Tourism leaders in Nusa Penida have met with the Regent of Klungkung to discuss the recent ban on swimming at some of the island’s most famous beaches. During the meeting on Monday, tourism leaders raised concerns that the swimming ban would cause damage to the tourism sector on the island. The ban was put in place by authorities on the island after a recent rise in accidents leading to callouts to local search and rescue teams.
Representatives from the Nusa Penida Tourism Activists Association (HPPNP) met with the Regent of Klungkung, I Nyoman Suwirta, on Monday, 30th January. They tabled their concerns regarding the ban on tourists swimming on Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach, and Angel Billabong Beach. The Chairman of the Nusa Penida Tourism Activists Association, I Putu Gede Suka Widana, said that tourists should be allowed to swim on the island’s most famous beaches.
He noted that, in their opinion, Angel Billabong Beach is especially safe during low tide but that at high tide, conditions get dangerous. He agreed that the waves at Kelingking Beach are ‘friendly’ in the morning but get dangerous and choppy during the afternoon.
Widana suggested that officers should use loudspeakers to inform tourists when it is and isn’t safe to swim at the beaches. He said, “That is also a promotional medium. They (tourists) will promote it directly”. He highlighted the group’s concerns that banning swimming could be risky for tourism businesses. He shared that before Covid-19, Nusa Penida was so busy that travelers would struggle to find last-minute accommodation, but that now hotel occupancy is still picking up.
@nicolechowww Viewpoint at Angel’s Billabong & Kelingking Beach 🌊 #NicGoesBali #NusaPenida #Bali #angelsbillabong #kelingkingbeach ♬ past lives – favmusicvibes
Regent Suwirta listened to their concerns but was steadfast that the ban on swimming would not be lifted until conditions at sea were safer. He said, “When the sea is conducive and good, we will reconsider.” A tidal and weather warning remains in place by the Indonesian weather agency.
@kylie_travels This has to be a contender for one of the world’s best beaches. #bali #nusapenida #diamondbeach #travel #tiktoktravel #travelgram #beachvibes #travelbucketlist #traveldiaries #travellife #traveltips #traveltheworld ♬ Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Countdown Singers
Regent Suwirta’s decision to keep the swimming ban in place at Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach, and Angel Billabong Beach is supported by Klungkung Police Chief AKBP I Nengah Sadiarta. He has emphasized that the tourist attractions remain open, but that swimming is prohibited to keep everyone safe. He added, “To tour guides, if their guests want to swim, they should be advised that there are restrictions on activities in the water.”
Police lines have been installed on Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach, and Angel Billabong Beach to make it clear that entering the water is not allowed. The new and temporary rules came into place on 23rd January following a series of serious incidences in Nusa Penida since late December. Nusa Penida Police Chief Kompol Ida Bagus Putra Sumerta confirmed the ban and that the situation would remain under review.
The incident that really drew the line in the sand for authorities in Nusa Penida happened on 21st January. Search and Rescue teams were called to assist a Russian tourist after she had been hit by strong waves on the famous Kelingking Beach. Officers later told reporters that the 33-year-old tourist had dislocated her shoulder. Although she was able to walk, she needed assistance from SAR team members to navigate the dangerous path back up the cliffside.
Authorities in Nusa Penida have not given a prospective date for the ban on swimming to be lifted. Bali is in the middle of rainy season. This time of year not only brings heavy downpours but also storms at sea and rapidly changing tides and strong, unpredictable waves. There is a possibility that swimming will be banned on Nusa Penida’s most iconic beaches for the remainder of the rainy season, which generally dries up in late March.
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