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Top Official Says Bali Must Find Way To Balance Mass Tourism

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It is a widely acknowledged fact that Bali is finding its relationship with tourism complicated at the moment.

The island has been seeking to redefine its tourism model and move towards more sustainable and culturally respectful tourism as the standard. 

Tourists Line Up To Do Melukat at Tirta Empul Temple in Bali.jpg

What Bali is really grappling with is how to balance mass tourism.

This is something that the spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies discussed with the press earlier this week.

Nia Niscaya, a civil servant for the Ministry, held a press conference in Jakarta on Monday, 19th February. 

@improve.lifestyle_ Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Bali, Indonesia! 🇲🇨 #travel #destination #2023 #vacation #lifestyle #health #bali #indonesia #tourist ♬ So Much Happiness – Lux-Inspira

Niscaya spoke openly about Bali’s need to find a happier balance within the mass tourism sector, especially since there have been increasing incidences over the last year of foreigners behaving badly and of foreigners complaining about how the experience on the island didn’t live up to their expectations. 

Niscaya said, “When we talk about mass tourism, the challenge is how do you manage it well? How do we manage and regulate the number of visitors because every destination definitely has capacity.”

@marinecrouz 🥴 #cretyaubud #cretya #bali #travel #traveltiktok #instavsreality ♬ original sound – Matthew Rincon

She continued, “So mass is not always bad, but it has to be managed well. For example, in one destination, that’s [the maximum capacity] you can do…But at certain times in certain places, there can only be so many [tourists]. So, in my opinion, the challenge of mass tourism is how we balance carrying capacity and are managing it.”

When asked if Bali is ‘too full,’ Niscaya didn’t agree nor disagree but did note that the province is at risk of being a victim of its own success if a balance is not found quickly.

She said, “Many people complain about traffic jams. Yes, it’s time to manage the infrastructure. And one might also need to balance between north and south Bali.”

@sipriyanus02 #Canggu traffic#In ♬ suara asli – Sipri

Niscaya continued, “Even though there are also many [destinations] in the north, there are also many in the west, so this is our challenge to be more aggressive [with promotions] or provide balanced information or promotion of attractions in areas that are not congested so that there will be movement.” 

She said, “This is also a way of managing in accordance with carrying capacity. Hopefully, I think this has become a concern.”


Echoing statements made by the ex-Deputy Governor of Bali, Cok Ace, Niscaya said that a serious spatial planning survey of Bali’s top resorts must be carried out to ensure that all development is being carried out in accordance with the law. This is for the benefit of local people and tourists too.

Niscaya said that developers in the Canggu area, in particular, need to ensure they are operating above board.

She said, “Surely they have [permits and licenses]. But the point is that planning is important to calculate the environmental impact. The socio-economic impact on the environment must be in place. There is a regional tourism master plan.”


Cok Ace told reporters this week that tourists and developers are more interested in modern design than in creating hotels and resorts in alignment with traditional Balinese architecture and cultural principles.

He also wants to see building permits and licenses be issued in stricter alignment with the law. 

Cok Ace noted that many developments are creeping into the boundaries of villages, which is against relational regulations.

This is especially important for foreigners looking to build a property in Bali or even buy an existing property in Bali.


Cok Ace asked ‘When you violate environmental regulations and yet say the permit has been fulfilled, why is there not a demonstration [of proof]?”

He wants to see a huge survey completed to ensure that the construction of new hotels, apartments, and villas aligns with tourists’ demand. 

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Friday 23rd of February 2024

As a starter streamline the mass tourism by imposing visas and visa free only to those friendly countries that do bring a revenue and not pose a problem. Quality is necessary and not quantity. Hopefully the new government can implement new measures to welcome certain countries that do not lack cultural sensitivity.


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Quote "Cok Ace noted that many developments are creeping into the boundaries of villages, which is against relational regulations. Cok Ace asked ‘When you violate environmental regulations and yet say the permit has been fulfilled, why is there not a demonstration [of proof]?”

Blaming the developer? That is too funny. Who signed the permit for the illegal developments? Nobody bother with zoning, building regulations and permits in place before they start a project -- as money, social status and connections ensure that anything goes.

In my area a huge billboard stating huge fine and jail for building in the green zone (rice field). And next to the billboard the locals are are developing housing complexes and a lot more. I asked a local about this and he said the locals can do anything they want.


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

These useless officials and politicians have been talking about this since before the plandemic and still have done absolutely nothing.

Deborah Jarvis

Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Russians destroying tracts of forest to build their own resorts, corruption is rife and its not local Balinese involved, it's the Indonesian overlords grafting the $$.schools can't even teach their own language anymore.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

@Deborah Jarvis, who are the Indonesian overlords?

Anyway, Russians are gentrifying the island of the Gods. Hopefully the new central government will rethink twice about the entry requirements for some nationalities including Russian citizens. Some Russians lack cultural sensitivity of the island. By the way, smiling is not a requirement in Russian culture. It takes a whole lot of efforts to smile and greet. Smiling is considered impolite and smiling is reserved only for those deserving people and friends. Smiling to strangers is an invitation to be friends that they do not wish to cultivate. Whatever...

The Problem is greed among the locals. Money talks right after the Covid epidemic. Their local culture is slowly eroding to accommodate foreigners leasing or buying lands using local Indonesian names on property titles and deeds. It’s the truth...


Wednesday 21st of February 2024

You manage it by actually starting doing things. But the intelligence hasn't reached that level yet, always just talking.