Bali Biker

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Monday, August 22, 2005
By Yokota Fritz

Biker. Originally uploaded by Antropo turista.
Dr. Tomke Lask is a social anthropologist at the Université de Liège in Belgium, where she is the Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Anthropology of Communication. She took this photo in Pangli, a village in the interior of Bali where the inhabitants live on producing decorative plants for hotels or private houses. Dr. Lask tells me:
The biker came up, when I came out of a house in the village. Bicycles are quite normal for individual transport in the rural area. For me it was interesting to see the man with the bike in order to get an element of how poverty might locally be defined. It is a precious possession, actually, because the whole village had only one old lorry to transport their plants to the city or the next market.

Dr. Lask was in Bali doing field work with a group of Balinese, English, Laotian and Vietnamese colleagues to research "pro-poor tourism." According to Dr. Lask, much of the investment to develop tourism in Third Word Countries does not go to the poor in these countries.

There is a general and international discourse about the benefits for the economy of Third World countries through tourist industry, but apart from global numbers you never get any information of where the money from tourism is actually going. I can tell you that it is not going to the poor or in such small amounts that it is ridiculous to talk of benefits from tourism for the poor.

You can find the results of this investigation on the website of the International Institute of Culture Tourism and Development of the London Metropolitan University.

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