INDONESIA: Bali, a treasured haven for globetrotters, stands as an irresistible gem among tourist destinations.
Beyond its sun-kissed shores and enchanting landscapes, Bali’s allure extends to the very essence of life on the island, embracing travelers with a sense of belonging.
Yet, amidst this tapestry of wonders, recent years have witnessed instances of disregard by a minority of foreign visitors, inciting the ire of Indonesian locals due to their neglect of established norms.
The tally of foreign tourist deportations surges
The Bali Provincial Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights reveals a stark reality – 198 foreign nationals were expelled from the island between January and July 2023.
This figure eclipses the full-year data of 2022, which reported 188 deportations.
“Compared to last year’s 188 cases spanning an entire year, we’ve already recorded 198 cases in July 2023 alone. With the influx of visitors surpassing 2.6 million until July, exceeding last year’s sub-2 million figure, apprehensions are escalating.”
The surge in arrivals raises concerns about potential infringements,” cautioned Anggiat Napitupulu, the head of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Bali, on Sunday (6 Aug).
Primary transgressions include immigration violations, overstays, and the misuse of tourist visas for illicit employment.
Among the nations contributing to this unsettling trend, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom top the list of repatriations.
Balinese administration’s measure to hold foreign tourists accountable
Previously, outrage swelled among local netizens when a tourist authored a guide on Bali living, seen by some as a blueprint for unauthorized entry and habitation.
For anyone curious about the deleted/hidden Bali thread pic.twitter.com/FYA3mRcMNf
— 🐷🐰 SHREK KIDS WOO (@gastricslut) January 17, 2021
Adding to the intrigue, Bali’s serene vistas were marred by foreign tourists capturing nude snapshots against the backdrop of eucalyptus trees – an act condemned as the roots of these giants hold sacred ground near the Pemaksan Babakan Temple.
Negligent driving by tourists remains a recurrent concern.
While locals offer car and motorbike rentals catering to both domestic and international explorers, a faction of these visitors ignore road safety, eschewing helmets, zipping recklessly, and disregarding traffic signals – some even attempting to master motorbike riding on the go.
In response, the Balinese administration has embarked on a resolute campaign, holding foreign tourists accountable for flouting established protocols.
In addition to deportations, commencing in 2024, foreign tourists exploring Bali will be required to remit a per-person tax of 150,000 IDR (equivalent to US $10).
The provincial administration of Bali has instated this levy as a measure to safeguard the island’s cultural heritage and ecological balance.
Governor I Wayan Koster unveiled this taxation initiative before the Bali DPRD (Regional People’s Representative Assembly) on 12 July.
He emphasized that the tax obligation is to be settled electronically, encompassing foreign visitors arriving in Bali both from overseas and other Indonesian regions.