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Does A Harmonious Future For Tourism In Bali Look Like Life In Singapore? One Academic Thinks So

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As the conversation around quality or quantity tourism in Bali rolls on, one academic on the island suggests that the Indonesian resort island can learn some lessons from neighboring Singapore.

In a bid to generate more harmony between tourists and locals for the good of everyone, one professor says that Bali can look to Singapore for inspiration. 

Tourists At Titra Empul for Melukat Blessing Temple.jpg

Bali is a travel destination synonymous with sun, sand, and sea. Over the last year or so, there has been a concerted effort to promote the island to tourists interested in ‘serenity, spirituality, and sustainability’ as well as those seeking a classic coastal vacation. 

This has bought about benefits for international tourists; this focus on generating greater harmony has led to open discussions about where improvements need to be made across the island’s tourism offering to ensure that high-quality experiences are accessible for visitors.

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Now tourism leaders and academics are looking at how even greater harmony can be generated for tourists and locals on the lands.

One professor from the Denpasar National Education University, Prof. Dr. Isa Bagus Rama Suardana, has suggested that the answer could lie in the way that Singapore manages tourism and public order.

Prof. Dr. Suardana told reporters that work is still needed to ensure that foreign tourists in Bali know how to behave appropriately and play their part in maintaining harmony on the island.

He said, “Like in Singapore, there is order because the people are also orderly. We in Bali also have to be like that; the risk of living in a tourism area cannot be arbitrary; we have to set an example.”

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Life for tourists in Singapore is very different from life for tourists in Bali. At first glance, it seems like a huge leap to align Bali with Singapore. For example, smoking is illegal in all public spaces, and being caught lighting up comes with a 500-1000 SGD fine.

It is illegal to enter the country with any tobacco or e-cigarette, whereas such items are widely available (and marketed) across Indonesia. 

Being a tourist exploring out and about in Singapore also has some key rules that must be observed. Pedestrians must use designated crossing places to get from one side of the road to the other.

Crossing the road in random spots can result in a fine. Traffic law is also enforced incredibly strictly in Singapore in a way that officials in Bali are endeavoring to implement now. 

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Littering in Singapore also comes with sizable fines, there is no eating permitted on public transport, and everyone must play their part in ensuring that public bathrooms are kept squeaky clean.

Whether the suggestion of a shift towards a regulatory model similar to Singapore happens in Bali remains to be seen.

Other academics in Bali feel that the promotion of greater harmony between tourists and local people comes from the targeted promotion of tourism offerings. Economist Bhima Yudistria has shared his observations with the media. 


Yudistria says that targeted marketing of Bali to international travelers will go a long way in ensuring high-quality tourist experiences can continue to grow.

This is a sentiment felt by many leading stakeholders in the tourism industry in Bali. So what does this mean for tourists?

In short, those planning their next visit to Bali can count on better deals on everything from flights to hotels and excursions as the island moves to promote higher-quality tourism. 


Yudistria also suggested that bringing bigger and better events to the island will give tourists more reasons to come and explore Bali and help promote economic growth.

Bali has already hosted a number of big music events this year, including Joyland Festival and Bali Spirit Festival.

The island’s leading beach clubs are attracting ever-bigger artists helping to establish Bali as a world-class destination for live music and cultural events. 

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Wednesday 24th of May 2023

Gimme Bukit Lawang and Pulau Weh North Sumatra over Bali any day!


Saturday 27th of May 2023

@Brian, please don't talk about the nice areas of the country. So many are already at risk of being destroyed by the greedy/corrupt politicians and their business friends unfortunately. The less the tourists know about these places the best (even though it's been in the Lonely Planet for decades).

PS: Pray for Toba, I haven't been there for 20 years but read articles about the speedboat racing BS, it sucks. Typical of this utterly corrupted regime.


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

Bali needs to be more like Singapore. What a ridiculous comparison and a poor role model to consider. Singapore is a false "modern perceived Utopia." one of the most expensive cities in the world and getting more expensive. It has no freedom of press. It is ruled by one political party. They control/monitor social media, say anything against govt/social situations and you get prosecuted or kicked out. It might appear clean and orderly but it has a morbid boring robotic culture of people. 74% are ethnic chinese and this is strictly controlled It uses foreign workers to do all the construction and service industries because Singapore permanent residents are entitled and dont want to do basic jobs. The foreign workers (400,000+) live in crowded dormitories more akin to prisons. The prime minister (son of Lee Kuan Yew) has a brother and sister both well educated that despise him (he took them to court)and the governance of this island country. There are few motorbikes on the island, cars/licensing are horrendously expensive . You cannot protest even peacefully its illegal and harshly penalised. It has massive disproportionate levels of wealth. I could go on and on. How do I know I lived/worked there for 4 years. I live in Bali now after coming here continuously for 35 years.


Friday 26th of May 2023

@Thommo, but they have damn good


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

Various nationalities would rather spend longer holidays in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam or the Philippines where the money goes further and good value for hotels et...rather than in Singapore. If your a foodie snob then Singapore is the place to stuff your faces.

However, Singapore’s tourist data shows that Indonesians with 906.9K in 2022 as the top largest tourist arrivals in the island city state.


Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

I must admit I do like the idea of people Not smoking in public and no littering the beaches and not driving like an idiot. Probaly a few hundred years away from ever happening.


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

@Billy, In Indonesia these things will never happen. The evolution required for the people here to act like Singaporeans would take thousands of year at the least. Bali is a joke.


Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

Can someone from Bali or Indonesia tell me what an Acedemic is?


Friday 26th of May 2023

@raymond, it ain't funny it is on your own doing to spell incorrectly but at the same time wanting to express something other than to put down others.


Thursday 25th of May 2023

Ok, next time before


insinuating, I will spell check my comments.

Thanks, too funny.......


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

@Raymond, first of all before your start insinuating something, start to spell A C A D E M I C correctly. Lol

Singapore's tourist data shows that Indonesians with 906.9K in 2022 as the top largest arrivals in the island city state.


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

@Raymond, If you wait for decades.....maybe.


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

@Raymond, I think that there it's someone who graduated from High School.