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Government Cracking Down On Illegal Tour Guides In Bali

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The Badung Civil Service has committed to cracking down on illegal tour guides in Bali’s most popular resorts.

The illegal tour guides, known locally as ‘gacong’ target tourists in busy resorts and offer to take them to iconic attractions. On arrival, they attempt to exhort a commission out of the tourism businesses for bringing people through the door. 

Tour guide stands ourside entrance to tourist attraction in Bali.jpg

The Badung Civil Service have revealed that they are taking firm steps to crack down on gangs of gacong guides operating between Nusa Dua and South Denpasar.

The Head of Badung Civil Service, I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, said more needs to be done to keep tourists safe from these unscrupulous guides. 

Suryanegara told reporters “We cannot accept this gacong behavior because it is worrying. We have brought order several times up to the Tipiring Trial, but it seems there are still difficulties in providing effective sanctions.”

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He continued, “Every time there is action, we don’t get an appointment at the Denpasar District Court. We detained their ID cards, but they still didn’t show up to court.”

“We hope that this water sports service uses polite and friendly guides, which can improve the image and popularity of the water sports business.”

“This is not only about enforcing the rules but also about creating a positive and enjoyable tourism environment for tourists.”

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The Head of South Kuta Subdistrict, I Ketut Gede Arta, has spoken out about the widespread practice of gracing in the Nusa Dua area.

Guides are known to pressure tourists into signing up for watersports activities in Tanjung Benoa. These guides then put pressure on the service providers to pay them a commission despite not having a contract or even a relationship with them.

Arta confirmed that a comprehensive approach is being taken by all parties to try and stamp out this practice to help make Bali more comfortable for tourists.

He said “We have taken several steps. We have invited all water tourism owners to work together to overcome this problem.”

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“Apart from that, we have also made several joint statements and coordinated with the Maritime Tourism Business Organization.”

He added, “We do not look at their origin, whether local or non-local. Anyone who disturbs the comfort of tourists, we will monitor them and impose sanctions according to applicable regulations.”

Arta concluded, “We hope that we must remind them more often because this is our shared responsibility.” 

“This awareness must grow together, and the preventive steps we take are a form of our commitment to maintaining the safety and comfort of tourists in Bali.”


Tourists can ensure that they are not getting caught up in a gacong deal by pre-booking their tour guide based on recommendations or booking experiences directly with attractions.

It is not only gacong guides that the Bali tourism sector wants to see become a thing of the past. New data shows that ultra-cheap tours of Bali are being sold to travel operators in China.

Local tourism businesses are concerned that Bali is being ‘sold for cheap’ and that this practice goes against the island-wide move to promote Bali as a destination for high-spending, longer-staying tourists. 


Bali-based travel agent, Claudius Daniel, told reporters of a promotion he saw on WeChat which offered a tour package from Shenzhen City to Bali for 5 days and 4 nights for USD 128 for a practically all-inclusive trip. 

Daniel explained that this particular deal appears to be a ‘buying heads’ situation. He said “Basically, this is a practice where Chinese tourists are sold to tour guides at a certain price per head.”

Despite the practice being banned in order to create a fair tourism industry it is still a widespread approach in the sector.


Daniel added “The system is that Bali is sold cheaply abroad, then the travel agent collaborates with foreign parties offers the tour guide to handle guests. The costs are borne by the tour guide, but in practice, there is a percentage of the costs borne by the guide, which can reach 70 percent.”

This practice is widely acknowledged to have been going on for decades in Bali and even though a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 25th August 2023 to especially ban the strategy, evidence suggests it’s still happening across the island. 

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Wilson McGreery

Sunday 19th of November 2023

The only thing the police here are cracking down on is another donut.


Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

@Wilson McGreery, bingo. The amount of "cracking down" that has been told over the years can't be remembered any more. Despite all the cracking, nothing has changed. It's still absolutely corrupt dump.

Neil gill

Friday 17th of November 2023

Wow Bali has thought about that right now how clever it has been going on for years with not paying the ten 10℅after the meal, and the bulk uf buses taking the benefits. from Java doing the same... We do have a police force don't we or they the ones that are everywhere every morning. And then take a 8 hour sleep, as I travel from North to South once a week and so many all directing traffic in different directions but afterb10. 00am you cannot find one must be sleep time after 3 hours of work


Friday 17th of November 2023

As a long-term resident here, it's quite entertaining to watch the Balinese get a taste of their own medicine. Cheating, lying and ripping people off whenever the chance has existed for so many years without remorse or any retribution well, the payback has finally arrived.

Imigrasi Indonesia has allowed a never ending stream of low class, disrespectful low life Slavic scum to populate this place and holy hell are they giving the Bali Boys some grief. Until your Immigration Dept stops back-to-back social visa and the easy go investment visa they will reign in a short time.

It won’t be long until tourists will have to pay a Russian controlled highway checkpoint some serious cash to get to wherever they want to go.


Monday 20th of November 2023

@Yuki, Wait till Prabowo gets in, then the country is f@&ken screwed. Back to the Soeharto era goes Indonesia....


Monday 20th of November 2023

@Yuki, '..Most of the regular people who comment here have businesses, are retired, or own very high end villas and are not particularly impressed with the direction Bali, and Indonesia in general has been going..'

This arrogant sense of entitlement and importance has no place here.


Monday 20th of November 2023

@Yuki, I also own property, retired and have been living here for a long time.

I am not 'sugar coating' the many problems Bali faces.

I understand them but they are outweighed by the pleasure and satisfaction I get from living here.

I don't lie or post untruths. Nor I am not angry with either the locals or those posting.

I am amazed and bemused by the often incorrect meaningless, ineffectual and repetitive posts. Perhaps 'whinges' would be more appropriate.

It's their country. They have the right to govern it in their own way, and to make their own mistakes. Interference smacks of colonialism.

Don't like it or can't handle it? Wear it or leave.


Sunday 19th of November 2023


Most of the regular people who comment here have businesses, are retired, or own very high end villas and are not particularly impressed with the direction Bali, and Indonesia in general has been going. It’s purely out of frustration that they speak their minds here on this website, because it’s the only one that allows serious truthful comments.

If you, for some reason want to sugar coat all of the endemic problems and corruption here, then maybe better to take action and not constantly lie to other readers with your incessant angry untruthful posts.

Indonesia has seriously gone downhill over the years I have lived here. And recently even allowing the Chinese to build a billion-dollar rail system that would have easily been afforded if every person in the government wasn’t stealing all the money from the taxpayers and wiring it to Singapore.

A small end result is that clever aggressive people from all over the world realize that Bali has become easy pickings. Therefore, the Russians, who are basically criminal in nature see it as easy pickings.

If the people who run around with Indonesia red and white flags and occupy government positions don’t put a stop to the mass immigration here, it is not going to work out well for these people. And I don’t want to live in a Russian vassal state. And I am not moving!


Saturday 18th of November 2023


If the Balinese are lying and cheating, and Bali is over run by Slavic slum why are you still living here? BTW Russia and combined Slavic countries aren't in the top 10 numbers for 2023.


Friday 17th of November 2023

From reading this article it appears that they are not 'Cracking Down' on the problem.

It has always been a free for all here.


Thursday 16th of November 2023

What is reported here tells me all is back to normal.