Tourism in Bali is booming right now, and rightly so. The Island of the Gods is a blissful destination to visit and has more than earned its place as one of the world’s leading travel destinations.
However, with increasing visitor numbers, the island has seen a sharp rise in the number of misbehaving tourists.
So far this year, over 4,000 ‘naughty’ foreigners have already been reported to the authorities. This has been for everything from stealing to public indecency, disrespecting sites of spiritual significance, and outrightly breaking the law.
A surprising number of foreigners have been caught breaking the conditions of their visas, so much so that the provincial government set up a specialist task force to deal with the issue.
As the small but significant number of behaving tourists became increasingly dangerous to Balinese culture and the island’s public image, authorities have launched a series of solutions.
Tourists arriving in Bali are now expected to scan a QR code that lays out the do’s and don’ts of behavior on the island.
A new hotline has been set up for concerned members of the public, including tourists, to report incidents of inappropriate or illegal behavior by foreigners in Bali.
Public awareness billboards can be seen at strategic locations across the island, and police have increased their patrols at popular destinations like Seminyak and Ubud.
The Indonesian Tourism Board has been supportive of the provincial government’s mission to create more public awareness about what is and isn’t appropriate behavior in Bali.
Wonderful Indonesia has issued a series of infographics over the last few months, helping tourists to better understand what is expected of them and, in a positive and enriching way, how to make the most of a visit to Bali.
As the tourist high season is underway and the auspicious Galungan and Kuningan Festival is due to start, Wonderful Indonesia has more supportive guidance for tourists to Bali.
Galungan and Kuningan festivals will take place from 2nd August until 12th August 2023.
In a new educational post, Wonderful Indonesia offers tourists a heartfelt welcome to Bali and a timely, essential reminder of the do’s and don’ts of visiting the Island of the Gods.
@leilahieronsberns Rule within Bali Temples #southeastasia #elephantcave #backpacking #rulestofollow #ubudbali #rules #balidress #temple #indonesia #sarong ♬ Obituary – Alexandre Desplat
Wonderful Indonesia is going tourists “a heartfelt welcome to Bali, a place of culture and respect.” With an open-hearted welcome comes a call to respect local customs and laws.
The Tourism Board is reiterating the rules as outlined by Bali’s Governor Koster earlier this year. According to Wonderful Indonesia, here are some of the most appropriate ways to respect Balinese culture and have a memorable stay on the island.
- Honor and respect our local religion and sacred customs.
- Show appreciation for Balinese wisdom and traditional ceremonies.
- Dress appropriately, especially in sacred places.
- Conduct yourself with respect, particularly in revered locations.
- Consider traveling with a licensed tour guide for an enriched experience.
Wonderful Indonesia has also said, “In the spirit of respect and harmony, here are some things to avoid
- Do not enter the main area of sacred places unless appropriately attired in Balinese traditional clothes and during non-menstrual periods.
- Refrain from climbing sacred trees.
- Avoid taking inappropriate photos around sacred places.
- Don’t litter – let’s keep Bali beautiful.”
While many Bali lovers will already be familiar with what it means to behave on the island, the destination is attracting more and more first-time visitors, many of whom have never visited Indonesia or even anywhere in Asia before.
The unique cultural differences may have become normalized for many returning visitors to Bali and, in fact, be one of the many reasons for returning time and time again, but for first-time visitors from a totally different culture, its important to really take the time to learn about the local way of life.
An increasing amount of tourists and travelers are turning to social media to help them plan their visits; this is why the social media educational campaigns being run by Wonderful Indonesia and the Bali Tourism Board are so important and seem to have a positive effect.
Alongside the other solutions to tackle badly behaved tourists in Bali, incidents of disrespect and disorder appear to be starting to decrease.
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