Bali’s Deputy Governor, known mostly by his nickname Cok Ace, has spoken to reporters about how campaign efforts have helped curb bad behavior by tourists on the island.
Since the beginning of the year Bali has seen a sharp rise in the number of incudes of tourists breaking the law or disrespecting Balinese culture.
Bali’s Deputy Governor, Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, has spoken to reporters about how the authorities are dealing with badly behaved tourists on the island.
For a few weeks, reports of foreigners breaking the law, or disrespecting local culture had appeared to decrease. Earlier this week however a Russian tourist was taken into custody after a ‘violent rampage’ in a local supermarket.
The woman, known by her initials AR, was arrested after entering the shop in Uluwatu without wearing clothes and behaving in an aggressive and unpredictable manner towards shop workers and the public.
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Speaking to reporters Cok Ace said that the incident involving AR is an example of the swift action the authors are taking against foreigners who are disturbing public order.
He noted that the fact that there had not been any headline-hitting cases for a few weeks was not a sign that the Tourism Task Force and other authorities had slacked off but rather that the educational awareness campaigns were starting to have a positive influence.
Cok Ace said, “There [will] always be those who haven’t heard of or read the do’s and don’ts that we issued. This could happen by we will still [communicate] them.”
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He added that the fact that AR’s case has caught public attention is a positive reminder to tourists to understand the rules and regulations in place.
While it has now been established that AR was likely experiencing a mental health crisis, the incident has prompted yet more dialogue about the importance of tourists knowing what is and isn’t appropriate behavior.
The Deputy Governor stressed that “the Tourism Task Force is not being less strict, but that is because for all this time the [situation] has started to be fine. Finally foreign tourists no longer [don’t] know what is permissible and is not permissible.”
Cok Ace concluded, “the important thing is that we act; we already have guidelines for the legal umbrella, and we must continue to remind [foreign tourists of the rules].”
Speaking separately earlier this week, the Head of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Anggiat Napitupulu, confirmed the number of foreign tourists who have been deported from the island in the year so far.
Napitupulu revealed “the number of foreigners deported from Bali as of Tuesday 29th August, was 213 people since January 2023….They came from 45 countries, with details of 59 foreigners from Russia, 14 from the United States, 13 from the UK, 12 from Australia, and 9 from Nigeria.”
While 213 people is a steep increase from the 188 deportations conducted throughout 2022, the number is still a tiny fraction of the over 2 million international tourists who have already visited Bali this year.
For 99% of tourists, respecting Indonesian law and Balinese culture is not difficult at all. Part of the joy of visiting Bali for vacation is the opportunity to learn about Balinese culture and Indonesian heritage.
Whether through visiting iconic temples like Goa Gajah, Pura Tirta Empul, Ubud Palace, or Uluwatu Temple, there is so much history and spirituality to learn about in Bali.
Leaders on the island want to see more tourists actively engaging in Balinese culture during their vacation.
This includes everything from trying local food to enjoying cultural dances and performances like the Barong or the firey Kecak dance.
One of the most memorable ways to experience Balinese culture during a vacation on the island is to visit a local village.
The most famous traditional village in Bali is Penglipuran Village, winner of multiple tourism awards and undeniably beautiful; an increasing number of tourists from all around the world are loving visiting Penglipuran Village right now.
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