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Bali Says Increasing Prices Part Of  ‘Natural Selection’ For Wealthy Tourists 

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Bali’s Tourism Office has said loud and clear that high-spending tourists will be welcome in Bali, but low-budget travelers are out as the island moves towards promoting more sustainable and culturally respectful tourism. It’s clear money talks. 

Tourist couple enjoy floating breakfast in pool in Bali.jpg

The Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, has literally said that increasing prices of travel and tourism activities in Bali is a ‘natural selection’ of the higher-spending tourists the province wants to attract. 

Speaking from his officers in Denpasar this week, Pemayun was clear that moving forward, only some backpackers will be welcome on the island.

He explained, “We also need backpackers but in small numbers. Now, those who go to Bali with very high ticket prices are curated, indirectly natural selection. Selecting tourists who have the money.”

@karishmairl Replying to @sjushYshswuisjwtwyj ~$900USD / night 🤯🤌🏽 #bali #traveltok #travelbucketlist #luxuryresort #luxurylifestyle #luxurytravel #travelblogger #resortliving #wfh #remotework #workingintech #HuluChippendalesDance #fyp ♬ Buddha Bar Sound – remix – Digilio Lounge Music

According to Pemayun and the Bali Tourism Department, there are many sub-sectors of the Bali tourism industry, and the higher end of the spectrum and the more luxurious travel market must be targeted above the budget demographic.

Pemayun said, “The exclusive [resorts] in the Nusa Dua area. There are also homestays in the Kuta area. Sanur, which is middle to upper class, Ubud also has homestays, including in Lovina. So, we have a combination of the two.”

@thelearobinson Replying to @ClassyCe #bali #baliindonesia #traveltiktok #blackgirltravel #blacktravel #traveltips #airbnbfinds ♬ IDC – LeA Robinson

It seems that Bali wants to price out both lower-budget international tourists and lower-spending domestic tourists too.

The price of domestic flights from Jakarta to Bali is soaring right now. Many expats who work in the capital and middle to high-income earners nip over to Bali for a long weekend as much as possible to get their fix of island life. 

In fact, flight search engines are showing that ticket fares are higher than usual despite it being the low season.

Search results show that flights this coming Saturday morning from Jakarta to Denpasar are sitting at IDR 900,000. Garuda Indonesia charged between IDR 1,500,000 and IDR 2,500,00 on Saturday morning. Typically, flights can be as low as IDR 500,000. 

@kathryncritt Heres how much pur entire trip cost! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments #travelcost #vacation #backpacking #travel #bali #balicost #baliprices #indonesia #baliprice ♬ Beat Goes On – The All Seeing I

Could Bali be missing a trick discouraging low-budget travelers and backpackers, or in the long run, will it work out for the best?

Backpackers and lower-budget travelers have been plagued by the stereotype that all they want to do is drink and party, but that’s seriously not the case. 

In fact, around the world, the amount of young people who regularly consume alcohol is decreasing, and as Bali becomes more expensive, backpackers will, of course, start to look elsewhere.

Travel outside of Bali but within Indonesia is still incredibly affordable. 


Will this move to push tourists out of Bali bring benefits to emerging destinations across Indonesia? For the last few years, the National Tourism Board, Wonderful Indonesia, and the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies have been encouraging tourists to explore the country’s five super-priority destinations. 

These are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in Lombok, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Likapang in North Sulawesi.

These destinations each have a truly unique culture and landscape to explore; while incredibly different from Bali, each destination has an abundance of experiences for tourists to dive into. 


Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, for example, is the gateway to the world-famous Komodo National Park, the only place in the world where Komodo Dragons live.

Lake Toba in North Sumatra is a stunning destination in its own right and is also located close to the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on earth where elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and tigers still roam wild together. 

Sumatran elephant

Alternatively, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path destinations in Bali still untouched by mass tourism.

As Pemayun explained, destinations like Lovina and the outskirts of Ubud are still home to locally managed homestays and affordable travel experiences that are often managed in a much more local (and inherently more authentic) way. 

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Friday 12th of April 2024

I'm glad my many trips to Bali were in the past. I've been there so many times, but less and less as time went on -- 2019 was the last trip, and I can't say I have any desire to return, which to me is sad. Bali was what introduced me to Southeast Asia in the first place over 20 years ago, and now I've lived here for 15 years (not in Indonesia, though). But it seems to be cutting off its nose to spite its face now.

Backpackers and budget travelers are the ones who basically made Bali the tourist haven it became. Artists, cooks, musicians, lovers of nature and culture, surfers... now they just want the rich tourist to come flop within the gated confines of a luxury resort? That doesn't benefit the Balinese much, and as many know, virtually every metre of coastal land on the island is owned or controlled by wealthy Javanese, anyway.

As many others have said, there are loads of other wonderful places to visit in the region. If Bali wants an end to lots of tourists, I for one hope that their wish is granted.


Thursday 1st of February 2024

Indeed Digital nomads are a menace, sitting for hrs in coffeshops using fast wifi, and spending minimal... Not good for local business, on top bargaining with local traders... Not good tourist Get rid of them


Wednesday 31st of January 2024

The "natural selection" will happen to Bali itself. People will go to other places where conditions are lightyears better. No wealthy person goes to a garbage dump when there are better options around. And poorer people will not be coming back either after you spit in their face with this arrogance. Corrupt circus thinking they are playing chess. Long term foreigners have already been leaving for a year. Now Australians are going to Japan and other places. Good luck with anyone who remains, soon to leave as well.


Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Idiots! They want big spending tourists, but keep promoting to the Chinese and Indian tourists who everyone knows are the lowest spending. Go figure 🤔


Tuesday 30th of January 2024

I will guarantee you that quality tourist will not step their foot on a dirty polluted corrupt Bali. Go anywhere else in Asia and it's better taken care of than this dump.

Can't wait to see them begging after the consequences from this. Just give it a bit of time. Arrogant people.