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Tourism, Culture And The Built

By : Joseph L. Aranha

The Balinese have traditionally given physical and symbolic expression to their cultural values, religious beliefs and social order through the visual, performing, and ritual arts and through the form of their traditional built environment. Over the past three decades or so, the Island of Bali has become one of the world’s major mass tourism destinations and caters to the “fantasy of the idyllic tropical paradise” and the “experience of an exotic culture”. This mass tourism that simultaneously consumes as well as supports the traditional environment has altered the traditional built environment in Bali and affected traditional Balinese culture in many ways. The case of Bali forms a basis for a critique of mass tourism and tourist developments that disturb the traditional connections of culture, architecture and place. The discussion also contributes to the debate and discourse on architectural integrity, authenticity and meaning in the built environment at the beginning of this new millennium.

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