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Bali Governor Wants To See Tough Action Against Problematic Tourists

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The acting governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, issued more statements this week regarding the behavior of a small minority of foreigners in Bali.

The Acting Governor is pressing for tougher measures against foreigners, which is causing problems in the province. 

Beanbags on Seminyak Beach in Bali

Speaking from Nusa Dua on Thursday, 13th June, the Acting Governor of Bali told reporters, “We want the handling [of badly behaved tourists] to be fully carried out and not half-hearted.”

He wants to see comprehensive action taken against tourists on the island who disobey the rules, regulations, and laws. 

The Acting Governor acknowledged that the province’s economy depends upon the tourism sector and also noted that the economy has started to grow since the pandemic ended.

In fact, in the first quarter of 2024, Bali’s economy grow by 5.98%, a leap up from the 5.71% the economy grew in 2023. 

With the potential negative impacts of a rising number of badly behaved foreigners on the island, Acting Governor Jaya is keen to nip issues in the bud and is not afraid to throw the full force of the law behind foreigners found to be violating the law.

The statements made by Acting Governor Jaya were echoed earlier in the week by the Director of Nusantara Tourism Marketing at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Dwi Marhen Yono, who told reporters that the ministry is working with the immigration department to create new regulations to ensure that tourists are well behaved in Bali.

Yono explained “We have regulated the do’s and don’ts during tourists’ visits to Bali. Once they enter Indonesia, they can read the rules.”

Yono did not outline how this collaboration would continue to play out. But the Deputy for Marketing at the Indonesian Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies, Ni Made Ayu Marthini, also told reporters earlier this week that the department is also consulting with the immigration authorities about how to more strictly enforce existing visa and immigration laws within the tourism sector. 

Marthini’s comments came as the Bali Tourism Industry Association called on the central provincial government to revisit the visa-on-arrival policies as they stand at present.

The Chairman for the Indonesian Tourism Industry Associate in Bali, Ida Bagus Agung Partha told reporters on Wednesday that strict law enforcement regarding immigration issues and badly behaved foreigner is essential for the future of Bali. 

Adnyana said, “Previously, we were too welcoming; now we are even stricter, filtering the quality of tourist arrivals…we are ready to brave the impact of tightening visas. In fact, the industry now wants tourist arrivals to be stricter, not just in numbers but in really respecting the local [culture].”


Marthini’s response was that any changes to the visa-on-arrival policy would have to be seriously considered, especially at this sensitive time of economic recovery.

Nonetheless, she gave her agreement that firm action must be taken against badly behaved tourist in Bali. She said “the policy has an impact, so we are careful…If foreigners violate the law, there will be be strict law enforcement.”


Aside from stricter enforcement of existing rules, regulations, and laws, neither Acting Governor Jaya nor the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies have outlined how these tougher measures would look in practice.

Many feel that simply playing to the letter of the law and making it more straightforward for the authorities to prosecute offenders, and more resources with which to uphold existing legislation.

One new initiative on the cards is for the Bali Province Law and Human Rights Service to collaborate with village officials to monitor the behaviour of foreigners. 


So far in 2024 Bali Immigration has deported 135 foreigners from the province, the most frequent offenders hailed from Australia, Russia and the USA. In 2023, a total of 340 foreigners were deported from Bali. 

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Wednesday 19th of June 2024

In Thailand they restrict the sales of alcohol at convenience stores, wine shops and other retailers between the hours of 11.00am - 14.00 and 17.00 - 24.00 hours. That's probably not going to fix the problem, but it goes a long way to control the over abuse of alcohol consumption. To see people drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages outside the many convenience stores here in Bali at 9.00am in the morning sends a very bad message, and is not a good look!

John Hobson

Wednesday 19th of June 2024

I have I lived in Bali for many years. Now I am in west Java. I love Bali but sadly it's not the happy place it used to be. The Balinese are beautiful people. Crime has increased to to point where its almost out of control. Russian crime gangs are trying to control some tourist areas. My business has been approached several times. My manager has informed the authority's but are reluctant to take action. Unfortunately corruption at all levels of government is present. Money talks. Even for a bag snatching police will ask for money before taking a statement.


Tuesday 18th of June 2024

More nonsensical lip flapping from crooked politicians who have to do something between spending their ill-gotten money and closing their eyes to obvious infrastructure failures.


Monday 17th of June 2024

From what I see there needs to be a lot more .


Sunday 16th of June 2024

The "problem tourists" are just not going to care one tiny little bit about sets of rules and regulations. In fact, they probably tear up the set of how to behave in Bali rules they get on the aircraft. An even bigger problem is the people coming on longstay residence visas or so-called investor or business visas like many many Russians and Ukrainians for example. They are not tourists, but they're creating many of the problems. Essentially, they bribing their way into Bali and they're coming to stay. The Bali government needs to get really tough with these people and deny them an entry in the first place and cancel the investment and business Visa classes.


Tuesday 18th of June 2024

@Thommo, You are onto something as it appears that many of Russians are resourceful with Telegram posts indicating visits to China, Dubai and the rest of SEA. I.e. not "poor" backpackers.


Monday 17th of June 2024

@BaliEyeWitness..., they are Tourist refugees with questionable income. Shouldn’t the men be at war defending each respective homeland. What a strange world we live’s gonna hit rock bottom before it bounces back up.


Monday 17th of June 2024

@BaliEyeWitness..., global political/conflict ignorance is prevalent in the tiered confused governance and population in national/provincial Indonesia. Given the freezing of Russian assets and banning of trade and movement etc and wrath that the rest of the world has unleashed why should we be surprised that two countries high on the index of most corrupt countries are welcoming Russian tourists. The Ukrainians and Russians were referred to collectively by governance here when Russians coming in was 10:1 over the Ukrainians. Was there a response in Indonesia to high ranked Russian officials proven to be harbouring/supporting their adult children here to avoid conscription. Of course not.