Ending the prehistoric era, Bali is destined to search and travel by spiritual aspirants. Rsi Markandeya was noted as a spiritual leader from Java who first set out on a journey in Bali. The journey of searching the inner holiness and the balance of nature and then placing the milestone of the Hindu order on the southern slopes of Mount Agung which is now known as Pura Agung Besakih. Pura Basukian is believed to be the first milestone of Rsi Markandeya with his followers to ensure Bali as a land of purpose to build spiritual value.
A sustainable, spiritual life arrangement simultaneously accompanies the governance of Bali. The Warmadewa Dynasty government is mentioned in various ancient manuscripts which strongly support the religious survival of local culture and customs, thus inviting the arrival of spiritual figures and the land of Java. The arrival of the Empu Kuturan in the 11th century will certainly be able to seal the order of life of local people with the Hindu religion that brought from Java. The customary village order with the concept of parhyangan as the personification of God in Tri Murti function is an effort to accommodate the unification of local concept with Hindu concept.
The spiritual journey continues to be performed by Hindu religious figures from the land of Java. The unification of the archipelago by Majapahit is the culmination of the journey and transformation of local religions and cultures with Hindu culture. In the course of time, Bali and its people then live their daily lives with unique life, religion, art and culture. This uniqueness later, in about 1579, became the attention of a Dutchman named Cornelis de Houtman who traveled to Indonesia to find spices. The fertile soil, the agricultural activities and the cultural uniqueness of its inhabitants in daily life are of great concern to de Houtman’s expedition.
Together with Indonesia known as a spice producer, Bali began to be known world from the cultural side. Dutch control of Indonesia also in the 17th and 18th centuries did not give much influence to the life of religion and culture in Bali. Hinduism in Bali at that time even entered the heyday when the kingdom in Bali was centered in Gelgel and then moved to Smarapura (Klungkung). Early 20th century, then Bali controlled by the Dutch marked by the fall of the Kingdom Klungkung Puputan Klungkung War in 1908.
Since the mastery by the Dutch, Bali seemed to be opened wide for the visit of foreigners. Bali is not only the arrival of foreigners as travelers but not a few observers and cultural pengekun who come to record the uniqueness of Balinese art and culture. From the cultural persekun consisting of writers, writers, and painters Balinese uniqueness is increasingly spread in the international world. Submission of information through various media by foreigners was able to attract tourists to visit Bali. Admiration for Bali land and inspire foreigners to give the title to Bali. The Island of Gods, The Island of Paradise, The Island of Thousand Temples, The Morning of the World, and various other praise names.
In 1930, in the heart of Denpasar built a hotel to accommodate the arrival of tourists at that time. Bali Hotel, a colonial-style architectural building, is a milestone in Bali’s tourism history, which until now is still solid in its original style. Not only receive tourist arrivals, Bali art ambassadors from Peliatan Village make cultural visits to several countries in Europe and America indirectly, these visits as well as introduce the existence of Bali as a tourist destination worth visiting.
Tourism activities, which began to bloom at that time, was halted due to World War II between the years 1942-1945 which was followed by the increasingly fierce struggle to seize Indonesia’s independence including the struggle that occurred in Bali until 1949. Mid-decade of 50’s Bali tourism began rearranged and in 1963 built Bali Beach Hotel (The Grand Bali Beach Hotel) at Sanur Beach with a ten storey building. This hotel is the only residential tourism in the form of high buildings while the means of residential tourism (hotel, home stay, pension) that developed then only one-story buildings. In the mid-decade of the 70’s Bali local government issued a Regional Regulation that set the maximum height of 15 meters. This determination is determined by considering the traditional Balinese cultural and spatial factors so that Bali still has cultural values that can become the tourism sector.
For sure, since the operation of Bali Beach Hotel in November 1966, the development of tourist shelters is growing rapidly. In terms of quality, Sanur develop relatively more planned because it is adjacent to the Bali Beach Hotel while the Kuta Beach herd naturally moving from the local residential model. The homestay and retirement models are more dominant than the standard hotel models. Similar to Kuta, Ubud area in the Gianyar area develops naturally, growing in people’s homes that remain with the feel of rural.Pembangunan international tourist-class residential facilities finally began with the development of the Nusa Dua area into an international tourist resort. Managed by Bali Tourism Developmnet Corporation, a government-formed body, the Nusa Dua area is developed to meet the needs of international tourism. Some hotel operators enter the area of Nusa Dua as an investor who eventually kawsan is able to boost the development of tourism Bali.Masa next, tourist accommodation facilities and grow very rapidly in the center of residential tourism, especially in the area of Badung, Denpasar, and Gianyar. Kuta Beach area, Jimbaran, and Ungasan become tourist dwelling area in Badung regency, Sanur, and downtown for Denpasar area. Ubud, Kedewatan, Payangan, and Tegalalang become the development of residential tourism in Gianyar area. Controlling the rapid development, the Government of Bali then set 15 areas in Bali as a tourist residential area along with supporting facilities such as restaurants and shopping centers. Up to now, Bali has more than 35,000 hotel rooms consisting of Pondok Wisata class, Melati, up to Bintang 5. The facilities of these hotels come in various variations ranging from home model, hotel standard, villa, bungalow and boutique hotel with variation selling price. This diversity gives more value to Bali as it offers many choices to travelers. As a result of the development of tourist visits, various supporting facilities such as restaurants, art shops, art markets, entertainment and leisure facilities are growing rapidly in the center of residential tourism or in the region tourism site. Bali tourists, finally, have many options to enjoy their holiday in Bali, eventually tourism organizations such as PHRI (IHRA), ASITA, and other tourism institutions in Bali, professionally managing and providing tourism services, leisure trips in Bali.