Officials in Bali have announced that they have plans to create billboards in foreign languages to help build awareness amongst visitors to the island on how to behave. The announcement comes just days after the provincial government confirmed that they had launched a dedicated task force to crack down on foreigners working illegally on the island.
The concept is in its socialization phase, in that officials are tabling the idea and gauging public support. The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, told reporters that the government had assigned the task to his team. He said, “we are assigned by the government, in this case, the Bali Tourism Office, to prepare socialization in the form of writing and visuals. However, we have to start with some kind of appeal at several points.”
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Adnyana said that billboards and public awareness campaign materials would be installed at strategic locations in Denpasar Regency, Denpasar Regency, and Gianyar Regency. This would cover all of the island’s most popular resort destinations, including Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, Canggu, Ubud, Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Uluwatu.
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He continued ‘the point is for tourists to respect the cultural customs of the Balinese by dressing well and eating and being orderly in carrying out traffic activities. By not doing things that are outside the provisions such as doing business and working in Bali.” He confirmed that at least ten large billboards will be installed and will have the content written in foreign languages. He confirmed that English will be the first, but that in the future, the boards may be replicated in other foreign languages.
Adnyana said, “indeed, we are ‘welcoming’ and accept everything. Guests are king but don’t abuse.” He also confirmed that the Tourism Board would collaborate with social media influencers, tourism stakeholders, e-commerce businesses, and international content creators to future publicize the campaign. He added, “later the one who advises from his own people so that we are not blacklisted and troubled in other peoples countries. It is much better if those who advise from their own people.”
He concluded by saying that the billboards would be built and presented in alignment with regulations in Bali. Adyana ended his statement by saying, “for the billboard-making fund [it will be paid for with a] fund that has been prepared. We will coordinate the imposition of the billboard installation tax only so that it is not charged. The size is large, for example, 4×5 meters according to the important thing that needs to be read, easy, and there are aesthetic [considerations]”.
The news of public awareness comes as the provincial government, now supported by the central government, will crack down on illegal workers on the island. The announcement was made by the Deputy Governor of Bali, Cok Ace, and the Head of the Provincial Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, on Monday, 28th February.
In the days that followed, a circular letter from the Presidential Palace in Jakarta was released publically. The letter invited addresses to attend a meeting “related to the situation of the security and public order in the Province of Bali, especially in the context of the activities of Foreign Citizens (WNA).”
Addressees include the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, as well as the Head of Bali Police, Inspector General Pol Putu Jayan Danu Putura, and the Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim. Representatives for the Department of Tourism and Creative Economies were also included in the letter, as well as civil representatives. These included social justice activities and Balinese entrepreneur Ni Luh Djelantik and lecturer of social and political sciences at Udayana University, Wayhu Bdui Nugroho.
This week a Russian national was deported after being found guilty of working illegally in Bali. The man, known by his initials SZ was deported for working as a photographer despite being on a temporary residence visa designed to facilitate pre-investment and investment activities, not income-generating work.
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