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Bali Braces For Further Traffic Jams During Christmas And New Year Holidays

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Bali is preparing to welcome over 1.4 million additional people to the island over the Christmas and New year holidays. While this is great news for many tourism operators, the massive influx of arrivals will undoubtedly have an impact on the island’s already pressured transportation networks. The Denpasar City Transportation Agency have announced that they will expand the traffic control posts to ensure that roads do not get too congested.

Traffic In Bali Denpasar At Traffic Lights

Speaking to the media on Monday, 19th December, the Head of Denpasar Transportation Agency, I Ketut Sriawan, explained that his teams had been put on standby for additional traffic control patrols during the Christmas period. At the moment, the additional traffic management points will be in and around Denpasar, with other local transport management agencies likely to install their own systems as each area gets busier. 

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Sriawan explained, “This prediction is because many tourists come to Bali, so it is estimated to increase by 10 percent. Based on existing data, the peak of vehicle movement will occur between 29-31 December 2022…[we are on standby] so that city residents or residents who pass by Denpasar City and domestic tourists who enjoy holidays in Denpasar City can be served comfortably, safely, safely and disciplined”. 

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He confirmed that 216 additional officers will staff the five traffic posts. The Denpasar City Transportation Agency will continue to work in collaboration with Bali police TNI (army) festival operators, Satpol PP (civil service,) Health Service, and Denpasar City BPBD (disaster management agencies) to ensure that the events run smoothly and safely.

As the jurisdiction of the Denpasar traffic authorities, additional officers will be posted at Umanyar Post, Ubung Post Terminal, Post in front of Jagatnata Temple, Sanur Seaport Post, and Serangan Seaport Post until the 3rd January 2023. The traffic posts will also help to direct the flow of traffic headed toward Denfest. The Denpasar-based festival, Denfest, will be held from the 21-25th December. 

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The festival will involve 1,049 artists, 622 musicians, and 161 different organizations who all take part in performances across the city and the famous street parades. The event has a budget of IDR 3.69 billion and is one of the biggest events in the provincial capital each year. The Mayor of Denpasar told local reporters, “Denpasar Festival 2022 has the theme Tejarasmi or Light of Beauty which represents the festival as the dawn of awakening for Denpasar City residents, especially through cultural innovation and creativity that is born and stretches in public spaces”.

The high influx of tourists arriving over the festive season will undoubtedly impact the island’s most popular destinations, including areas like Canggu, where the topic of traffic management is never far from public consciousness. 


Many residents are hopeful that 2023 will be the year that the issue of traffic congestion in Canggu will be resolved. The Badung Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Office recently confirmed that they had been awarded a sufficient budget to improve the surf town’s roads.

The proposed road upgrades require the acquisition of farmland in the village surrounding Canggu. Community leaders reported that the land acquisition process had reached a standstill as a settlement had not been agreed.


In the meantime, other communities in the area are taking matters into their own hands and have applied to the PUPR to renovate farm tracks into more formal roads. There have been increasing reports of residents and tourists driving down remote farm tracks in a bid to avoid the gridlock traffic on Canggu’s main highways and even the informal shortcuts. 


In early October, Bali Governor Wayan Koster called on people in Bali to stop complaining about traffic. He said, ‘It used to be quiet, we enjoyed traveling, now we are starting to complain [about the traffic]. Don’t complain”, suggesting that the traffic is a small price to pay for the net benefit of a thriving tourism sector.

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Jenny Browne

Saturday 24th of December 2022

Will I be able to get to the airport for my flight on night of 31 Dec? From Seminyak if all roads will be closed?


Sunday 25th of December 2022

@Jenny Browne,of course, they will let you through when you show them your ticket.

David boyle

Thursday 22nd of December 2022

When is bali going to let unvacinated tourists visit again

frank gregory

Thursday 22nd of December 2022

garbage and delivery trucks should only be allowed on the roads between midnight and 6am. leaving car or bike parked halfway on road should be illegal and enforced. No business, especially mega Beach clubs should be given building permits unless they also commit to investing in the infrastructure to increase roads and parking to accommodate the increased traffic that they create.