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Indonesia: travel and (fair) trade

Indonesia is a rite of passage for sun worshippers. But life for the 247 million people who call Indonesia home isn't all cocktails and glossy travel brochures.


With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is a rite of passage for sun worshippers. The combination of year-round hot, humid weather and idyllic, tropical beaches is the stuff holiday dreams are made of. And for years, Indonesia has attracted hoards of dream-chasers – the surfers, the hippies, the Europeans escaping winter. Nearly 10 million travellers made the pilgrimage in 2014 alone.

But life for the 247 million people who call Indonesia home isn't all cocktails and glossy travel brochures. According to the World Bank, more than 28 million Indonesians currently live below the poverty line and approximately half the population is crowded around the national poverty line, earning around $16.60 per month. 

Indonesia boasts South East Asia’s largest economy but a big chunk of the population is missing out on the dividends.

Over half Indonesia’s workforce is employed in agriculture and another 10 percent are employed in the manufacturing industry, where factory workers are often women and children who take home very low wages and work in really rough conditions.

But while equitable wealth distribution is lacking in Indonesia, culture diversity is certainly not. With over 300 different ethnic groups and languages, Indonesia has a rich artisan heritage and traditions like batik and ikat are passed down from generation to generation. Textiles are one of Indonesia’s most prized art forms and the internationally acclaimed, hand drawn and stamped batik can take months to create. 

Wanderlust People is committed to supporting Indonesia’s culture and art forms and is proud to partner with BaliZen to bring a taste of the country’s rich cultural traditions to your home.  Your purchase is helping to create opportunity for economically disadvantaged producers and to sustain some of Indonesia’s traditions. Thank you!