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Officials Tell Tourists ‘Stigma Of A Free Bali Must Be Changed’

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Top tourism officials in Bali have issued statements saying that the belief that the island is a tourism destination that permits total freedom must end.

While Bali has long been associated as a travel hotspot where foreigners can let loose, those days are numbered, and leaders feel a new era of culturally respectful and sustainable tourism must be sworn in. 

Balinese Hindu Worshippers at Temple Community.jpg

As Bali continues to battle against a small but significant number of culturally disrespectful and criminally inclined tourists visiting the island, leaders want to see more effort committed to stopping the stigma that the province is a travel destination that is totally free for all. 

According to the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) for Bali, the way to address the stigma of the Island of the Gods is totally free, and a place with lax law enforcement is to re-enforce the ‘dos and don’ts’ as well as tightening the conditions for the arrival of foreign tourists.

Speaking to reporters, the Chairman of GIPI Bali IB, Agung Partha Adnyana, said, “The stigma of a free Bali must be changed, yes… the dos and don’ts must also be tightened again.”

Adnyana was referring to the Circular Letter (SE) issued by the Bali Provincial Government titled the Governor of Bali SE Number 4 of 2023 concerning New Orders for Foreign Tourists While in Bali.

This letter outlined the do’s and don’ts for tourists in Bali, and for a short time, the information was given to all tourists on small red flyers as they arrived at Bali Airport.

The information was also plastered on a series of billboards, placed at top tourist attractions, and communicated in the media too.

However, despite these efforts, reports of badly behaved foreigners in Bali appear to be on the rise again as the 2024 high season gets into flow. 

Adnyana said that though the fact that the flyer was put into passports on arrival made some impact, the fact that the practice stopped so soon after it started has meant that tourists’ understanding of the do’s and don’ts has fallen again.

He said, “Indeed, it was already there visually (in the form of a billboard, announcements, web pages), but many people didn’t see it afterward. Now we are trying again as before, manually.”

He wants to see the flyers reintroduced and the dos and don’t communicate more broadly to try and stop the stigma of Bali being a destination that can be disrespected by foreigners who are under the misguided belief that criminal, culturally disrespectful, reckless, and irresponsible behavior will be blindly tolerated; it won’t.

While the vast majority of tourists are hugely culturally respectful and, in fact, are visiting Bali to learn more about the island’s unique way of life and see for themselves the cultural heritage of the island, culturally respectful and sustainable tourism is not the ‘standard’ offering in Bali at this time.

At the moment, the negative impacts of mass tourism are being felt heavily by local communities and the authorities who are keen to change that public image quickly. 


There are now concerns that alcohol consumption is playing too heavily of a role in the number of foreigners being caught behaving badly in Bali.

So much so that last week the Indonesian Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, issued statements calling on both tourists and tourism businesses to be more responsible when it comes to alcohol. 

Beer taps at gastropub.jpg

Minster Uno told reporters, “Those who provide drinks have a duty to tell them [tourists] to sit down first, don’t continue drinking, don’t end up losing consciousness, because losing consciousness can make people do anything.”

He added, “Tourists must be informed, like some world-class destinations that are of higher quality, they have limited. Once they [tourists] exceed orders, the bar staff and waiters say no, this is too much.”


Minister Uno concluded, “This requires support not only from law enforcement officials, but the community and the tourism ecosystem to remind tourists that there are limited to drinking and the use of drugs is prohibited and will be dealt with very severely. We must limit the use of alcohol or anything that can trigger unlawful behavior.”

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John Logan

Thursday 20th of June 2024

Everyday means more articles on tourists behaving badly.Why not simply ban all tourists? It is 100% the only way to stop these problems. The Balinese are far more concerned with creeping Islamization than drunken tourists. I doubt the Minister would ever admit that.


Friday 21st of June 2024

@John Logan, what Islamization are you freaking talking about? Muslims and Hindus are living in harmony in Bali for that matter. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A MUSLIM! A CHRISTIAN! A HINDU OR A WHITE PERSON TO KNOW THAT PUBLIC INTOXICATION IS RUDE AND UNCIVILIZED!!! Only people like your kind who want to create animosity among the religions in Bali or different ethnicities in Indonesia. Balinese are NOT concerned about Muslims living in Bali. They respect each other’s religion, tradition and religious holidays that they observed. ONLY in Indonesia that every religion recognized under the constitution of the Republic gets their day off. Do you see that in the West for example in the US that I know of...fat chance. Sigh...


Thursday 20th of June 2024

Ban alcohol and all these undesirable people will not want to be in Bali. And it might reduce the total number of tourists, which be a good thing, because there are far too many. The roads are overburdened you can't go anywhere for huge traffic jams.

Bali lover

Thursday 20th of June 2024

Bali also needs to clean up their money scammers, drug dealers around bars, flagrant prostitution and time share scammers. This sends a message to tourists the law is not being enforced either.


Thursday 20th of June 2024

Bali has become a haven as a free for all behavior. It has attracted people from every corner of the world with the intention to let loose. However some of these people have managed to step all over the Indonesians for their kindness, easy going and in the long they saw how to take advantage of them in any possible situation.

It’s easy to blame them for cleaning up their own backyard first however if the foreigners see a loophole to circumvent certain rules, they are also contributing and complicit in making the situation not conducive in order to avoid paper works and the level of bureaucracy that it took. The level of bureaucracy (bureaucracie in Dutch) is a well known inherited Dutch way of handling things in every difficult way to achieve what you want done. Things have changed for the better but there are those who would not mind a step further up the line with a price because they simply have lost patience or have an inflated sense of entitlement and uniqueness.

Shaun hall

Wednesday 19th of June 2024

The lack of police presence and removal of Laskar can’t be helping the situation.