Research Article

The case of Lovina, Bali: how dolphin-watching procedures put village hospitality revenue at risk

Published in: Research in Hospitality Management
Volume 12, issue 1, 2022 , pages: 45–51
DOI: 10.1080/22243534.2022.2080935
Author(s): Rodney Westerlaken, the Netherlands, I Gede Hendrawan, Indonesia, Luh Putu Eswaryanti Kusuma Yuni, Indonesia


This article focuses on the current practice of dolphin watching in Lovina, Bali. The current approach, in which tourists can hire a traditional boat with a captain, has been evaluated. The results show that the anthropogenic disturbance caused by dolphin watching in Lovina is severe. The future of the dolphin-watching industry and the dolphin population, though habituated, is at risk, creating a threat for the tourism and hospitality industry of Lovina. The triple bottom line framework of Cavagnaro and Curiel provided a theoretical framework for recommendations that are focused on a balance between “care for you and me”. The “you” in this point of view is the local spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) population, where the organisational focus on people, leading to social value, a balance between environmental and economic values can be made, leading to a humanitarian, sustainable form of dolphin watching. Recommendations include the need for a sufficient code of conduct for dolphin watching, control of this code of conduct (including sanctions), restriction of the daily fleet and increasing the boatmen’s caring capacity. When the number of dolphin-watching boats remains low and an economic incentive can be reached for captains to undertake dolphin watching less frequently, a more sustainable model for the future of tourism and hospitality in Lovina can be shaped. The current low number of tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic can create a window of opportunity to create change.

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