International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 25 Issue: 6

Subak management in covid-19 pandemic to realize community-based tourism

A.A. Gede Oka Parwata, Faculty of Law Universitas Udayana

A.A. Ayu Ngr. Harimini, Politeknik Negeri Bali

I Gusti Agung Mas Rwa Jayantiari, Faculty of Law Universitas Udayana

I Gusti Ngurah Dharma Laksana, Faculty of Law Universitas Udayana

Dandy Pranajaya, Faculty of Law Universitas Udayana

Citation Information: Parwata A.A.G.O, Harimini A.A.A.N, Jayantiari I.G.A.M.R, Laksana I.G.N.D, Pranajaya D. (2021). Subak management in covid-19 pandemic to realize community-based tourism. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 25(6), 1-11.


This research with the title "Subak Management in COVID-19 Pandemic to Realize Community-Based Tourism" basically answers the research question “how is Subak management for community-based tourism (CBT) conducted to restore economy during COVID19 pandemic?” The method used in this research was normative legal research with statutory, historical, conceptual, and philosophical approaches. The legal materials used in this research were primary legal materials, secondary materials, and non-legal materials. Interviews (for example with informants Pekaseh and former Pekaseh) and field observation were conducted to obtain clarification and confirmation of the legal materials that had been read and reviewed prior to the field research. Regarding the research problem, it was found that active involvement of the community played a key role in the planning and its implementation. Community-based tourism is expected to reduce the use of non-renewable natural resources and exploitation of environment. This research suggests a form of tourism that can preserve culture and natural environment. Therefore, synergy between local law and state law is necessary. The government has to function as a facilitator providing assistance for enhancement of all Subak organizations and to their members in the efforts of restoring the economy of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic as a form of local communities’ empowerment.


Subak Management, Community-Based Tourism, Economy Recover, COVID-19 Pandemic.


The COVID-19 pandemic has weakened social life and economy of the people in Indonesia. The government has implemented certain policies such as Work from Home (WFH), Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSPB), Community Activity Limitation (PKM), Certain Community Activities Limitation (PPKM) as though it is willing to stop social life and economy of the people. To deal with this recession that has caused anxiety in the people, especially those severely affected by this virus, quick and right policies are necessary. Strategies, arrangements and policies in an effort to overcome and minimize risks in an optimal and holistic manner are preventive steps to help the affected communities.

The people in Bali have been greatly affected by the spread of COVID-19 because this Island depends much more greatly on tourism industry compared to other regions in Indonesia. Tourism, which is the main pillar of Bali's economy, experienced the ordeal of the pandemic in 2020. Besides having natural resources, Bali is also very rich in customs and cultural values. Ceremonial activities, arts, crafts, and other cultural creativity are the core components for tourism in Bali, and to this Island, tourism is a priority sector. Bali is even often used as an exemplary case in national and international discussions, seminars, or conferences. But the breakout of the COVID-19 virus that started in early 2020 pulled Bali's economy down to its lowest point. Limited movement of people from one country to another on a large scale caused tourist visits to Bali to decrease greatly. To minimize and anticipate the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy of the people in Bali, new breakthroughs have to be made by exploring the potential of local wisdom that the people in Bali can make use of to survive. Optimization of the potential of local wisdom in tourism sector is done through community-based tourism (CBT), which is an alternative form of tourism, particularly through agricultural sector with its Subak organizations.

Researches on Bali cannot be separated from the discussion about subak because subak has contributed to the image of Bali with its unique cultural identity. Agricultural sector, which was neglected when tourism did not collapsed, is now the main sector that supports the economy of Bali. Subak, which has existed since more than five hundred years ago, has been proven able to sustain the economy of Balinese people even before tourism developed in Bali. Therefore, it is the state's obligation to philosophically, juridical and sociologically provides protection to subak. Moreover, subak is one of the supporting pillars of Balinese culture. Thus it is not an overstatement to say that subak dominates (I Gde Pitana en Putra 2013) Balinese culture, with extraordinary universal values.

The traditional subak agricultural system in Bali is one of Indonesia's natural and cultural capitals that have been recognized worldwide through UNESCO. Therefore, it is the state's obligation to protect subak in a sustainable manner in the context of preserving an environmental-wise agricultural culture. In addition, the government is obliged to provide welfare for subak farmer communities just as mandated by the Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, Paragraph IV and Article 33 paragraph (3), (hereinafter referred to as UUD NRI 1945) Based on the mandate of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, the state must be present to recognize and protect the existence of subak and fulfill their traditional rights to preserve and manage subak in a just and sustainable manner.(Wulansari 2017) It is interesting what Ayu Febri Sarita et al, discuss in their research at Subak Pulagan Tampaksiring Gianyar, (Sarita, 2013) that the award as a world cultural heritage should provide benefits to the community, especially subak farmers as long as the title can contribute and does not burden the life of the subak farmers.

UNESCO's designation of subak as a world cultural heritage has a positive influence on subak in Bali, as well as shows recognition that reflects (a) recognition of the existence of subak institutions; (b) recognition of subak institutions that apply the Tri Hita Karana philosophy; (c) subak institutions in Bali in the form of landscapes that reflect cultural activities (Windia 2013); (d) enhancing the image and identity of the Indonesian nation at the international level, so as to foster pride and a sense of nationality for the state, nation and people of Indonesia.

Subak is a socio-agrarian-cultural water farmer organization that was initiated and developed in Bali. This traditional irrigation system has characteristics with extraordinary cultural values, such as the value of authenticity, the value of mutual cooperation and help, a belief system based on Tri Hita Karana with its local culture. To the farmer communities in Bali, Subak is not just an irrigation system for rice fields but also a system and a source of life because not only does it have economic values, it also has social and religious values. Subak is a reflection of the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, which is in line with the principles of conservation of natural resources and environment. It is an organization whose function is to preserve the nature harmoniously through sustainable agricultural culture. Based on this background UNESCO designated Subak as a World cultural heritage which included two (2) sites of Catur Angga Batukaru, in Tabanan Regency (19 Subaks) and in the Pakerisan Watershed, in Gianyar Regency (3 Subak). This designation is an expression of the existence of Subak as a traditional irrigation institution that reflects the local wisdom of Balinese farmers in managing the environment of rice fields and regulating agricultural irrigation in a sustainable manner (Parwata, 2019).

Subak has extraordinary cultural values which are supported by its natural beauty, and its organizational role as a customary law community is constitutionally recognized (Article 18 B paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia). However, its existence has not yet received adequate attention and protection from local government particularly in terms of land conversion despite the fact that it is a traditional irrigation system that can be used as a unique tourist attraction, which is not found in other countries.

Bali has beautiful and attractive natural panoramas that attract tourists to come to Bali. Subak with its stretch of terraced rice fields surrounded by natural environment is one of the tourist attractions and tourism assets of Bali. What is meant by tourism here is the one that is commonly known as community-based tourism (CBT). It is a form of sustainable tourism and an alternative tourism that employs local culture of a community, natural environment, tourist attractions, and local community participation in both planning and its implementation (Ernawati 2018).

Subak, with its cultural values and beautiful natural landscapes within the framework of the Tri Hita Karana philosophy, is also a place where many tourist attractions could be created. For this reason, good management is necessary for its existence and sustainability. The management is expected to be more oriented towards the existence of Subak (sustainability and conservation), prevention environmental damage and exploitation of nature. Based on the explanation above, the writers would like to investigate how Subak management for community-based tourism (CBT) is conducted to restore people’s economy during COVID-19 pandemic

Literature Review

Government Regulation No. 23 of 1982 on Irrigation regulates that Subak is a social, agrarian, and religious customary law community that grows and develops as an organization that is responsible for water management used by farmers. Clifford Geertz (Geertz 1980) stated “The term subak is commonly translated as irrigation society. But the Subak is in fact very much more: an agricultural planning unit, an autonomous legal corporation, and a religious community…Subak is defined as all the rice terraces irrigated from a single dam (empalan) and major canal (telabah gede.)

Culturally speaking, John S. Ambler, as quoted by Herlina Tarigan (Tarigan et al. 2016), calls subak as one of the most sophisticated water user organizations in the world, known as an institution that is more than one millennium old, and is still able to maintain its socio-cultural values. Due to these factors, Subak is designated as a world cultural heritage.

In the context of community empowerment, subak is a development process in which a community takes the initiative to do a social activity in order to improve their own situation and condition. Community empowerment can occur only if the community itself participates. An effort can only be considered successful in empowering a community if it can make the community members the agents of development or the subjects, who are the driving forces of a development program, not the beneficiaries of it.

In community empowerment, participation and efforts or processes are needed to foster initiative, awareness, willingness, and community capacity in recognizing, coping with, maintaining, protecting, and improving their own welfare. This community empowerment is, then, significantly relevant to community-based tourism (CBT), which is a form of sustainable tourism. It is also an alternative tourism that is using ethnic culture of a community or natural environment as a tourist attraction and having a high level of community participation in planning and management (Ernawati 2018). Lu and Nepal, Telfer and Sharpley, Scheyvens, quoted by Ernawati, stated that community-based tourism as a model of tourism management that involves the community in the management minimizes the negative impacts on local culture and environment. It aims at providing rural tourism products that can satisfy tourists without harming the social life and the culture of the local people.

Community-based tourism as an alternative form of tourism tends to be a more responsible tourism. It is consistent with natural, social and community values enabling both hosts and visitors to enjoy positive and meaningful interactions and to share experiences with each other. It is also a form of tourism that arises as a reaction to the negative impacts of the development of conventional tourism (mass tourism) (Gunawan 1997).


This research used normative legal research method that included statutory, historical, conceptual, philosophical, and case approaches. Normative legal research is commonly carried out in the development of legal science, which is also known as legal dogmatic (rechtsdogmatiek) or, according to Mochtar Kusumaatmadja and Koesnoe as quoted by Bernard Arief Sidharta, (Sidharta 2009) positive law.

This study aims to identify and analyse how Subak is managed to achieve community-based tourism as a form of local community empowerment. The research was started with reviewing the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia (hereinafter referred to as UUD NRI 1945), Subak as a customary law community and the regulations related to subak in the context of tourism, and Bali Province Regional Regulation (Perda), such as, among other things; Bali Province Regional Regulation No. 16 of 2009 on Regional Spatial Planning, Bali Province Regional Regulation No. 2 of 2012 on Balinese Cultural Tourism, and Bali Province Regional Regulation Number 9 of 2012 on Subak. All of them are primary legal resources. The secondary legal resources are various books, research reports, and articles in national and international journals which were read and reviewed to complement the reviews on primary legal resources. In this research, interviews and field observation were conducted. The informants of the interviews were Pekaseh, now former Pekaseh, of Subak Catur Angga (I Nyoman Sutama), Pekaseh of Subak Pulagan (Sang Guru Astika), Pekaseh of Kulub Bawah (Nyoman Budiastra). The interviews were also done with Pekaseh of Subak Padangtegal (I Wayan Pageh), Pekaseh of Subak Muwa (I Made Suparta.), Pekaseh of Subak Juwuk Manis (I Gusti Rai Mantra), Pekaseh of Subak Sukawayah (Jro Mangku Nyoman Meregeg), and Pekaseh of Subak Semujan (I Nyoman Suda who is also the coordinator of Pekasehs in Ubud) whose many of their Subak areas had been converted for other purposes. The purpose of these interviews and field observation was to obtain clarification and confirmation of the legal materials that had been read and reviewed before field research was carried out. They were also needed to clarify and complement the literature method that was conducted in this normative legal research. The data that had been collected were analyzed and presented from discussion until conclusion.

Results and Discussion

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, people who worked in informal sectors, small and medium businesses, tourism services, and transportation services, were severely affected. At this this time, Bali could not rely heavily on tourism.

Tourism has its long historical roots in Bali. It began in 1920s when a Dutch royal shipping company, KPM, discovered and then admired Bali for its very unique, exotic (I Gede Pitana 1999), and harmonious life with the nature. The historical periods of tourism of Bali can be seen from the following Table 1:

Table 1
Bali Tourism History
No Period Description
I 1920 – 1945 Discovery
II 1945 – 1974 Part of Indonesia
III 1974 – 1991 Institutionalisation
IV 1991 – 2000 Globalisation
V 2000 – 2020 Reformation (Geria 2012)
VI 2020 - ? COVID-19

Based on Table 1, the periods of the history of Bali tourism are described as follows:

Period I, 1920 - 1945 : Discovery, discovered by a Dutch ship KPM

Period I, 1920 - 1945 : Discovery, discovered by a Dutch ship KPM

Period III, 1974 - 1991 : Institutionalisation, regulated as cultural tourism by Regional Regulation No. 3 of 1974

Period IV 1991 - 2000 : Globalisation, entering international competition, Regional Regulation No 3 of 1991

Period V 2000 - 2020 : Reformation, post Bali bombing, strengthening sustainable existence in the midst of local, national, and global opportunities and challenges.

Period V 2000 - 2020 : Reformation, post Bali bombing, strengthening sustainable existence in the midst of local, national, and global opportunities and challenges.

More obstacles in tourism sector faced by Bali make Bali more independent and stronger to maintain and develop its tourism industry. It is because Bali cannot leave the tourism sector. Bali has its cultural heritage, subak organization and nature which can be relied on as a core component in tourism compared to natural resources like other regions in Indonesia. Therefore, anticipating period VI of the outbreak of Covid-19 which began in March 2020, with an uncertain deadline, Bali can rely on the agricultural sector which was neglected when tourism developed, but in conditions like now it is time for subak. Agriculture can be made as a leading sector to support the economy of Bali. In the context of autonomous governance and identification of strong local communities, some Pakraman Villages (now called Desa Adat) are able to organize their cultural activities as tourist attractions and the results are returned and enjoyed by the community. (Salain, Isles, en Wairocana 2017) This should also be applied by subak organizations.

The more obstacles in tourism industry that Bali faces, the more mature and stronger this Island to maintain and develop its tourism industry. Bali cannot leave this tourism arena because all it has is cultural heritage, Subak organization and nature, which are the core components of Bali tourism. Bali does not have the natural resources that the other regions in Indonesia have. Therefore, to anticipate the period VI that started in 2020 when COVID-19 spread across the world and no one knows when this pandemic will end, strategic policies have to be made by the authority.

The more obstacles in tourism industry that Bali faces, the more mature and stronger this Island to maintain and develop its tourism industry. Bali cannot leave this tourism arena because all it has is cultural heritage, Subak organization and nature, which are the core components of Bali tourism. Bali does not have the natural resources that the other regions in Indonesia have. Therefore, to anticipate the period VI that started in 2020 when COVID-19 spread across the world and no one knows when this pandemic will end, strategic policies have to be made by the authority.

With regard to this ideal, returning to agricultural activities with the subak organization that allows the community to survive in a proper way is an appropriate solution. Subak plays a vital role as a buffer for Balinese culture and environment, as the source of tourism development. The loss of paddy fields will result in the extinction of the subak system, and result in the destruction of Balinese culture. Furthermore, this will threaten the resilience of national culture and economy, and in the end the international community will lose subak which is a world cultural heritage (Sriartha en Windia 2015).

One of the solutions to this worst crisis is to return to agricultural activities that are done by Subak organizations in which communities could survive and have better lives. Subak is basically a community-based irrigation system and has local wisdom to support sustainable water resources. Subak is famous not only for its beautiful scenery, but more than that Subak is rich in culture that reflects universal noble values of life. These noble values are found in the philosophy of the Tri Hita Karana. Implicitly, Tri Hita Karana means that we have to use natural resources wisely so as to maintain their sustainability, always be grateful to the Creator, and keep harmonious relationship between between humans.

In the context of community-based tourism, the writers emphasize:

Diversity of Local Wisdom

Diverse potential of local wisdom that is owned Balinese Bali, such as Subak, is recognized by international organization UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. The recognition of Subak should not be seen only as an opportunity to fulfil tourism interests, but also as an opportunity to create jobs in the current COVID-19 pandemic according to the needs of the local community that has its own local management. Based on local characteristics of a Subak organization, each activity has to be adjusted to the concept of balance and harmony, which are clearly seen in the Tri Hita Karana. If this philosophy is implemented according to the characteristics of each Subak organization, Subak will not only be tourism products but also be reliable sources of the local community's economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Magic Pentagon

Community-based tourism will refer to a sustainable tourism model The Magic Pentagon (Muller 1997). This model prioritizes quality development, which is improvement in every quality of life. Table 2 shows the components and their activities of the Model (Table 2).

Table 2
Magic Pentagon Model
No Components Description
1 Economic health (Ekonomi sehat)
  • Giving work opportunities to the community in agriculture sectors that are related to CBT
  • Community members have fixed salary from tourism sector and/or agriculture sector
2 Subjective wellbeing of the locals
  • The community can preserve local work culture
  • Increasing the people’s income
  • Strengthening togetherness and willingness to help one another
  • Prosper, peaceful, and happy community
3 Unspoilt nature, protection of resources (Tidak merusak alam)
  • Nature will be preserved
  • There will be is a close relationship between people and nature
  • Natural resources will be conserved
  • Pesticides will not be used
  • Do not exploit nature for tourism on a large scale
  • There will be no land conversion
4 Healthy culture (Budaya sehat)
  • Preserving local culture
  • Ploughing rice fields in the traditional way.
  • Planting paddies manually
  • Harvesting paddies together with other community members
5 Optimum satisfaction of guest requirements
  • Tourists prefer something unique
  • Preserving the nature
  • Good service
  • Complete facilities for tourists outside Subak areas

To achieve the CBT, these five components must be treated equally – no component is given special treatment or prioritized. The law regarding this matter has already existed – the Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 10 of 2009 on Tourism, Bali Province Regional Regulation Number 2 of 2012 on Bali Cultural Tourism and Bali Province Regional Regulation Number 9 of 2012 on Subak.

Subak is unique and has social, ecological and religious values. It plays a very important role in maintaining rice fields. Therefore, good management of Subak within the framework of the Tri Hita Karana is fundamental. This is in accordance with Article 5 of the Law on Tourism. But in reality, in the development and dynamics of the society, there are implications of the development of tourism sector that affect Subak. That the progress of tourism requires development of facilities to support it is undeniable. However, it has caused many rice fields to be converted for other purposes. The fact that rice field that is not only the place for a living but also a source of social and cultural activities for the community do not stop this conversion.

With regard to the objectives of community empowerment based tourism development, in the development of tourism, the role of community must be prioritized. To create human resources in tourism sector, tourism development in Bali cannot be separated from the local wisdom of Tri Hita Karana, so that the balance and harmony of the environment, resources and tourist satisfaction are maintained for the sustainability of the social, cultural and economic system (Widari 2015).

Paddy fields conversion for economic reasons has impacts on the lives of farmers, culture, and natural environment because Subak has beautiful and enchanting landscapes with terraced rice fields. Basically, the regulation already provides legal protection for Subak but the other regulations, for example regional regulations on Subak, have not regulated land use conversion.

Normatively, a Regional Regulation on Subak determines Subak as a sosial organization that has potential to improve the economy of the community through its main job – regulating the use of water for irrigating rice fields. Therefore, its existence and traditional rights have to be recognized and respected. Article 1, section 4, confirms that subak is a traditional organization that deals with water use and/or plant management at the farm level of indigenous communities in Bali which are socio-agrarian, religious, economic, and historically continued to grow and develop. Subak has noble values that are universal and very relevant to the concept of sustainable development. These values are found in the Tri Hita Karana philosophy that underlies every subak activity.

In general, the local government regulation on subak has given recognition, protection and respect for the subak, which is part of Balinese culture since it also involves indigenous peoples in Bali. The existence of subak covers sociopolitical, religious, and economic values in the preservation of nature that historically continues to grow and develop. Subak has the potentials to improve community welfare through the activities regulating the use of water for irrigation of rice fields. It functions to assist the government in the development of the agricultural sector, implement customary laws and to establish customary law (awig-awig), to foster and preserve Balinese religious values and customs. More importantly, subak can also increase productivity, income and welfare of farmers, and preserve the area and its environment in the framework of sustainable agriculture.

Seeking new forms of tourism development is a productive effort. Better planning and careful development of the facilities for mass tourism should be able to reduce various impacts and contribute to a positive image of every tourist destination. Most planning is only for physical development which prioritizes tourists over the better economy of local people.

The Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 10 of 2009 on Tourism, Article 4 regulates that tourism aims to; a. increase economic growth; b. improve people's welfare; c. eradicate poverty; d. decrease unemployment rate; e. preserve nature, environment and resources; f. promote culture; g. raise the image of the nation; h. foster the love to the country; i. strengthen national characters and unity; and J. strengthen friendship between nations. Article 5 letters a and d state that tourism is carried out with the following principles: a. upholding religious norms and cultural values ​​as the embodiment of the concept of life, which is the balance of the relationship between humans and God Almighty, the relationship between humans and other humans, and the relationship between humans and the environment; d. preserving nature and environment. Article 6 states that the development of tourism is carried out based on the principles referred to in Article 2 and realized through the implementation of tourism development plans by taking into account the diversity, uniqueness of culture and nature, and humans needs to travel as tourists.

It is clearly seen that this Tourism Law is linked to the purposes of tourism of Bali with its subak organizations, which have potential to develop community-based tourism in which natural environment is its tourist attraction. Community-based tourism emphasizes the involvement of local communities that are the key players in the planning and implementation of the management for tourism. Thus, the commitment and empowerment of the subak communities are significantly needed to preserve and conserve subak. It is inseparable that community based tourism emphasizes the involvement of local communities as key players in tourism planning and implementation.

Bali Province Regional Regulation Number 16 of 2009 on Bali Province Spatial Planning (hereinafter referred to as Perda RTRW), specifically the consideration letter a, states that space is a component of the environment that is limited, cannot be renewed, must be used sustainably based on Balinese culture that is rooted in Hinduism and in line with Tri Hita Karana. Article 3 letter a regulates the provincial region that is safe, comfortable, productive, independent, having good characters, upholding Balinese culture, and environmentally friendly based on Tri Hita Karana.

With this concept, it can be inferred that subak, must be utilized wisely, sustainably, dynamically based on Balinese culture which is rooted in Hinduism, based on the Tri Hita Karana. Perda RTRW has given a legal norm to local wisdom and Bali natural space (including subak), as a cultural forum.

The obligation to protect and preserve subak and its philosophical values requires support from central and regional government. They have to develop a community-based tourism strategy by involving various stakeholders, which can provide a regulatory model for subak protection.

Buleleng Regency Government proposed a Regional Regulation Draft (Ranperda) on Sustainable Agricultural Landscape (PLP2B). The purpose of this regional regulation is to ensure that the overall function of the lands as a buffer for social and environmental functions is achieved to the maximum. It is also to improve the welfare and health of the farmers. According to the Head of Buleleng Agriculture Agency (I Made Sumiarta), regarding PLP2B, the government has planned to protect 6,948.95 hectares of rice fields. It is 78% (excluding 9,045 hectares) of the total productive rice field areas as per the data of 2019. Agricultural lands, especially those that can be planted with rice and palawija (second crops), have been reduced every year due to land conversion. Buleleng Agricultural Agency reported that from 2011 to 2019, 1,200 rice fields had been converted. Based on this fact, a regional regulation that protects and ensures food availability in Buleleng (Nusa n.d.) is needed. This policy should be taken as a good example by other regencies in Bali as one of the efforts to preserve subak.

Central and local government and entrepreneurs in tourism industry have the responsibility to protect subak and contribute to farmers’ welfare as the members of the subak. They not only help save the environment but also motivate the farmers to do their routines as farmers. This is mutually beneficial to all parties and therefore will certainly reduce farmers' desire to sell their fields. Community-based tourism development must be able to elevate traditional knowledge or local wisdom based on the Tri Hita Karana. This philosophy is the foundation of Bali tourism which is down-to-earth and universal – the relationship between humans and God, humans and environment, humans and other humans.

The Regional Government of Bali is obliged to find solutions and make regulations in to control land conversion and the use of rice fields, especially the use for tourism industry. Bali must have a form of tourism that can preserve culture and the natural environment. As a role model of cultural tourism destination, Bali is supported by its natural environment. Authenticity is an important element of culture. As Oelker stated, quoted by Erna (Ernawati 2018), cultural tourism includes all cultural elements of a region. According to some tourists, experiencing a local culture, tradition, lifestyle, speaking the local language, and being in its natural environment are important components of traveling. CBT uses the natural environment as a tourist attraction which referred to as CBT-Ecotourism. Community-based tourism and ecotourism develops because there are tourists who are interested in natural environment.

In the context of community management, David Korten's opinion concerning managing subak from a local perspective can be used as a reference in relation to community-based tourism, which refers to three basic reasons, namely:

  1. Local Variety includes variations in the life of local people or different lives. It demands different management systems and cannot be given the same treatment because local people are most familiar with the local situation;
  2. Local Resources that is traditionally controlled and managed by local communities;
  3. Local Accountability relates to management carried out by the local community. They are usually more responsible because the activities carried out by them will directly affect their lives

Subak, with its uniqueness concerning full of social, ecological and religious values, plays a very important role in protecting the environment of rice fields in a sustainable manner, which really requires management within the framework of Tri Hita Karana philosophy. Each subak is an interaction between the natural environment and the local community itself. In order to become a world tourist attraction, subak must have universal values. These values are very significant as a tradition that is not only important for the present generation but also the aspect that can be passed on to the next generation. Permanent legal protection for subak is of vital importance to the international community. Therefore, the concept of subak as part of the culture must be seen as system that has extraordinary universal values (Yamashita 2013). To restore the economy of Balinese people in the COVID 19 era, the synergy between community-based tourism and agriculture and its subak organizations is a mutually supportive and beneficial option.


The obligation to protect and preserve subak and its philosophical values requires support and provides benefits to local communities. For this reason, in empowering the local subak community, the government (central, regional) is deemed necessary to develop a community-based tourism strategy, as a form of sustainable tourism which is also a productive alternative in the COVID 19 era. the community with agriculture and the subak organization is the right choice because both parties support and benefit each other.

Subak arrangements in relation to community-based tourism emphasize community involvement as a key player in the planning and implementation of tourism, the benefits of which will be received directly by local communities as well as being used as a resource for the development of subak organizations. In this context, the government plays a significant role as a facilitator, providing reinforcement, assistance in managing subak, and is obliged to provide facilities for subak institutions including subak members as a form of empowerment of local communities.


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