DENPASAR (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): Bali Governor I Wayan Koster announced recently a set of obligations and prohibitions for tourists in response to increasing cases of delinquent behaviours exhibited by tourists on the resort island.
Koster signed and issued this list of dos and don’ts for tourists recently through Bali Gubernatorial Circular No. 4/2023 on tourist obligations and prohibitions.
Obligations making the top of the list include that tourists should respect the sanctity of temples, religious effigies and other sacred religious symbols; wear appropriate clothing at sacred places, tourist attractions and public areas and behave politely in sacred areas, tourist areas, restaurants, shopping areas, highways and other public places.
The governor forbids tourists from, among other things, entering the main part of a temple except for praying; climbing sacred trees and performing actions that desecrate sanctified places and religious symbols.
Koster announced the list following a meeting with regents and mayors from across Bali on Wednesday.
“This regulation will be followed up and carried out by the regents and mayors across Bali, the ambassadors and consulates in Bali, and will also be followed up by meetings with the central government,” Koster said.
He emphasized that Bali would maintain tourism as the main sector to support the island economy. However, he emphasized that Bali should be more selective in accepting tourists.
“Bali tourism is culture-based tourism, quality and dignified tourism. So we want tourists who come to Bali to be quality tourists. We don’t want tourism that brings disaster to Bali” Koster said.
The new circular will be printed out and given to foreign tourists at the immigration desk upon their arrival
“The people of Bali are banned from facilitating foreign tourists that conduct activities that are not appropriate to their visa,” he reminded.
Bali has deported at least 129 foreigners so far this year. At least 1,100 foreigners have also been sanctioned for violating traffic laws by driving carelessly. Last year, Bali deported 190 foreigners.
In February, the provincial administration announced a plan to limit tourist access to mountains, saying that tourist activities had harmed their sacredness.
Koster said the regulation was badly needed as tourism activities at the summits were out of control.
Balinese Hindus strongly believe that mountains are sacred areas and that any negative activity could harm their sacredness. Local villagers hold a special ritual every time a negative incident occurs, believing it would be able to cleanse the bad spirit.
A number of foreign tourists have been deported for posing naked or half-naked in areas considered sacred across the island in the past few months.
In March, Bali Police launched a five-day special operation targeting foreign nationals who had committed a crime or violated the law across the island, deploying three units.
The first unit targeted traffic violations, including checking the vehicles’ paperwork, the use of a helmet and driving ethics.
The second unit targeted foreigners working illegally, companies illegally run by foreigners, checking staying permits and other administrative violations. The third unit targeted the possession of drugs and weapons and other crimes.
Full list of the tourists’ obligations and prohibitions:
– Respect the sanctity of temples, pratima (religious effigies) and other sacred religious symbols
– Respect customs, traditions, art and culture, as well as the local wisdom of the Balinese people during the rituals and ceremonies
– Wear polite, reasonable and appropriate clothing when visiting holy places, tourist attractions, public areas and while doing any activities in Bali
– Behave in sacred areas, tourist areas, restaurants, shopping areas, highways and other public places
– Be accompanied by a tour guide who has a permit/license (understand the local conditions, customs, traditions and local wisdom of Balinese people) when visiting tourist attractions
– Exchange currency at authorized money changers, both banks and licensed non-bank places
– Make payments using Indonesian Standard QR Codes
– Do transactions using the rupiah currency
– Obey Indonesian traffic laws and regulations, including by obtaining an international driving license or national driving license
– Use legal transportation services, both cars or motorbikes- Stay at legal accommodation
– Comply with all special provisions/rules that apply in different tourist attractions
– Entering the utamaning mandala and madyaning mandala (main parts of a temple) except for praying, and to do so by wearing traditional Balinese clothing and not during menstruation
– Climbing sacred trees
– Performing behaviour that desecrates sacred or sanctified places, temples, Pratima and religious symbols, such as climbing sacred buildings and taking pictures while wearing immodest clothing/without clothes
– Littering and/or polluting the lakes water springs, rivers, sea and public places
– Using single-use plastics such as plastic bags, Styrofoam and plastic straws
– Using harsh words, behaving impolitely, causing a commotion and acting aggressively against state apparatus, government, local communities and fellow tourists alike, directly or indirectly through social media, such as spreading hate speech and false information.
– Working and/or carrying out business activities without obtaining the proper licenses
– Engaging in illegal activities such as trading in illegal goods including illegal drugs.