Counting down, the final days of our international field trip are here. We’ve experienced so much and met so many people on our journey in Indonesia. As we are writing our final blog in a luxurious villa in Canggu, Bali, we look back on our time here. Doing a research like this is not an everyday thing. We’ve had ups and downs, but after all we successfully completed the data collection part of our research. After the research part, we took part in the Bali International Tourism Congress. This was quite special, as bachelor students normally don’t participate in congresses. To learn more about our experiences, keep on reading.

The congress lasted for four days of which we could attend two, as the remainder were invite-only. We were picked up at our hotel at 07:00 in the morning, which was hard for many of us, but we survived. For the congress, we made posters of our research, which we hung outside the venue in which the congress took place. The day started with signing up and receiving our very official looking keycords, with some very interesting names (Roos = Raous, Maaike = Maawke, Rozemarijn = Roze maijn), followed by the opening ceremony, during which we got acquainted with the traditional Balinese dance and the Indonesian national anthem (which we sang with all our passion). After that, we followed a series of lecture-like talks from famous academics and some VIPs.

As the ‘kopi’ break approached it was our time to shine. A number of delegates showed interest in our research and we got into some interesting discussions with each other. The day went on alternating between listening and asking questions to speakers and standing at our posters to provide more information when asked.

At the end of the day, our heads were filled with new perspectives on familiar concepts. And even some careful thoughts about thesis subjects had started to brew, which we have to write next year. All in all, we think this congress was very eye opening, as it is something we may attend more often in the future. Perhaps being speakers ourselves? Only time will tell…

Written by: Laura Ensink & Thijs van Toorenenburg