As Bali continues to battle against a small but significant number of badly behaved foreigners on the island, leaders are working on new approaches to tackle the problem.
From a dedicated task force to a specialist helpline for concerned residents, there has been lots of progress. But the latest measure will certainly raise some questions.
The TPI Ngurah Rai Immigration Office is calling on all tourism accommodations in Bali to support the island-wide mission to crack down on badly behaved foreigners.
To do so, accommodation providers like hotels, private villas, B&Bs, and guesthouses will be called to report data on their guests via an app.
The app will also be available for the general public to download and make reports against tourists they feel are violating Indonesian law or local Balinese customs and culture.
The Head of the TPI Special Class I Immigration Office, Ngurah Rai Sugito, told reporters that the Foreigner Reporting App (APOA) helps to improve the ‘supervision’ of tourists on the island. He explained, “Thanks to reporting in APOA, we can quickly deal with foreigners who commit violations,”
The APOA app has been developed by the Directorate General of Immigration to make it easier for concerned residents and businesses in Bali to report the whereabouts and the actions of foreigners visiting or living in Bali. The app is available to download on the Play Store or via the official website APOA, immigration.go.id.
Sugito told the media that cooperation across the island is needed to help stamp out illegal and disrespectful behavior by foreigners.
He shared that with an average of 18,000 arrivals onto the island every day, surveillance of visitors is essential.
Sugito confirmed that he and his teams will be intensifying their efforts to get accommodation owners, tourism businesses, and local residents to feel confident about how, when, and why they should be reporting foreigners violating local law.
During the press conference launch of the new strategy, Sugito said, “There are around eighteen thousand foreigners coming to Bali per day.”
“Naughty foreigners who are subject to sanctions include abusing residence permits, bypassing residence permits, and criminal acts that violate the legal norms and rules in force in Indonesia.”
Updated figures shared by the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights show that by the end of August 2023, a total of 188 foreigners were deported from the sailed.
The deportees hailed from 45 countries, including 12 Austrian citizens, 13 British citizens, 14 US citizens, and 9 Nigerian citizens.
So concerned Bali lovers have even more tools at their disposal for reporting illegal and disrespectful behavior by tourists.
The new app, the hotline, and the Tourism Task Force are all ways in which the authorities are making dedicated reporting mechanisms for concerned residents.
Earlier this year, in the highest of the bad behavior, many people were taking to social media in order to catch the attention of the authorities through viral videos of badly behaved tourists on the grounds that they felt unheard by officials or did not know how else to lodge complaints.
The hotline is still up and running, though officials have not yet disliked how many calls the number receives.
Speaking at the time of the hotline launch in July, the Director General of Immigration for Indonesia, Silmy Karim, committed to eliminating bad behavior by tourists on the island.
Director General Karim told the public, “We, from the Bali Becik Task Force, invite the people of Bali to report foreigners who violate the hotline number 08 139 9679 966.”
“Community participation is certainly very much needed in supervising and taking action against unruly tourists.”
The Bali Becik Task Force has been ordered to complete 100 immigration control missions every month.
These missions have already resulted in legal action, fines, restorative justice meetings, and in some cases deportation of tourists found guilty of breaking Indonesian law.
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