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Bali Urged To Think Through Proposed Tourism Quotas

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Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster has recently announced plans to implement a cap on the number of tourists who can visit the island annually. The policy change has sparked a huge discussion in Bali, and some local leaders are urging caution. 

Tanah Lot Temple Bali.jpg

The Chairman of the Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) for Tabanan Regency, Tabanan, I Gusti Bagus Made Damara, has told reporters that the proposed quota system must be very carefully formulated before it is implemented. 

Tabanan Regency neighbors Bali’s most popular tourism regency of Badung. Tabanan Regency is home to leading tourist attractions like Tanah Lot Temple, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Uluan Danu Baratan Temple and Mount Batukaru. 

@josefinepoulsen_ 📍Tabanan #fyp #foryou #balitravel #bali ♬ Paradise – Bazzi

In fact, Tabanan Regency has plenty to offer travelers and holidaymakers in Bali. Not only is the regency home to some of the most picturesque black sand beaches and quiet surf spots but also some of the most stunning jungle retreats on the island.

While many travelers head to Ubud and the villages around Gianyar for a jungle immersion, there are breathtaking forest retreats in Tabanan that are not to be overlooked. 

As the dialogue around proposed tourism quotas and other major proposed policy changes like banning the visa on arrival for Russian and Ukrainian citizens and banning all foreigners from driving in Bali, some tourists and tourism stakeholders are understandably anxious about how and when these proposed changes will be bought into effect. 

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♬ suara asli – Musisi Kawe

Damara told reporters that while the public dialogue has its positives, that action is what is needed now.

He noted that the conversation around sustainable vs. mass tourism and quality vs. low-quality tourism is nothing new. Damara reminded reporters that this discussion has been ebbing and flowing in academic circles in Bali since the 1980s. 

He said, “Now, the most important thing is the translation. Don’t just talk, considering that it was discussed in 1985. Incidentally, I am an alumnus of the Faculty of Tourism at Udayana University,”

@dekdwii19_ Sunset bali hari ini, no edit no filter needed! #SunsetBali #Bali #PantaiCintaKedungu #TheBeachLove #WidekAsmara #Tabanan #TabananBali ♬ 18 – Ajat

Damara voiced his concerns that a tourism quota could have a negative impact on small, independent hospitality businesses in Bali.

He explained that quotas should not inadvertently further concentrate tourism in Badung Regency, home to the island’s busiest resorts like Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, and Nusa Dua. 

Damara continued, “This should also be a serious concern if the quota for foreign tourists on vacation to Bali is limited. Because in Bali tourism, local people also participate. They provide inn-class accommodation or small hotels.”


As a key tourism stakeholder, Damara’s statements will have a big impact on the conversion at large. He warned that as the island continues to recover from the impacts of the plasmid, tourism should not be allowed to ‘die’ again. 

He concluded, “Be careful with applying restrictions on tourist quotas; you might go bankrupt later. That’s why we need to sit down and discuss it. What’s the formula like? Anticipate what kind of negative impact it will have.”

Governor Koster’s proposed tourism quotas would actually still permit millions of tourists to enter Bali every year. Despite a series of major policy change proposals in recent months, the provincial government is still keen to welcome 4.5 million international tourists to Bali this year. 


During the announcement, the Governor explained how the tourism quotas, and other new policy changes, could look be implemented.

He explained, “[the quota] is limited to seven million foreign tourists, for example, per year, with certain criteria, so it’s tightened. For example…[tourists must show] a minimum [amount] of money to carry in savings. Don’t let [tourists] only bring IDR 10 million enough for a week and suddenly stay in Bali] for a month.”

For now, it remains the case that there is no limit to the number of tourists allowed into Bali, and there is no limit on the number of visa-on-arrivals that can be issued by the Department of Immigration online, or at the Ngurah Rai Immigration Offices at Bali Airport. 

Ariel View of Tourist Beach in Bali.jpg

As a country, Indonesia is aiming to welcome over 7 million international visitors in 2023, with a local target of 4.5 million foreign tourists visiting Bali.

As the high season approaches, Bali is braced to welcome tens of thousands of travelers and holidaymakers to enjoy the best that the island has to offer. From the rolling surf of Canggu to the jungles of Ubud, from the sandy shores of Lovina to the exclusive resorts of Nusa Dun, Bali is open and welcoming and is still set to have the busiest year for tourism since the pandemic began. 

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Thursday 11th of May 2023

Quote from this article: "As the dialogue around proposed tourism quotas and other major proposed policy changes like banning the visa on arrival for Russian and Ukrainian citizens". Well now that the cat is out of the bag, it would be difficult to reverse the visa on arrival for Russians citizens.

This issue should have been thought carefully entering post pandemic and before the nonsense war even began. Why ask questions later from the local authorities when they may know well something has already brewing out of Russia.

Indonesia not only shares a business relationship with Russia but also maintain close ties, like two brothers in love, that lasted for 77 years since being established in 1945. Russia was one of the first countries to recognize's sovereignty and independence from the Dutch after the end of World War II, alongside Egypt and other Arab states.

In 2019, Russia began issuing free e-visas allowing Indonesian citizens to visit St.Peterburg or the Leningrad region via certain entry points. That seemed easier than Western passport holders were to visit Russia before the war began


Thursday 11th of May 2023

So now I can't visit my Indonesian grandchildren when I wan't to?

Paul Morris

Wednesday 10th of May 2023

Koster and his family stole so much money from the Balinese people it’s staggering, he didn’t give a rats that people were starving so long as he got richer. The Balinese people hate him and when the elections are held next year he will be thrown out of office.


Thursday 11th of May 2023

@Paul Morris, yep


Thursday 11th of May 2023

@Paul Morris, starving?? Hmmm, I have not seen any in Bali in past, present or post pandemic.

Surprisingly you did not say don't bite the hands that feeds a nutshell that is. Btw, I personally do not think that way when visiting any country (rich, poor or developing) that may depend on tourism. It's not in my nature to judge a country with its own internal problems or conflicts of interests.

J West

Wednesday 10th of May 2023

It’s not the number of tourists taken in it’s the quality. Flakes, Frauds, Spiritual Gangsters, War and Draft dodgers. Low life without resources. Illiterate surf instructors from land locked countries, Russian language waitresses, Seniors without pensions, Cheap Charlie’s on a tight budget. Bali has a problem because they don’t get the losers out.


Thursday 11th of May 2023

@J West, Hey man, you forgot yoga instructors.


Thursday 11th of May 2023

@J West, Your commets make no sense


Wednesday 10th of May 2023

Oh dear what next, already plans for extra levy on millions of tourists, apparently to stop bad behaviour of a few hundred tourists. Now a quota with proof of income. This effectively nullifies the attraction of visa on arrival. Many high end tourists will object to disclosing their financial status and imagine the logistics in administering the quota.

The way to limit tourism is to regulate future development and restrict to discrete non intrusive facilities in remote areas, and stop encouraging the building of huge beach clubs and expansion of the urban areas towards Tabanan.

Balinese Hindu religion and culture is very powerful and has resisted the impact of tourism. However, an important element of a culture is the natural environment which in Bali as we all know are the rice paddies and the Subak. This has been destroyed in many areas of Badung resulting in huge urbanization which is steadily increasing. You can travel all the way to Ubud without seeing a rice terrace, due to linear development and no green belt seperating villages. Carry on to Kintamani and almost no countryside until the Ceking terraces. What happened to protecting the mangrove with large scale development along the by - pass to Sanur. No policy on creating local parks and preserving areas for recreation or relaxing.

Just my opinion, worried for beautiful Bali