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Bali Commits To Training More Tour Guides To Maximize Tourist Enjoyment

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Bali receives millions of tourists every year from across Indonesia and across the world.

Tourism leaders feel, and many tourists agree, that in order to maximize the travel experience it is best to hire a local guide to help facilitate a memorable trip. 

Indonesian Tour Guide Talks To Tourists At Attraction in Daytime.jpg

Yet, Bali is currently experiencing a shortage of certified tour guides. This is being felt most readily in Buleleng Regency in the north of the island, an area that is working hard to establish itself as a must-visit tourist destination. 

The Head of the Buleleng Tourism Service, I Gede Dody Sukma Oktiva Askara, has spoken to reporters about how the tourism office will tackle the issue.

He said that the tour guide certification process has been promoted by the Buleleng Tourism Department since 2017 but it has only certified 146 guides.

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Askara has confirmed that the Buleleng Tourism Service will be working to improve government-managed tourism attractions in the regency, and investing in training more guides and overall tourism infrastructure is leveled up too. 

Buleleng Regency is best known for attractions like the waterfalls of Munduk and Lovina Beach.

Askara told reporters “Every year on average we can only facilitate 20-25 tour guides to take part in the certification competition.”

“Because the budget is still limited and the costs are quite high, one person costs IDR 1.3 million.”

Currently in Buleleng Regency, there are only 146 certified tour guides which include general tour guides, nature guides, cultural tour guides, and diving tour guides.

Before taking the competency test, all certified guides are required to take tour guide training.

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Askara added, “This certification is very important, apart from showing the professionalism of a tour guide’s work, it can also increase the confidence of tourists who come to visit.”

While Buleleng Regency is working on increasing the number of verified guides available to tourists, Badung Regency is cracking down on illegal guides.

Badung Regency is home to the island’s most popular resorts including Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu, and Uluwatu. 

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The Badung Civil Service has confirmed this month that they are cracking down on illegal guides operating across the regency, specifically in Nusa Dua and South Denpasar.

The Civil Service is working to identify ‘gacong’ guides who opportunistically approach tourists and offer them guided services.

The gacong guides don’t directly deceive tourists, although many are inclined to overcharge, but rather attempt to exhort a commission out of the attractions they bring guests to; despite not being credited guides, nor having a relationship with the tourism businesses. 


The most recent round-up of gacong guides was found to be promoting watersports activities in Tanjung Benoa.

The famous beach resort offers tourists everything from parasailing to waterskiing and is a particularly popular spot for families.

Gacong tour guides were bringing tourists to the watersports centers and pressuring businesses into paying them to do so without any prior agreement. 

Speaking to reporters the Head of South Kuta Subdistrict, I Ketut Gede Arta, confirmed that steps are being taken to ensure that gacong guides can become a nuisance of the past.

He said, “This awareness must grow together, and the preventive steps we take are a form of our commitment to maintaining the safety and comfort of tourists in Bali.”


Bali is a safe, easy, and convenient travel destination to explore independently of travel agents and tour guides.

However, the island is so rich in culture and history that hiring a certified and informed tour guide can add an unrivaled richness to the travel experience. 


Many tour guides in Bali are also drivers, and as such tourists get a great value deal by paying a full-day or half-day rate to a guide who can take them on a set tour or a bespoke day trip to attractions of specific interest. 

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Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Quote "Many tour guides in Bali are also drivers."

That will not surprise me. My local electrician also bring his plumbing toolkit.