept, as this self contained resort complex was under-populated and under-productive land. The local cultural centers and the Agricultural land are protected from disruption, whilst on the other hand the disadvantaged areas benefit from development.

To further enforce its environmentally friendly status, we should not omit to mention that Nusa Dua is the first tourist development that has been awarded with the Green Globe, as everything in this area is recycled with the sewage going into the lagoon and treated with sun, wind algae and by natural bio means.

Moreover, the good collaboration of the public and private sector with investors and hotel operators dealing with one regulatory body instead with long bureaucratic procedures, as it is usually the case, brought about important time and cost efficiency.

Also, the planning of the roads, electricity, water, telecommunications and waste treatment is integrated into the overall development of the local population benefiting not only the resort but also the local population.
Another benefit that the local community gained through this project is the fact that now job opportunities have increased and one can join a training school with the advantage of priority admission for local students.

Equally important is the fact that local customs and religious practices are highly respected with all sacred places being protected.

Last but by no means least, it is vital to mention that the area did not sacrifice its traditional architecture in the shrine of tourist development, but on the contrary, the design of the project successfully managed to integrate with the local culture’s traditional architecture and the use of local craft whenever is suitable. The above mentioned fact supports further the pride of the local people in their culture, aesthetic, authenticity and harmony.

The exceptional concept of Nusa Dua calls for more self-contained resorts in under-populated and under-productive land.

Before taking the decision to go forward with the project and whilst taking serious action to develop the areas was becoming an imperative, as villagers from Bualu had to survive by cultivating only coconut palms due to the arid soil in the area, the economic planners started looking at possible solutions for development. Such solutions were the sectors of mining, manufacturing and tourism. International tourism was deemed far less destructive to the natural environment compared to the other 2 sectors and was the ideal soft-impact industry for developing nations to earn foreign currency.

Despite the above, adopting tourism as the main objective to develop the area not only would it bring useful skills and infrastructures in the host countries, but also it could promote understanding between nations. Taking into account the cultural diversity and vast archipelago of tropical islands of Indonesia, selecting tourism as the path to development was by far the best choice.

Nusa Dua’s beautiful white sandy beaches and the peculiar shape of its coastline, scalloped by 2 peninsular small islands (which is where the place took its name from as Nusa Dua means ‘two islands’) is indeed striking.

We must mention here a fascinating fact that locals informed Perpetual Traveller of during the recent visit of our Editor Grant Holmes and Publisher Sharon Mckinley, which is that the number of rooms in Nusa Dua (4300 rooms) is the approximate same number of birds living in the area (mostly feeding around the lagoon area). In addition to that, the majority of the visiting tourists come from Japan & Australia and in parallel the majority of the migrating birds come from these same 2 countries (birds flock together).

All things considered, witnessing such a positive development like the Nusa Dua Project is a kind of comfort, especially in our times where climate change has reached critical, precarious levels.

Let’s hope that such templates of projects will become more frequently realized and cloned as the years go by.
We strongly advise all Perpetual Travellers to visit Nusa Dua at some point in the future to feel the magic and harmony of this amazing place. There are many luxurious Hotels to stay and places to visit including but not limited to…
• Westin Resort Nusa Dua,
(this is our pick of the bunch and is where the International Conference Centre is located)
• Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & SPA
• The Laguna Resort & SPA
• Club Med
• Bali Desa
• Kayumanis Private Villas & SPA
• Grand Hyatt Bali
• Melia Bali Villas & SPA
• Inna Putri Bali Hotel, Cottages & SPA
• Ayodya Resort Bali
• Novotel Nusa Dua Residence
• Swiss Grand Bali
• Amanusa
• Bali Golf & Country Club
• Bali Collection (Shopping & entertainment complex)

After all, take if from the repeaters to this part of the world, being tourists and birds from Australia and Japan, mutually they must love Nusa Dua as they keep on returning!

Written by
Maria Christodoulou

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