The 5th Bali International Tourism Conference (BITC) 2021, PUPAR LPPM Unud Presents Prof. Richard Butler

The Center for Tourism Excellence (PUPAR) LPPM Udayana University held The 5th Bali International Tourism Conference (BITC) in 2021 featuring a keynote speaker, Professor of Tourism Prof. Richard Butler, known as the founder of the Tourism Area Life Cycle model.

The virtual conference was opened by the Rector of Unud, represented by the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Ir. I Gede Rai Maya Temaja, M.P., attended by 336 participants, discussed 47 papers and lasted for two days, 16-17 November 2021. Besides Richard Butler, BITC 2021 featured three other keynote speakers, namely Menparekraf Dr. Sandiaga Uno, Prof. Stefan Gössling (Lund University, Sweden) and Prof. Lisa Ruhanen (The University of Queensland, Australia).

The conference also invited seven other invited speakers, namely Prof. Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Vice Governor of Bali), Prof. Sylvine Pickel-Chevalier (Angers University, France), Dr. Sulabh Kumar Dhanuka (Head of Digital Solutions International, True Digital Group, Thailand), Dr. Ploysri Porananond (Chiang Mai University, Thailand), Mr. Nigel Mason (Managing Director of Mason Adventures, Bali), Mr. Steve Noakes (Board of Director Ecolodges Indonesia, Australia), and Prof. Ngurah Kade Mahardika (Udayana University).

In his remarks, Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno welcomed the international tourism conference held by the Center for Excellence in Tourism (PUPAR) Unud because it would discuss various tourism issues that are useful for dealing with the new era of tourism. According to Minister Sandiaga, tourism plays an important role in economic and labor development, but the pandemic has had the worst impact since March 2020. "Thankfully the number of people exposed to COVID-19 has decreased so that now after almost two years, the situation is starting to improve for tourism recovery," he said.

The Minister also said that entering a new era, the tourism industry needs to improve human resources, health protocols, sustainability, and promote local products.

In his remarks when opening the conference, Vice Rector I Unud expressed his gratitude to PUPAR Unud for holding this international conference on a regular basis, without ever stopping in the last five years. "This is one of the international conferences that Unud holds regularly every year on an ongoing basis," said Prof. Gede Rai Maya Temaja. The Vice Rector expressed his admiration because in a difficult situation during the PUPAR pandemic, Unud managed to invite world-class speakers whose works were very influential in tourism studies and education. "Hopefully later, when the pandemic is over, conferences like this can be held face-to-face. Udayana University is committed to supporting international activities like this," said the Vice Rector.

The chairman of the conference committee, Dr. Ir. Agung Suryawan Wiranatha, M.Sc. conveyed The 5th BITC provides a forum for researchers to exchange research results and information in the field of tourism. "In addition, BITC also facilitates tourism researchers and practitioners as well as policy makers to build networks for the same purpose, namely to build tourism in a better direction," said Agung Suryawan who is also the Head of the Center for Excellence in Tourism LPPM Udayana University.

This year, tourism is in the most difficult situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We all suffer, but we must endure. So, through this conference, there is hope to come back with a strategy in the new tourism era, The 5th BITC (Fifth Bali International Tourism Conference) is carried out in collaboration between the Center for Excellence in Tourism, Master in Tourism Program, Doctoral Program in Tourism, and Center for Cultural Research. Udayana University.