Following the introduction of Governor Koster’s new do’s and don’ts for tourists visiting Bali, feedback from travelers has been largely positive.
Over the last few days, the ‘good tourist guide’ has started to be given to every tourist arriving in Bali.
Reporters spoke to international tourists in Bali and asked for their views on the new behavioral guidelines and the introduction of the good tourist guide information card.
One German tourist told reporters that he was supportive of the effort to crack down on bad behavior by tourists.
Known by his initials TK, he told reporters, “I agree with the new regulations that are in the flyers that have been distributed. I am very disappointed with foreign tourists who are behaving in Bali.”
TK is traveling to Bali for 13 days, much longer than the new average length of stay for tourists in Bali. He said that he understands the frustration and upset felt by many local people when it comes to foreigners disrespecting the law and local customs.
He added, “I don’t understand why other tourists come to a country and act like they are in their own country. I don’t understand. I don’t agree with this behavior.”
“Bali has stunning landscapes. The beaches, water, and animals are very beautiful. We have to protect the landscape and beauty of Bali. It is very important,” he continued.
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This is a sentiment that is shared by tourism stakeholders across Bali, from the central government to the provincial leadership. From returning visitors to Bali, first-time explorers, and local communities, everyone, in their own way, is keen to preserve what makes the island so special.
The new rules, as outlined by Governor Koster in his Circular Letter Number 4 of 2023, state twelve obligations by tourists in Bali and eight prohibited behaviors. This is in addition to, of course, obeying the law of Indonesia.
For the vast majority of tourists, the new rules are no trouble at all to adhere to. In fact, many people have noted how the rules are simply a reiteration of existing laws and customary practices and are easy to follow if you’re a tourist keen to respect the places you’re visiting.
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There are several online forums and social media groups dedicated to travel in Bali.
It only takes a quick scroll through these communities to see that tourists are keen to play their role in preserving culture, natural landscapes, and the Bali of old.
Bali lovers are often quick to comment about the impacts of tourism development on the island and the implications it has on the environment and local livelihoods.
Bali is a travel destination that continues to grow in popularity, with hundreds of thousands of first-time visitors arriving every year.
What makes Bali such a special vacation destination is that there are almost just as many returning visitors every year.
Bali is an especially important vacation destination for travelers from Australia, thousands of whom have a long-standing relationship with the island.
As Bali entered the peak vacation season, the busiest time of the year outside of the Eid al-Fitr and Christmas and New Year holidays, tourism stakeholders are working hard to ensure that tourists are set up to succeed.
In this sense, tourism authorities on the island are calling on hotels, restaurants, tourism attractions, and tour guides to all play a fair role in ensuring tourists understand what behavior is and isn’t acceptable.
One big step forward in circulating this information is through the good tourist guide info card that will now be slipped into passports when travelers are stamped into Bali.
The second is huge billboard posters outlining rules and relations at strategic locations across the island.
The third is the deployment of tourism task forces to follow up on reports of poorly behaved tourists.
Tourism stakeholders are also discussing a series of even more novel approaches, including the development of an app for tourists and even creating plaques at tourist attractions where violations have taken place, warning visitors of the consequences of disobeying the rules.
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