Local leaders in Bali have announced the formation of another tourism task force to tackle untruly behavior by foreigners in the Tabanan Regency.
There are already two teams of tourism task forces on the beat in Bali at the moment, both of which have been deployed by the provincial government to help eliminate illegal and culturally disrespectful behavior on the island.
Tabanan’s Tourism Task Force will focus on cracking down on disrespectful and illegal behavior in destinations like Tanah Lot, Mount Batu Karu, and the popular surf beaches west of Canggu, like Nyanyi Beach, Kedugu Beach, even as far along the coast as Balian Beach.
The announcement was made by the Tabanan Regency Government as a solution to help local people have a direct point of contact to report incidences involving foreign tourists.
The deployment of the specialist team comes as a local response to Governor Wayan Koster’s recent Circular Letter Number 4 of 2023, which outlines a series of do’s and don’t for tourists on the island.
The Tabanan Tourism Task Force is a collection of officials from the tourism agency, the hotel and restaurant association, and traditional local security (pecalang) and will work in partnership with the police, immigration, and provincial task force officers.
The Secretary of Tabanan, Gede Susila, announced that the task force is on call to ensure that peace and order prevail in the area. Susila said, “The point is that there are no foreign nationals doing anything out of the ordinary in Tabanan.”
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Tabanan Bali destinasi wajib study tour ke Bali♬ suara asli – Musisi Kawe
He noted that the Tabanan Tourism Task Force will be tasked with creating offline complaint services whereby local people can formally report incidences rather than feeling the need to take to social media.
The group will also liaise with tourism providers in Tabanan Regency to ensure that local businesses know how to attract high-quality tourists and deal with any issues in a proper way.
The task force officers will also conduct surveillance at the regencies leading tourism hotspots, the most popular of which is Tanah Lot Temple.
@namlas12_ a day in Tanah Lot, Bali #tanahlot #bali ♬ Bim Bom by João Gilberto – Sonya Akulshina
Many of the high-profile viral incidences of foreigners behaving badly in Bali have been recorded in the neighboring regency of Badung and Giyanar.
Badung is an administrative area and is home to tourist resorts like Canggu, Seminyak, Legian, Uluwatu, and Kuta. It appears that as tourism in Tabanan continues to evolve and emerge, leaders in the area want to be proactive to ensure that unruly behavior does not start to creep in.
Susila said, “We don’t want Tabanan to be injured; we will do it together to prevent it.”
He added, “Our task force will be formed as soon as possible, and this week it is clear. The chairman is still waiting for directions from the leadership (Tabanan Regent). However, we also ask the public to participate together in monitoring if there are foreign nationals who are out of character, report them immediately.”
There are already two Tourism Task Forces working in Bali. The first was deployed with a mission to crack down on foreigners who are conducting business or work activities that violate their visa conditions.
The provincial government was concerned that foreigners have been using the visa on arrival and other socio-cultural visas to operate businesses and work on the island.
The second task force is focused on eliminating other illegal and disrespectful behavior from the island. The Tourism Task Force is working to uphold the strong cultural values of Bali and the law of Indonesia.
They are focusing on ensuring that sites of spiritual and cultural importance are respected, that the local way of life is honored and that tourists are not breaking traffic laws or staying at illegally operated accommodations.
So while Tabanan may not be the most popular tourist regency in Bali compared to Badung, the question now is whether leaders at a local level will follow suit.
As local leaders are mostly in agreement that changes need to be made to the way tourism is managed in Bali, it may be the case that regency leaders create their own task forces to strengthen the infrastructure for tourism management further to protect the public image of the island, local livelihoods and tourists themselves.
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