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Travel Experts Worry Bali Is A Victim Of Its Own Success

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Bali is amongst the most popular vacation destinations in South East Asia. The Island of the Gods is set to welcome 7.5 million international tourists this year.

This has got leaders and travel experts asking: has Bali become a victim of its own success?

Seminyak Beach Busy With Tourists At Sunset.jpg

Many people feel that Bali has already crossed the threshold into the territory of over-tourism, while others feel that it is too early to make such big statements.

In reality, over-tourism is not a phenomenon that takes over a whole country or province all in one go.

It creeps in slowly, starting in specific mass tourism destinations and permeating out into surrounding areas. 

@guebilangjugaapeh Desa Penglipuran #penglipuranvillage #penglipuranbali ♬ original sound – user3636929595647 – tiktaklagelak

Symptoms, as it were, of mass tourism include rising prices, overcrowding at key attractions, issues with transport, and infrastructure showing signs of failing under pressure.

This can all be seen at many of Bali’s top attractions, yet there are whole swathes of the islands that won’t see tourists for days, sometimes weeks, or even months on end. 

Travel expert and travel blogger Nick Kember has spoken to the media about his recent trip to Bali. He says that Bali has become a victim of its own success in many ways.

Speaking to reporters, Kember said, “I think Bali is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world today. The Indonesian island has become a victim of its own success, attracting many people on Instagram looking for the perfect beach photo with a backdrop of lush rice fields and Hindu temples.”

@gamieisonholiday Tirta Empul Temple, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 🍃 what a peaceful and serene visit … This temple is one of my most favorite temples in Bali 💗 At the end of the visit, you will be guided to walk through many local shops that sells arts, crafts, lots of clothes and fruits. I had an experience of trying “Durian” at this temple! •••• #bali #balibucketlist #balitemple #tirtaempul #tiktoktravel #tiktokพาเที่ยว #บาหลี ♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim

He stated that although key destinations and resorts do feel busy, there are still plenty of unique places where tourists can feel comfortable and experience a real, authentic travel adventure.

Kember said, “Fortunately, there are still ways to experience the real Bali if you avoid hotspots like Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud.”

Kember added, “Places like Amed, Candidasa, and Sidemen have far fewer visitors. There, the beaches are quiet, the villages are not crowded, and the local culture is very visible.”

@ladymeraliaa Ameddd 🤍🥹 #amed #bali #sunsetbali ♬ original sound – Jon Poppii

Earlier this week, Nia Niscaya, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economies, spoke openly about the need to balance mass tourism in Bali.

Her comments come as tourism leaders in Bali and across the country commit to establishing more sustainable and culturally respectful tourism in the region. 


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

In 2023, the Governor of Bali at the time, Wayan Koster, made an announcement that the provincial government would introduce tourism quotas to help limit the number of tourists visiting the island and to ensure only ‘high quality’ visitors were allowed in. 


While this plan has been put on the back burner after it caused quite a stir in both Bali and the wider travel sector, other mitigations have started to be put in place to ensure that tourists who visit Bali do not experience the negative impacts of mass tourism during their vacation. 


One such measure is the newly introduced tourism tax.

Launched officially on the 14th of February, the tourism tax required all international tourists visiting Bali to pay IDR 150,000 (USD 10).

The funds will be used to preserve Balinese culture, protect the natural landscape, and improve tourism infrastructure. 

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Stephen Golding

Wednesday 28th of February 2024

We just cancelled our holiday to Sanur Bali is too crowded and has lost its charm. We are going to Vietnam instead

Wayan Bo

Sunday 25th of February 2024

Since yesterday is marijuana legalized in Germany, now La Plancha could start to offer good ganja joints to the tourists, especially before sunset.


Sunday 25th of February 2024

Is the government not making enough money off all the tourists there are there already? Seems like some of the money is getting sent back to Jakarta and they forget about Bali at times. It's just an opinion Don't hate me.


Saturday 24th of February 2024

A victim of its own greed


Monday 26th of February 2024

@June Miller, Gentle? Last week the locals in my south Dps area warned they were going to raid my house if I complained about their loud music venue set up 20m from my bedroom. Lurah said they are too scared to tell the locals off. Sounds more like a society run by gangsters.

June Miller

Sunday 25th of February 2024

@johnjackson, how so? The locals don't force people to come, and prices are even now much cheaper than most tourist destinations. More a case of victim of its beauty and its people's gentle natures and their relative poverty.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

Absolute nonsense. Singapore is about the same size and population, but gets twice as many tourists, even though it's the most expensive As3destination by far. Thailand and Malaysia both get 4 times as many tourists as Bali. As for Spain and France, not in sub standard Asia ..... They both dwarf everywhere else.