Over the last few weeks, officials in Bali have been speaking openly about the production of a ‘good tourist guide’ that will help tourists better understand ways of life on the island.
As the educational resource edges closer to publishing, what does the creation of a good tourist guide and new guidelines for behavior mean for visitors?
Speaking to reporters, the chairman of the Alliance of Marginal Bali Tourism Actors (APPMB), I Wayan Puspa Negara, explained that the creation of the book is to help ensure tourists do not “act up and commit criminal acts and violate existing laws. Not only that, tourists even take actions that violate Balinese cultural norms.”
Negara explained, “We at APPMB encourage the government to make it immediately so that tourists who come know what is allowed and what cannot be done while in Bali.”
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While there have been high-profile cases of tourists and ex-pats being deported from Bali for breaking social norms and committing criminal offenses, Negara still has a sympathetic approach to tourists.
He told reporters, “Not all tourists who come on vacation to Bali know all the norms and rules that apply. So, it is important to have a guidebook as long as they are in Bali.”
Sympathy for tourists who are still getting to grips with the unique culture of Bali and support for the good tourist’s guide has also come from the Head of the Immigration Division of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of Bali Province, Barron Ihsan.
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He has told reporters that the guidebook will make it easier for tourists to take part in their activities in Bali to the full while on vacation.
This, he noted, is just one of the reasons he encourages the Provincial Government of Bali to proceed with plans and outline the island’s laws and regulations in a guidebook.
Ishan said, “We continue to communicate about this guidebook. So, this will be their direction in every activity in Bali.”
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While the book, likely to me more of a small brochure, is on its way to being published, what can tourists expect to learn from the resource?
It is anticipated that the educational booklet will include the rules that tourists are expected to adhere to when visiting temples and other sacred sites in Bali.
It is expected that the guide will outline the unique aspects of life and culture in Bali and advise tourists on how to best respectfully connect with the Balinese way of life.
For sure, a good tourist guide will share information regarding the rules of the road and up-to-date traffic laws regarding the licenses and paperwork drivers are excepted to have in place before they head out exploring.
Ihsan told reporters that once published, the good tourist guide will be available at the arrivals hall at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport so that all inbound tourists can pick one up as soon as they land.
He reiterated that the creation of the guide is to help stamp out badly behaving tourists on Bali to help maintain peace and order on the island.
Ihsan said, “There are several cases of tourists that we handle by deporting them [for] their ignorance. So, [when] they came, they lacked information/guidance while in Bali. So, with the existence of a guidebook, we can prevent [bad behavior] so that there are no more cases of violating customary Balinese norms.”
The national tourism board for Indonesia, Wonderful Indonesia, has already outlined the do’s and don’ts of tourist behavior in Bali.
The series of infographics on social media outlined not only the rules and regulations that had most often been ignored by the small minority of badly behaved tourists but also provided guidance to help tourists make the most of their time on the island.
Despite proposals for huge changes to tourism policies in Bali, the Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies has made a statement this week to say that the island will continue to roll out the red carpet for tourists.
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