Expanding horizons: A future beyond tourism in Bali

Bali, the Indonesian island renowned for its picturesque beauty and rich cultural heritage, has long flourished in its tourism industry. However, as we focus on the future, the long-term sustainability and well-being of Balinese generations becomes increasingly important to consider. While tourism has been a vital source of income for many locals, diversifying job opportunities outside the industry may offer a sustainable path forward. In this blog, we will explore why it is valuable for future generations to seek employment outside the Balinese tourism sector and how higher education can play a powerful role in this transition.

Economic Resilience

Being dependent on a single industry, such as tourism, can make a region vulnerable to economic downturns and swings. Balinese communities have witnessed first-hand the impact of crises like the eruption of Mount Agung in 2017 and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, both severely affecting tourism. Future generations can therefore benefit from more diversified employment opportunities in order to become more economically resilient. Higher education provides individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in various sectors, such as health care, technology, finance, renewable energy, and disaster risk reduction, nursing a more stable and sustainable economy.

Preserving Culture and Tradition

As tourism has boomed, concerns about the impact on Balinese culture and traditions have been raised. Local customs sometimes fall short due to the over-commercialisation in areas exposed to mass tourism. By encouraging young generations to pursue higher education and seek employment in fields related to culture, anthropology, or the arts, they can become ambassadors for their Balinese heritage. With a deeper understanding of their traditions and a solid academic foundation, they can work towards preserving and promoting the richness of Balinese culture to the world while maintaining its authenticity.

Sustainable Development

Extensive tourism often comes with environmental consequences, such as overexploitation of resources, pollution, and habitat destruction. Balinese youth, equipped with higher education, can actively contribute to sustainable development efforts. For instance, studying environmental sciences or sustainable architecture can empower them to find innovative solutions to ecological challenges. By engaging in sustainable practices and promoting eco-tourism initiatives, they can help preserve Bali’s natural beauty for generations to come.

Job Creation

By diversifying the job market, higher education enables Balinese youth to create new employment opportunities rather than merely seeking jobs in an already saturated sector. They can develop the skills needed to create and run their own businesses through studies in entrepreneurship or business management. These companies can then cater to emerging industries, such as technology start-ups, agroecology, or sustainable fashion, thereby generating employment for themselves and others.


Higher education plays a vital role in empowering individuals, fostering personal growth, and enhancing social welfare. By gaining advanced knowledge and critical thinking, Balinese youth can become leaders and changemakers in their communities. Higher education allows them to explore various career paths, discover their passions, and contribute meaningfully to society. As future generations exceed outside the tourism sector, they can uplift their communities, address social issues, and advocate for sustainable development.

While the tourism sector has undeniably provided economic opportunities for Balinese communities for a long time, it is essential to consider the long-term sustainability and well-being of future generations. By expanding their horizons through higher education and creating diverse job opportunities, the young minds can contribute to economic resilience, preserve their culture, promote sustainable development, create new jobs, and empower themselves and their communities.

Volunteer Programs Forever embraces the potential of Balinese youth by fundraising scholarships through Soul Projects to pave the way towards a sustainable and prosperous future beyond tourism.