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Bali Shows United Front Against Badly Behaved Tourists

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Leaders in Bali have come together to show a united front against badly behaved foreigners on the island.

The Bali Provincial Government coordinated a meeting with the Bali Tourism Office and other key stakeholders to come up with new solutions to ensure that culturally respectful tourism is promoted to all who visit the island.

Tourists on Kuta Beach in Bali.jpg

Speaking to reporters the Head of the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, explained the coordination meeting aimed to share information between stakeholders on how each agency and institution had handled incidences of foreigners behaving badly and breaking the law, according to their authority.

Pemayun said that the meeting focused “especially regarding tourists who act up in Bali, that are in the public spotlight both nationally and internationally.”

The Acting Head of the Bali Kumham Immigration Division, Anak Agung Narayana, said that he had formed a foreigner monitoring team (known as pora) and who then carried out legal action against violators.

He explained, “Supervision of foreigners began to be carried out at the airport, then when they were in Indonesian territory, it became a shared responsibility.”

Narayana noted that between 1st January and 6th July 2024, a total of 247 foreigners had been deported from Bali and that the most common violation amongst these deportees was overstaying their visa. 

Police Chief AKBP I Komang Tresna A. Manik explained that between January and June 2024, his teams had prosecuted 38 foreigners in connection to criminal activity; this included cases of theft, fraud, abuse, and violent assault. 

Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, the Head of the Kasatpol Pol PP Police Unit, the Municipal Police, in Bali, explained that he and his teams have been coordinating with the Bali Ministry of Law and Security to combat the apparent rise in the number of foreigners found to be breaking the law.

However, he was clear that he wanted to see better efforts from tourism attraction managers and top officials to get these issues seen in a timely manner.

He also called for the community to step forward and take action if and when they see a tourist acting illegally or irresponsibly.

However, this may be a concern for some tourists. As top police officials call on the community to step in and do more and to quote, “Don’t hand everything over to the authorities.”

There are concerns that this could translate into hostility towards all tourists rather than righteous animosity towards a very small minority of foreigners who have chosen to conduct criminal activities in Bali. 

Couple Ride Moped In Rural Bali.jpg

Dharmadi also called for the list of Do’s and Don’ts for tourists in Bali to be communicated more intensively in a fresh campaign.

The list of do’s and don’ts was published by the ex-Governor of Bali Wayan Koster in June 2023.

The guidelines include many straightforward and easy-to-support rules for foreigners to help show cultural respect to the island and its communities. 

Tourist-Tries-Rice-Threshing-in-Bali-Village-Tourism-

Rules included “Tourists must behave politely and respectfully in sacred places, tourist attractions, restaurants, on the roads, and in all public places.”

And guidelines like “Tourists must be accompanied by a tour guide who has a tour guide license when visiting tourist attractions. The tour guide must have a solid understanding of natural conditions [Bali’s way of life], customs, traditions, and local wisdom of the Balinese people.”

Tour-Guide-Stands-By-Bali-Temple

The list of do’s and don’ts was printed on billboards and shared on a social media campaign. For a short while, immigration officers also put a leaflet listing the rules into the passports of tourists on arrival, but this system was quickly scrapped. 

What is interesting to note is that the ‘tourists’ that leaders are often referring to as being so badly behaved are not the average holidaymakers.

Leaders refer to ‘tourists’ in the sense that the individuals in question are residing in Bali on tourist or socio-cultural visas rather than a residency permit, but they do not consider themselves to be holidays.

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Duncan McCallum

Thursday 11th of July 2024

As a tourist can I report a crime to the Bali police. I have witnessed on a regular basis crimes being committed by scam money exchange kiosks. These crimes impact heavily on Bali's reputation as an upmarket holiday destination.

Tim

Thursday 11th of July 2024

Been to Bali many times Will never go there any more Over crowd traffic so bad ans slow. KUTA so dirty Its a has been place never to go agsin

Neil

Thursday 11th of July 2024

What a load of crap how about stopping locals riding on footpaths the wrong way not wearing helmets and police doing their jobs without putting their hand out

Mark Formston

Thursday 11th of July 2024

Why are there no Police visible in and around the "tourist" areas? Locals are not trained to approach suspected offenders,nor do they have any powers.

JawaKere

Thursday 11th of July 2024

This is what we got when we are going down, into more and more degrade.. We need to focus to solve the Traffic, dirty beaches, crimes from people who came from another islands, and massively new building construction, and the failure of the central government, rather than discuss about bad behaviour of some tourists..Bali need tourist, not Central Government.. Dont you ever try to hide the main problems in Bali..