Bali Province of Indonesia is a relatively small island region, which is well known as a popular tourist destination. As a small island region, Bali is considered to have specific development constraints similar to most island regions, particularly the ability of land and water resources to support an increasing population and positive economic development. Various economic activities (such as tourism and agriculture) and human activities have been identified as exploiting the same natural resources (particularly land and water) and, as a consequence, a holistic way of thinking in establishing development plans for sustainable economic growth and natural resource use is necessary. Plans should also aim to minimise the generation of pollutants.
Due to the complexity of regional systems, a systems model is required to represent the major regional systems components and the interrelations between them. Using a systems model, it is
possible to understand how systems components work in affecting the whole systems, thus providing insights into systems behaviour.
The main objective of this study is to develop a generic simulation model for searching plausible development strategies for Bali, towards a sustainable future. The model is developed based on a systems thinking approach and system dynamics modelling. The systems thinking approach in this study involved the participation of various stakeholders through workshops undertaken during the model development.
Since Bali's development has been largely through tourism and agriculture, this model focuses on these two economic sectors. In terms of natural resource limitations within small island regions, the model also focuses on land and water resources. As a whole, the model consists of five main systems, namely: a socio-demographic system, a tourism system, an agriculture system, a land resource system and a water
resource system. This model (called "Bali Futures Simulation Model" or BFSM) provides a planning tool for establishing a framework for the development of a strategic development plan for Bali at a regional level.
Alternative development scenarios proposed in this study are based on various targets for annual growth rate of tourists likely to visit Bali in the future. Factors including the availability of hotel rooms', 'percentage of agricultural land consumed for new settlement areas', 'groundwater and spring water extraction', 'production of paddy' and 'average rice consumption by population' are all included in the development scenarios. These factors are likely to have significant influences on indicator parameters used in scenario analysis; parameters that include: 'job opportunities', 'availability of agricultural land', 'rice production and consumption', 'clean water supply and demand', together with a pollution index. These are
considered to be the major factors affecting future strategic plans for Bali.
Simulation results indicate that an average annual growth rate of 5% - 7% is recommended as the maximum target for tourism growth for Bali up to 2020. However, in order to maintain the balance between economic growth, sustainable use of resources, sufficient rice supply, and minimisation of pollution generation, this tourism growth policy is subjected to other policies. Examples of such policies include: a more even distribution of new tourism facilities to Bali's regions; decreasing consumption of wet-agricultural land for settlement areas; increasing clean water supply from treated surface water; reducing water consumption by both resident population and the tourism industry; increasing rice production and reducing average rice consumption by the population; and introducing pollution prevention measures.
The proposed policy of tourism growth above is the
most plausible policy of all proposed policies in this study. However, further investigation of other alternative policy scenarios that compromise these proposed scenarios is suggested in order to obtain a wider variety of plausible scenarios.
The results of the simulation model are expected to provide a significant contribution to policy-makers in establishing a future strategic plan for Bali to the year 2020. The model has a number of limitations due to limits of time and costs, but the model may be further developed. Firstly, although the BFSM has provided an initial approach to spatial analysis by disaggregating Bali into eight regions, it is recommended that a more detailed model be developed in the future within a full spatio-temporal modelling environment with an application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Secondly, a deeper analysis of aspects of the economic system, such as calculation of revenues from the tourism sectors and Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) by using input-output analysis is suggested. Thirdly, inclusion of socio-cultural aspects in the model is suggested so that the trend of socio-cultural change and impacts due to economic development can be understood. Lastly, feed back loops from natural resource, socio-cultural and pollution parameters to the tourism system are considered to be of future interest. This will provide the policy-makers with insight into how tourism development will indirectly affect tourism itself and thereby tourism policy will be better formulated in the future.