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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The largest international literary gathering in the country, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF), has succeeded in placing Indonesian authors on the global map; moreover, contributed extensively to tourism in Bali. The 2013 UWRF was the most well attended festival to date, with ticket sales for the main program increasing by 26 percent on last year and approximately 26,400 visitors taking part across the full program.
The festival welcomed more Indonesian writers and visitors in 2013. The free arts program of music and film screenings was mainly well attended by the local community and, for the first time, the audience across the entire festival program was close to 50 percent Indonesian.
The 10-year anniversary festival presented the largest and most diverse program yet, with 200-plus writers, artists, and performers from around the world participating in more than 220 events across 53 venues in Ubud.
An economic impact survey conducted during and following the 2013 UWRF, revealed that the authors invited to speak at the festival and audience who flew to Bali to meet their favorite writers had boosted the local tourist industry, particularly in Ubud and its surrounding areas, through accommodation, food and beverage consumed transportation and gifts purchased during their stay.
The survey was confined to the UWRF’s core audience, those who purchased tickets to the UWRF’s main program. It found that 88% of attendees traveled to Ubud especially to attend the UWRF and that the average length of stay in Ubud was six days. These visitors spent an average of A$82 (US$77) per day on transport and accommodation, and a daily average of $43 on meals and shopping.
Feedback from the UWRF audience has been overwhelmingly positive: 96 percent of the surveyed audience was keen to return in the future and 98 percent would suggest the festival to family and friends.