BALI is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island. The province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the isle of Bali.
With a population recorded as 3,891,428 in the 2010 census, the island is home to most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority. In the 2000 census about 92.29% of Bali’s population adhered to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. Bali, a tourist haven for decades, has seen a further surge in tourist numbers in recent years.
Bali received the Best Island award from Travel and Leisure in 2010. The award was presented in the show “World’s Best Awards 2010” in New York, on 21 July. Hotel Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran also received an award in the category of “World Best Hotel Spas in Asia 2010”. The award was based on a survey of travel magazine Travel and Leisure readers between 15 December 2009 through 31 March 2010, and was judged on several criteria. Thermes Marins Bali, Ayana Resort and Spa, (formerly The Ritz-Carlton) got score 95.6 scored out of a maximum 100 of satisfaction index with spa facilities and services as No. 1 Spa in the world by Conde Naste’s Traveller Magazine for 2010 by their readers poll. The island of Bali won because of its attractive surroundings (both mountain and coastal areas), diverse tourist attractions, excellent international and local restaurants, and the friendliness of the local people. According to BBC Travel released in 2011, Bali is one of the World’s Best Islands, rank in second after Greece.
The tourism industry is primarily focused in the south, while significant in the other parts of the island as well. The main tourist locations are the town of Kuta (with its beach), and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak (which were once independent townships), the east coast town of Sanur (once the only tourist hub), in the center of the island Ubud, to the south of the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Jimbaran, and the newer development of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.
On August 2010, the film version of Eat, Pray, Love (EPL), which starred Julia Roberts, was released in theaters. The movie was based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir of the same name. It took place at Ubud and Padang-Padang Beach at Bali. The 2006 book, which spent 57 weeks at the No. 1 spot on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, has already fueled a boom in EPL tourism in Ubud, the hill town and cultural and tourist center that was the focus of Gilbert’s quest for balance through traditional spirituality and healing that leads to love. Newly launched packages by luxury resorts and spas like Ubud Hanging Gardens and the cliff-top Ayana promise to recreate Gilbert’s four transformative months on Bali in a few passing days with yoga classes, drawn-out beach dinners, massage therapy. Other tours built around the book focus on curative group gatherings and self-discovery of the kind Gilbert had. EPL helped boost Bali’s tourist numbers, together with the stable security situation on the island. Bali had 2.5 million visitors in 2010, exceeding their target of 2.3 million. That figure was also an improvement from 2009’s 2.2 million and 2008’s 1.96 million visitors. The Tourism Office admitted that they had done nothing to maximize the opportunity to promote Bali and surrender to the filmmakers to promote.
Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, gong keybar, and kecak (the monkey dance). Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows.