BALI: Overtourism. How to deal with the environmental pressure?

The European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) has made considerable efforts to map the built-up areas of the planet. The result of this effort is open source code, open tools and layers of maps available on the Europa.eu website. The use of these maps helps to understand how urban areas have evolved in Bali over time. The results, illustrated in the following map, illustrate the evolution from 1975 to 2015. The main advantage of using satellite imagery is that we can go back in time to perform a spatial analysis.

bali tourism animation maps

We aim to find a solution for the following issue : 
How to understand our impact and help reduce it?

In this case study, we will demonstrate that it is possible to quantify its impact in order to implement the necessary measures for a tourist region, in this case, Bali, an Indonesian island is famous for its wooded volcanic mountains, rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs.

Water consumption … multiplied by 5!

Speaking at the ITB German trade fair in Berlin, Mr Stroma Cole, director of Equality in Tourism, emphasizes that sustainable water management is one of the key factors for the future of the tourism sector. He also mentioned that Bali will face a critical point in 2020 regarding water supply and demand. This conclusion is based on the findings of several monitoring agencies, such as the Bali Hotel Association (BHA) and Howarth HTL, which indicate that the assumed daily use of fresh water is 183 liters, while for a hotel 2 stars, the consumption is 1000 liters. Many hotels are at least 2 stars in Bali, the water consumption ratio should be higher than 1 in 5. The popularity of Bali as a holiday destination has a considerable impact on the water supply.


In order to keep Bali as the preferred holiday spot for tourists and to reduce the environmental impact, we propose a study case on its potential impact and to offer the traveling community the opportunity to positively influence local decisions.

Step 1: Constitute a set of data to confirm his hypothesis

Trying to identify growth patterns in residential areas is something that Earth observation satellite data is doing very well with global coverage and sensor diversity.

Step 2 : Historical mapping of the evolution of the number of tourists

The main advantage of using satellite imagery is that we can go back in time to perform a spatial analysis.

Step 3 : Evaluate the increase of the accommodation areas

While this population growth may help explain population growth in dense urban centers (the red dots on the map), it does not explain the increase in low-density urban clusters (the orange zones on the map).