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Culture-Based Tourism Still Top Priority For Bali According To Officials 

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Top tourism officials in Bali have confirmed that the development of culture-based tourism is still a top priority on the island.

The statement comes as leaders have been facing kickbacks from politicians, tourism stakeholders, local communities, and Bali lovers regarding the state of tourism management on the island. 

Tourists Stand in Front fo GWK Cultural Statue in Bali

The Head of the Bali Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, attended the Weekly Brief with Sandi Uno, a talk show at the press conference held every Tuesday by the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno. 

Pemayun, who joined the session via a video call, told Minister Uno, “Bali is committed and has stated it in regulations to develop cultural tourism.”

Together they touched on the incident whereby the booming tourism resort of Canggu in Bali was listed on GoogleMaps as ‘New Moscow’. Amidst the heated debates online that followed, Minister Uno was vocal in his belief that the situation poses an opportunity for the Bali tourism sector.

While many were concerned that the listing was a form of colonization, the Minister feels that the listing was no different from areas in other cities and travel destinations around the world, like Little India, Chinatown, or K-Town.

Minister Uno, speaking at his weekly conference last week, was clear that while the notion that Canggu could be referred to as New Moscow, however informally, poses opportunities for the island. However, he also called on both Russian and Ukraine citizens on the island to respect the law and local customs.

His comments were also made in reference to the huge drug bust that took place on a villa in Canggu where two Ukrainian brothers, a Russian citizen and an Indonesian national, were arrested for producing large amounts of indoor marijuana and meth. 

Minister Uno said, “There must be special attention. Even though the number of tourist visits, Russia and Ukraine are not among the highest.”

He added, “They have the potential to manage their investments related to the digital economy and several breakthroughs that we are making to increase the amount of investment here (in Bali). They must comply with all local wisdom and applicable laws and regulations in Indonesia.”

During the conversation with Minster Uno on Tuesday, Pemayun, too, denied the allegations that Bali had been colonized. Pemayun invited the Balinese community tourists and tourism industry stakeholders to all work together to uphold and respect Balinese culture. 

Minister Uno said, “We agree that our tourism ecosystem must be strengthened. In the future, together with industry, we will increase supervision, including involving village heads as well as tourist villages and local communities, so that we can monitor each other. That is what we hope for.”


The notion of promoting culture based tourism is one that has been on the cards for decades, but especially so in the last year.

The discussion helped prompt the new tourism tax initiative, which has been up and running since mid-February. The Bali tourism tax was introduced to help ‘nurture nature, preserve the heritage, and elevate your experience.’

Rice Farmers in Bali.jpg

Although the Bali tourism tax was introduced in February, by mid-April, it became apparent that upwards of 60%of international tourists were failing to pay the mandatory tax levy.

As ordered by Pemayun and the Bali Tourism Office, the newly deployed Tourism Task Force will conduct spot checks on tourists at top cultural attractions.

While there is no fine nor legal prosecution process for tourists not paying their fees at this time, if stopped by the Tourism Task Force and unable to present the QR-code tourism tax voucher, tourists will be asked to make payment there and then. 


When on spot-check patrols, the Tourism Task Force are stationed outside the attractions so as to not disrupt the experience for tourists.

Tourists and travelers planning a visit to Bali this high season can make their payment online prior to arrival in Bali or at the dedicated counter at Bali International Airport; the fee is IDR 150,000.

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Friday 31st of May 2024

Is there a type of tourism Uno and co haven't yet seized on? Throwing handfuls of rice at the rice barn door.


Thursday 30th of May 2024

"Culture-Based Tourism Still Top Priority For Bali According To Officials."

Looks more like "Party-Culture" as they allow construction of Miami and Dubai style hotels along the coastline plus numerous up and coming beach clubs.


Thursday 30th of May 2024

'Kickbacks' ?

An intentional slip of the pen? In slang it's the same as backhander, under the table.... scratch my back....