Besides wood carvings I also collect old printed matter about the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia and Bali in particular. This luggage tag from the Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) decorated with a wayang puppet is one of my nicest finds. The label – intended to be attached to a suitcase or other piece of luggage – has never been used. The paper looks like new, apart from a few small tears and creases. I like the idea that someone has kept it all these years as a memento of a voyage to the Dutch East Indies.
The first step of organized tourism in Balinese history was made in 1924 when the KPM established a weekly steamship route between Bali and Batavia (Jakarta), Singapore, Semarang, Surabaya and Makassar. The first tourists were from the Dutch colonial administration. The schedule was that the passengers disembarked on a Friday morning, made a round trip on the island by car and left on Sunday. They slept on the ship or in rest houses. Four years later, in 1928, the first international hotel in Bali was opened by KPM: the Bali Hotel in downtown Denpasar. This luggage tag is probably from the 1930s or 1940s.