Do you still remember Petulu Village which has the heron (kokokan) bird as a tourist attraction? Petulu Village is home to more than 4,000 herons. This kind of bird lives and nests in trees rising high above residential areas. The luster of their white body stands out from the green leaves on the trees. Occasionally, they fly from one tree to another, thus capturing the attention of passers-by crossing the village road.
When watching the peaceful white birds, how natural and enchanting the Petulu Village is. Heron at Petulu Village is a uniqueness which is second to none. However, in reality this tourist attraction gets little tourist visits. “When making observations on March 18, 2023, from 09:00 to 12:00 Local Time, there were only one pedestrian and five foreign tourists passing by on their bicycles. Those tourists did not last long because they just pass by,” said the Head of Community Service of D3 Travel Business Study Program, Department of Tourism, Bali State Polytechnic, Sang Nyoman Bagus Satya Wira, on Monday (Apr 10).
Not only that, further observations were made to find out what amenities were available in the context of the tourist attraction. The natural tourist attraction has two spots for bird watching (one is above the Banjar hall and another above the parking area), a fairly abandoned breeding ground, a small forest next to the field, a villa owned by a foreigner, and a restaurant named Petulu Eco Cafe & Bird Rescue having been equipped with a small building that functions as a bird clinic.
Petulu Eco Cafe & Bird Rescue’s amenity is very attractive because it has demonstrated an opportunity for further development. Such an idea was spawned from the opportunity to interact very closely with the herons being treated at the clinic. “When being contrasted to tourists’ selfies with monkeys in the Monkey Forest, there is potential for further development of the heron existence, specifically in providing a unique experience that can be highlighted when tourists visit Petulu Village,” explained this lecturer enthusiastically.
From this fact, the academic community of the Travel Business Study Program at the Department of Tourism, Bali State Polytechnic, is very confident in carrying out community service activities in the form of seminars as well as brief tourist guidance training in the Petulu Village environment. “We design this service in such a way as to be able to present a solution to the problems currently being faced by the management of the heron tourist attraction at Petulu Village,” he said.
Through such activity, he hoped there will be an output prioritizing the understanding of the Petulu villagers regarding superior tourist attraction management. This is also associated with the application of the ecotourism concept as well as pilots from similar tourist attractions having previously reaped success. “We had an interview with the Chief of Petulu Customary Village and a bird keeper from Petulu Eco Cafe & Bird Rescue to explore the local tourism situation. Based on the results of the interview, we will try to find out a solution,” he concluded.
Based on the presentation of the Chief of the Petulu Customary Village, Wayan Apriyana, Bagus Satya Wira explained that many tourists do not want to pay for tickets on the grounds that they are just passing through. In addition, the only road access causes many motorists to not know the existence of the birds crossing the road. As consequence, many birds are crushed to death by speeding motorists.
Meanwhile, an officer at the Ecopetulu bird clinic, Made Wahyu, stated that a warning board is needed for motorists entering the area. “It’s unfortunate because the existence of these birds is the only potential that can cause tourists to visit the village. On that account, this community service must work,” added Bagus Satya Wira. (BTN/015)
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