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Bali Takes A Firm But Polite Approach To Educating Tourists

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Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has spoken to the media about why he feels bad behavior by tourists in Bali continues to play out.

Minster Uno says that ignorance is to blame. 

Tourists at Kecak in Uluwatu.jpg

Minister Uno told reporters that many tourists are ignorant of both the law and cultural norms on Bali before they arrive on the island.

He explained, “Many violate these regulations, acting because of their ignorance. We must firmly convey that Indonesian tourism especially in Bali is tourism that is based on local culture, dignified, sustainable, quality, and cultural.”

He added, “So I emphasize that quality, dignified, cultural and sustainable tourism is what we have conveyed to foreign tourists, and we have coordinated law enforcement officers to be firm but polite in conveying regulations including the cultural wisdom and local wisdom of the Balinese people.”

Minster Uno is clear that a crackdown on tourists behaving badly will not have a negative impact on the tourism sector and will bring benefits to both tourists and tourism businesses.

He explained, “I received a lot of appreciation that our firmness, instead of reducing tourist visits to Bali, actually increased the number by 17% year on year.”

According to Minster Uno, the educational campaign launched earlier this year that focuses on the do’s and don’ts of Bali for tourists has been effective in raising awareness about cultural respect and the law.

He explained, “It is very effective to do and don’t in Bali and gets appreciation from tourists.”

He added, “So tourists are increasing but the number of violations is actually decreasing, this is one of the effects of our massive socialization of the do’s and don’ts.”

While the number of violations is decreasing, violations are still present and occurring regularly. 

Over the weekend, footage emerged online of a group of foreigners brawling on what is believed to be Berawa Beach in Canggu.

Last week, there was a huge amount of attention put on a foreigner who posted a video of himself ‘meditating’ naked in front of a Balinese Temple. 

These kinds of violations are now being looked into by the Bali Becik Task Force, a dedicated team of officers from Bali Immigration, Bali Police, the civil service, and traditional village leadership teams to help respond to reports and bring badly behaved tourists to justice as quickly as possible.

An official hotline number has been set up, and the task force has set the target of conducting one hundred immigration control operations every month.

These missions have already resulted in tourists getting deported from the island. 


Yet, for the vast, vast majority of tourists visiting Bali, nothing has changed. With over 18,000 tourists arriving in Bali every single day, the number of respectful and engaged tourists hugely outweighs the badly behaved.

The list of do’s and don’ts issued earlier this year outlines respectful behavior that not only helps tourists obey the law but also has a more immersive experience.

The list of do’s and don’ts includes guidance on how to dress when visiting a Balinese Temple and states that tourists must hire an official tour guide when visiting specific attractions. 


Many of the do’s and don’ts also help keep tourists safe. The guidelines remind tourists to only stay at formally registered accommodation options, to hire vehicles only from licensed businesses, and to comply with traffic regulations when driving. 

These educational campaigns for tourists have certainly not deterred visitors from booking their trips. Indonesia wants to see high-quality tourists coming to the island, by which they mean they want to see visitors who are staying longer and spending more. 


Bali has been voted as the best island in Asia by travelers and readers of Conde Nast Traveler. Bali came top place in the best islands in Asia category at the awards last week, beating equally iconic destinations like Palawan in the Philippines and Koh Samui in Thailand. 

In the coming months and years, tourists planning their trips to Bali can expect to see Balinese culture woven into tourism experiences in even more ways.

From the promotion of cultural experiences at the island’s most significant landmarks to more Balinese produce featuring on menus and more Balinese-sourced products in tourist shops and throughout accommodations. 

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Thursday 12th of October 2023

I'm so sick and tired of hearing about the badly behaving tourists. How about devoting more time on the badly behaving natives? Whatever the natives do is OK though, after all, it's Bali!


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

I'll go ahead and educate foreigners myself in this post:


It is a horrible deal. You will pay Western prices for third world quality. There are scams and criminals around every corner. You will sit in traffic in the back of some angry driver's car or own your own motorbike and scorch in the heat. If you drive a motorbike, there's a good chance someone will try to steal it and if successful you'll be left to foot the bill to the owner (who probably played a hand in the theft himself). If you get in a bike accident, you can expect to pay exorbitant hospital fees for care where the staff will be laughing and joking around while your bones are hanging out of your arms.

Many people from Western countries will experience pure racsim for the first time in their lives here as Indonesians often simultaneously view white people as both colonizers but also the ones who write their paychecks and provide their livelihood, so there's a passive aggressive tone often in dealing with them.

People will sell drugs along beaches where kids are at. Local families with drive 5 to a bike, no helmets, but a lone foreign adult will be pulled over and ticketed for not wearing a helmet. There's a good chance you'll be extorted when this happens.

Romance? Forget about it. Make your local girlfriend annoyed for whatever reason and she can abuse you however much she wishes. It's her country. Police don't care. Local guys certainly don't care. Make her angry and she'll threaten to get other local guys to hurt you. She'll steal from you when you're asleep. She'll have someone plant drugs on you and get you caught by polisi or immigrasi. (Sorry French guy who that happened to.)

What type of people come to this island? 1) Clueless first-time tourists 2) Criminals 3) Refugees 4) Narcissistic, usually-female, influencers and anyone else who lets their smartphone run their life 5) Prostitutes from Africa 6) Shady people from other countries looking to run shady local businesses

So here's the ultimate advice:

DO NOT ENTER. At best it will be a poor experience and at worst it could seriously mess your life up. There are far too many horrific stories for the cheap quality for Western priced anything to be worth it. Maybe the fake Instagram photos where you had to was through traffic, trashd hoards of people to take are worth it for the 18-28 something influencers with no soul or personality. But for the common rational person, this is hell on earth and is basically a masochistic and sometimes even suicidal-tier decision to come to Bali for any longer than 10 days.


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

@C, You are describing GTA V Bali edition. People take heed.


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

@C, anyone who reads this and thinks that this person may be overreacting or full of hate..he/she is not. I was in Bali for few years and this is pretty spot on accurate about the place. There is no rule of law on that island, only corruption. And as noted above, only the lowest level morons find the hugely polluted, broken, racist, overpriced, ridiculous place as some sort of a paradise. For anyone with some common sense, it is an absolute dump and hell. Avoid, avoid, avoid.


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

@C, I have to borrow what is the best comment ever about Bali.

Well written and 100% spot on.


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

@C, all nonsense..all of it...3rd time on month at a time...never any problems as this guy mentioned...he sounds like one of those tatooed, jacked up on steroid knuckledraggers, who races his 100 decibel oversized crapbox bike up rhe street and gets caught being a bad wants to lash out at the entire province over his own us all a favor, don't come back to Bali...ever...

Ed Greeland

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

Have you ever even been to Bali or Canguu or Ubud Mr Uno? Nobody hears a dam thing you are saying.

Your messages are written in the wrong language.

Your Immigration has to deal with the problem. Young people from other countries should not be able to live here permanently and work without a work permit.


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

How about the goverment put some effort into methanol being sold to tourists .


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

Here's a novel Idea responsible service of alcohol. If you continue to take money out of greed , don't be surprised when in the tropical heat, certain tourist who have been drinking non stop from sunrise to sunset go crazy and start doing weird things. When they are allowed to get that drunk I'm certain they will have very little control of the situations they end up in.


Thursday 12th of October 2023

@Mark, If you think what I wrote is stupid that's on you. What I wrote is a fact.


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

@John, stupid response blame the gun...not the shooter