In January 2019, ACICIS ran its inaugural Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum (STPP), with support from the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP). We were delighted to welcome 15 students from the University of Technology Sydney, Murdoch University, Curtin University, RMIT University, La Trobe University, Flinders University, and the University of Tasmania. These students were given the opportunity to learn about sustainable tourism practices through their placements throughout Bali and Lombok. Students on the STPP received $3,000 New Colombo Plan mobility grants to support their participation in the program.

STPP participants were hosted by Udayana University in Bali, where they undertook a two-week academic program which consist of an intensive block of Indonesian language study, a series of seminars and field trips. The language classes were led by experienced teachers at Udayana University to help prepare students for their professional placements. The series of seminars and field trips were designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the social, cultural and political systems that underpin the tourism industry in Indonesia, and to consider issues relating to sustainability and resource management within the sector.

Some key highlights of the seminar series were field visits to Penglipuran Village and the ROLE Foundation. Students learned about community-based tourism at Penglipuran Village, which won the ‘Cultural Preservation Category’ of the 2017 Indonesian Sustainable Tourism Awards. The second fieldtrip to ROLE foundation provided students with a glimpse into the organisation’s efforts to develop small-scale, ecologically sound, community-based businesses and recycling projects.

The students then commenced their four week professional placements at their assigned host organisations around Bali and Lombok. This year, ACICIS collaborated with 10 host organisations that covered a range of fields from sustainable hotel and resort management to grass roots organisations that worked directly with the community. These organisations included Bloo Lagoon Eco Village, Bhuwana Ubud Hotel, Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, ARMA Museum and Resort, Puri Lumbung Cottages, ecoBali recycling, Jaringan Ekowisata Desa, Gili Eco Trust, Friends of National Parks Foundation, and Five Pillars Foundation During their four-week placements, students learned firsthand from their mentors and gained experience in their field of study. The placements were overseen by ACICIS STPP Academic Program Officer Dr Kelli Swazey who provided supervision to the students throughout the duration of the program.

We would like to congratulate all the students who successfully completed the 2019 Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum. We wish all students the best for the future and hope to see them all back in Indonesia very soon!