Halal Tourism in Bali, Why Not?

Halal Tourism in Bali, Why Not?

Bintang Handayani (Independent Researcher, Indonesia), Hugues Seraphin (The University of Winchester, UK) and Maximiliano Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7393-7.ch004
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The case studied in this chapter is about the discourse of halal tourism (HT) to be implemented in Bali, and to be proposed as layer in special interest tourism (SIT). It aims to offer a framework that attempts to demystify the halal dimensions attributed at non-Muslim destination. Literature review is used as method of the study. Discussion of this chapter lies on the basic elements to be attributed to HT and SIT as a basis to strengthen and to support the framework derived from the review literature and to clarify the record of literature which suggests economic benefits by providing HT in the non-Muslim-friendly destination and sustaining tourists' arrival by mapping SIT as priority in development of destination. Overall, this present essay-review specifically shows preliminary design to develop HT, coupled with SIT for a non-Muslim destination. Several issues and directions for future research are provided.
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Bali has many paradisiacal landscapes and attractions. Situated geographically in the Isle of the Gods, its main religious faith is Hinduism. In fact, Bali offers a rich gamut of cultures, religions and heritage, which makes it an international tourist destination for several European segments. In any case, Hinduism rules the destiny and daily life of the majority of the population. The hospitableness of Balinese associated to their mixed or balanced cultural heritage makes of the island a distinguished and established destination not only for international tourists but for domestic ones. The paradox lies in the fact that the interests showed by Bali sometimes is counter-productive by some Muslim cultural values and Halal status (Wilson & Liu 2010). One might speculate that the rise and expansion in the tourist demand led the authorities to exclude the local populations from these visited sites, while others assume the problem is given by a clash of antagonist values. Still further, Bali is geographically located alongside a great Volcano in which case, the destination may be of risk for many tourists. With this in mind, Bali presents, at the best for us, as a risky destination which is subject to potential volcano eruptions if not to the local political instability or local forms of violences as terrorism and crimes. This moot-point was widely studied in countless works and books (Ritchie, Dorrell, Miller & Miller, 2004; Pilato, Séraphin, Bellia, & Căescu, 2017). Hence, in an hyper-global world where destinations enter in competition to attract European demands, Bali, unless a sustainable plan of marketing would be implemented, runs serious risks of decline. This begs the question to what extent Halal Tourism may become in an attraction, a stronghold in the years to come or the main obstacle towards the development of the island. Hypothetically Bali might generate more profits and investments today than the entire Indonesia. Middle Eastern tourists and Asian tourists i.e some segments coming from Malaysia, or Brunei Darussalam accept Muslim faith as the main religion in their respective societies. Nonetheless, some previous research suggests that the potentialities of Halal Tourism, adjoined to SIT (special interest tourism) remain unexplored and even uncertain for experts (Carboni, Perelli, & Sistu, 2017; Mohsin, Ramli, & Alkhulayfi, 2016; Samori, Salleh, & Khalid, 2016; El-Gohary, 2016; Razalli, Ismail, & Yaacob, 2015; Samori & Sabtu, 2014), especially when there are material asymmetries in the infrastructure designed to lodge first-world tourists (e.g. Razalli, Ismail, & Yaacob, 2015; Ismail & Yaakop, 2015), halal branding (Medhekar & Haq, 2017; Medhekar & Haq, 2015; Wilson & Liu, 2010) and medical tourism (Medhekar & Haq, 2017; Rahman & Zailani, 2016; Medhekar & Haq, 2015; Wang 2012a; Wang 2012b; Ye, Yuen, Qiu, & Zhang, 2008; Nooh, Nawai, Dali, Mohammad, & Nilai, 2007). To put this in bluntly, much should be explored in the specialized literature to have an accurate diagnosis of the problem. For some reason which is hard to precise here, English speaking scholars were uninterested in Halal tourism at the least to the date. This chapter opens the debate on the benefits and limitations of Halal Tourism in Bali, as well as the conceptual limitations of SIT tourism for the region. These goals are complemented by the interests of authors (in this book) to reverse the colonial dependency of Southeast Asia with the former colonial powers.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Special Interest Tourism: Non-mass tourism movement which main aims are to pursue the specific interests such as emotional stimuli, personalise the experience of tangible quality, and are looking for ambiance, aesthetics, and atmosphere.

Bali: The smallest island in Indonesia, which is situated geographically in Isle of the Gods, where Hinduism is the religion which embraces by majority of its population.

Halal Tourism: An emerging tourism offerings which uses Islamic teaching and believes as basis for travellers mobility and tourism activities.

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