Bali Foreign Tourists – Limitation of Numbers?
Governor Koster’s Provincial Government is expected to introduce regulations to help ensure Bali attracts a better quality of tourist visitors using various measures, chiefly by limiting the total number of holiday visitors.
As reported by NusaBali.com, Governor Koster, speaking at a seminar on planning Bali’s future development for 2025-2125, warned: “Control tourism and avoid the cheap, mass tourism of the past. Because of this, a quota system must be put in place for foreign tourists. This is not yet in operation; provincial regulations must first be implemented.”
Koster affirmed the need for the technical implementation of legislation to limit mass tourism, warning that any eventual rules will include specific quality criteria for those wishing to visit Bali. Adding: “Will the total number of foreign tourists be limited to just 7 million annually with specific tightened criteria? For instance, (visitors) must prove minimum amounts of money in their bank account. Don’t permit them to bring only Rp. 10 million sufficient for a week and then stay for one month.”
Reflecting on recent reports of unruly and misbehaving tourists in Bali, Governor Koster expressed his fears that they will engage in improper behavior once they deplete all their funds. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
In anticipation of this problem, the Governor proposes that imposing quotas will be one solution. Continuing, the Governor assures that future regulations would not be targeted against specific countries but focus on limiting the total number of visitors. As a benchmark, the Governor is reportedly looking at the annual total of 6.3 million foreign tourists who visited Bali before the COVID-19 outbreak.
“In the future, we will calculate (the number of tourists), but not like current tourism. Instead, we will seek quality tourism to safeguard Balinese culture’s dignity and local wisdom. The historical data will be reviewed to regulate future tourism,” said Governor Koster. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Echoing the comments of the Governor in favor of limiting future tourism is also the fifth President of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, who attended the seminar on the coming century of development in Bali.
Megawati told the seminar that Bali’s roadmap for the next 100 years must be urgently designed. Regarding the current increase in foreign tourists misbehaving, the Steering Committee for the National Innovation Research Agency (BRIN) chairman and former President insists that revamping tourism is essential, especially given the behavior of foreign tourists who act as they please. “You can’t allow this, Governor Koster!
While serving as governor, you must plan in detail what Bali will be like in the next 100 years. Many smart people are urging me to speak up, and I’ll assist through BRIN (doing) what is needed,” said Megawati. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Megawati, who serves as PDIP chairperson, expressed irritation, anger, and rejection of foreign tourists misbehaving in Bali. Recently, in a location not far from her Bali residence, two foreign tourists from Poland were involved in an altercation with local community watch members (pecalang) after the tourist erected a tent in a beachside pavilion (bale bengong) where they intended to spend Nyepi – Bali’s day of mandated absolute silence.
Regarding the incident, Megawati said: “I saw the viral video of these foreigners doing as they like on Nyepi – the day silence. What can they be thinking? I saw how the pacalang spoke quietly and politely to the foreigners. How can these foreigners act so arrogantly? This does not mean I am anti-foreigners. I don’t accept such behavior. Why do the Balinese allow such uncouth behavior?” [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Megawati compared Bali to Singapore, where tourists are required to follow local rules on waste disposal. The former President fears that Bali will eventually lose its culture and local wisdom if steps are not taken to regulate unruly behavior and protect the welfare of the native population.
“How come we (allow foreign tourists to behave naughtily) merely because we want to make Bali a tourism destination? When people wanted to build an airport in Buleleng, North Bali. I say ‘no,’ the proposed airport was only intended for the upper middle class,” she said. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Megawati also took the occasion to complain about the small number of native Balinese who actually own large hotels on the Island.
The former President urged detailed plans be made for the coming century, clarifying what foreigners can and cannot do. She lamented that visitors are allowed to act in any manner they like. Megawati called for regulations to be drafted urgently and implemented to protect the Island’s dignity. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Bali: Crack Down on Unruly Visitors
In self-defense, Governor I Wayan Koster insists he is acting resolutely towards misbehaving foreign visitors. Koster thanked the Chief of the Bali Police, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and island stakeholders for their continuing faith in how he conducts his office.
“We continue to progress; we will discipline foreign tourists who fail to act in an orderly fashion. 101 tourists have been deported from Bali since January 2023, 27 of whom were Russian nationals,” said Governor Koster.
The Governor explained to Provincial legislators that many foreign tourists come to Bali because of the Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) facility. His outstanding request to curtail the VoA facility for Ukrainians and Russian is still “under review” by the Central Government in Jakarta. Koster said controlling tourist numbers creates a conflict of purpose between fundamental national interests and legal responsibilities. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Meanwhile, the Governor noted that his request for a curtailment of the VoA facility was still under consideration. Adding: “We have been in contact with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumkan) and are still in discussion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Even though it has been proposed that the VoA be withdrawn for only Russia and Ukraine, all other countries are also undergoing evaluation. So, it’s not just those two countries,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Gede Kusuma Putra, the coordinator of a 2022 Survey Team (LKPJ) for the Province of Bali, has made several recommendations to the Governor. Those recommendations include steps to handle foreign visitors who disrupt the Island’s infrastructure and public order that threaten Bali’s tourism sector, foundations of tradition, tribal custom, religion, art and culture, and matters related to local wisdom. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
“Roadways that are damaged are the responsibility of the Provincial Government of Bali and have been singled out for proper handling,” said Kusuma Putra in his report to the DPRD-Bali and the Governor of Bali covering 2022 presented to the DPRD-Bali on Tuesday, 02 May 2023.
The Governor assured the legislature that damaged provincial roads are receiving his attention. In addition, the problem of traffic jams and congestion surrounding the Sanur Port Terminal has been referred for handling by the Governor to the Department of Public Works and Public Housing, the Department of Transportation, and the Deputy Mayor of Denpasar.
Continuing, the Governor said: “The affected roadway is only around one kilometer in length, but we must secure the use of land now in private hands (to create parking areas). I have asked the Deputy-mayor to contact those who own the land and persuade them to “donate” their lands. In principle, the parking arrangement can be quickly created after securing suitable land,” said Koster. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Australians Dominate Bali Tourist Arrivals
The head of BPS-Bali, Endang Retno Sri Subiyandani, explained that these arrival figures increased by 13.52% compared to arrivals in February 2023. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Continuing, Endang said that the second largest grouping of visitors to Bali in March was tourists from India, with 28,617 visitors. In the same month, 21,003 Singaporeans, 20,775 UK Nationals, and 20,360 citizens of the USA landed in Bali.
In aggregate, 370,832 foreign tourists entered Bali in March 2023. Compared to the previous month of February, this increased by 14.59%.
Broken down further by gateway for March 2023, 367,090 foreign tourists landed at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport – an increase of 15.76% over the previous month. Tourists arriving via Bali’s three seaports (Benoa, Celukan Bawang, and Padagbai) totaled 3,742 foreign tourists. The number of sea arrivals declined by 42.55% compared to February 2023. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Market demonstrating strong growth in arrivals in March were Singapore (+69.41%) and The Middle East (+41.68%).
Ironically. Despite the increase in foreign tourists, hotel occupancies in Bali in March declined by 1.21 percent to an average of 40.01%. The average length of stay for tourists in March was 2.417 days.
According to BPS, non-starred hotels in March experienced an average occupancy of 25,31% – an increase of 1.14% over the previous month. The average length of stay at non-starred hotels in March was 2.3 days. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Bali Arts Festival 18 June –16 July 2023
The 45th edition of The Bali Arts Festival (PKB XLV), a month-long event from 18 June until 16 July 2023, will feature the talents of thousands of Balinese and international artists, followed by the Festival Bali Jani (FSBJ) that will run until 30 July 2023.
During a press conference held on Friday, 03 May 2023, at the Provincial Cultural Office (Dinas Kebudayaan – Disbud), the Provincial head of Arts and Cultural Workers – Ni Wayan Sulastriani, said, “The contents of the PKB XLV will be much like in year’s past but with different presentations.” [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
The theme adopted for the PKB XLV is “Segara Kerthi: Prabhaneka Sandhi” (The Oceans as the Source of Civilization) will celebrate the seas and oceans as the source of universal welfare and the origin of civilized society. The oceans symbolize our collective knowledge, the depth of nobility from the noble demeanor, cultural identity, and local knowledge of the Balinese people (Krama Bali).
The ocean symbolizes the breadth of knowledge and the depth of noble values acting as the estuary where various creations, tastes, and human initiatives are combined, giving birth to a rich culture representing the noble and superior civilization of Krama Bali. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
The oceans surrounding the Island of Bali symbolize a local openness to the world and an indigenous readiness to understand and harmoniously accept foreign cultures. Because of Bali’s strong endemic culture and this openness to world culture, the Island is the Center of World Civilization (Bali Padma Bhuana).
The many programs of PKB XLV are conducted at The Taman Budaya Art Center Denpasar, the ISI Denpasar Campus, and the People’s Struggle Monument. While in the past, the presiding President of Indonesia traditionally officiates at the official opening of the PKB, plans in 2023 are for the 5th President of the Republic of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, to open the event and serve as marshal of the Peed Aya – Pawai (Grand opening parade) and attend the opening performance at the Ardha Candra Denpasar Stage. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
This year’s Grand Opening Parade will feature performers from the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) and contingents from the nine regencies of Bali presenting cultural displays reflecting the theme of this year’s festival. Art groups from 14 cities and provinces across Indonesia will participate in this year’s Bali Arts Festival. Among the outer island representatives booked to participate are Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Sleman, Bekasi, East Kalimantan, and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
Culinary and handicraft stands will be in operation during the festival at Taman Budaya. 75-80 artists will exhibit their works reflecting several schools of art: Kamasan, Batuan, and Padangtegal. The Provincial Government will bestow awards and trophies to 10 senior Balinese artists during the event. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Within the Bali Arts Festival context, the Bali World Culture Celebration will include foreign artists from Japan, Thailand, Australia, Belgium, India, Malaysia, and China. In all, 18,794 artists are expected to participate in PKB 2023.
Meanwhile, the 5th Festival Bali Jani 2023 (FSBJ) also embraces a sea link via the theme of “Citta Rasmi Segara Kerthi, Bahari Sumber Inspirasi,” drawing inspiration from the oceans. Activities include competitions, exhibitions, parades, seminars, workshops, and an awards program. FSBJ Curator announced that there would also be plays, animated films, choral competitions, and stand-up comedy events. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Megawati Wants Bali Hotel Moratorium
While participating as a keynote speaker at a seminar discussing planning Bali’s development 100 years into the future, former Indonesian President and PDIP Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri shared memories of trips taken to Bali with her late father and first President, Soekarno, when she was “around seven years of age” (circa 1954).
Speaking at The Trans Hotel in Bali on Friday, 05 May 2023, she recalled a quieter, simpler time when Bali was still largely untouched by tourism. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
By comparison, “Ibu Mega” lamented how hotels and cafes are now developing at a rapid, almost uncontrollable, pace. The former President used the occasion to call on Bali Governor, Wayan Koster, to stop granting licenses for the construction of new hotels.
In making the call for a moratorium on new hotel construction in Bali, the former President is renewing a widespread call that first surfaced in the 1990s to freeze new hotels on the Island. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
As reported by Tribun-Bali.com, Megawati also used the occasion to complain about the almost complete lack of large hotels owned by native-born Balinese.
Reflecting on her childhood, Megawati mentioned how Bali’s climate has changed, rice terraces are disappearing, and the sounds of Sanskrit chanting and melodious flutes are drowned out by traffic noise.
Megawati shared with the audience stories of the outrageous behavior of foreign visitors (See: Bali to Limit Number of Foreign Tourists? ) and urged Governor Koster to urgently enact legislation that will halt the ruin of the Island and its precious culture.
Megawati told the group of her special connection with the Island of Bali based on her ancestry, which includes a Balinese grandmother, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai (1881-1958) from Singaraja, North Bali.
In addition to calling for a halt on new hotel construction, Megawati also sought the agreement of Governor Koster to halt rapid changes underway, changing agricultural and forested lands into commercial and residential developments. Tribun-Bali.com reports that following the seminar, Governor Koster acceded to the PDIP Chairperson’s request to halt the repurposing of land use. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
As reported in the link above, the seminar also saw Bali’s Governor pledge to enact legislation to limit the number of international tourists allowed to visit Bali each year.
Sanur Sea Terminal Causing Traffic Jams
The recently opened Sanur Harbor Terminal Complex’s continuing operation for ships from Sanur to Nusa Penida Island and Lembongan has markedly enhanced the travel experience of tourists visiting the nearby island group off Bali’s southeast shore. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
But, at the same time, the large influx of passengers traveling to and from the Sanur Port Terminal is causing traffic jams and periodic gridlock on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai between Tohpati and the KFC intersection in Sanur.
As quoted by NusaBali.com, the Deputy-chairman of the Bali Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Nyoman Sugawa Korry, has called on the Transportation Directorate to seek a solution to remedy the traffic jams caused by the new Port’s operation. Korry warns that if something is not done to end the traffic congestion, public order and the enjoyment of locals and tourists will be disrupted. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Continuing, Korry said on Wednesday, 26 April 2023: “The Sanur Crossing Port to Nusa Penida provides great benefit to the public. The desire to use the port facility is very high, resulting in a busy terminal area. The effect of this is reflected in the current traffic congestion.”
Korry said that he had undertaken a survey and gathered the viewpoint of the public in the field who blame the traffic congestion on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in Sanur on the comings and going of vehicles at the Sanur – Nusa Penida Port Terminal.
“The Sanur area is congested with vehicles entering and leaving with their passengers to make the crossing between Sanur and Nusa Penida – Lembongan. This problem requires a solution from the Transportation Directorate. But, until now, they have failed to handle the matter,” said Korry. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Meanwhile, local observers in Sanur place responsibility for the traffic congestion on the failure of those designing the new Port to anticipate increased vehicular traffic and plan access roads accordingly.
Korry says the solution to the current traffic jams requires the involvement of the Bali Provincial Administration and the Municipal Authorities of Denpasar. The actual management of the Sanur Port is in the hands of Pelindo – the State-owned Port Management Company. Korry hoped the Provincial and Municipal Authorities of Denpasar would also be involved in future port management.
Korry also pointed out that the new Sanur Port Terminal needs to meet the aspirations of the surrounding community by providing employment opportunities for members of the Sanur community. “In the future, local workers from Sanur should have optimized employment opportunities,” said the local legislator. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Steps Underway to End Traffic Jams
In an initial step to alleviate the current traffic congestion at the entrance to the Sanur Port Terminal, the Municipal Government of Denpasar has introduced firm parking enforcement measures on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai. The Deputy Mayor of Denpasar, I Kadek Agus Arya Wibawa, announced the decision to introduce the new parking rules during a meeting of stakeholders in Denpasar on Friday, 28 April 2023.
Wibawa stated that the Sanur Port Terminal is under the control of the Ministry of Transportation.
The current gridlock and traffic jams are caused by the lack of parking areas surrounding the port area. As a result, vehicles currently park and double-park along the Bypass Road, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon when many boats depart and leave the Port.
A team of Denpasar officials will forbid parking and supplement enforcement measures along both sides of the roadway along the entrance to the Terminal.
A municipal team led by Wibawa will soon seek suitable land for parking areas near the Sanur Port. Most land suitable for development as parking lots are privately held, requiring discussion and negotiations to acquire the space for public parking lots. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Polemic on World Beach Games at an End?
NusaBali.com reports that Indonesia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Dito Ariotedjo, has declared an end to the polemic surrounding Israel’s participation in the ANOC World Beach Games (AWBG) to be held in Bali, 05-12 August 2022.
“No, yesterday I met with the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, and the National Olympic Committee or the chairman of the Indonesian Olympic Committee, Raja Sapta Oktohari. It’s settled. The spirit is 1,000% that there is no polemic,” said Dito Ariotedjo on Saturday, 22 April 2023.
There was also a meeting between Minister Dito with Governor Koster on Friday, 14 April 2023, at the Governor’s Official residence (Gedung Jayasabha). That meeting reportedly agreed to fully support the Beach Games and allow the competition to proceed smoothly and successfully. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Will Israel Participate?
Dito stated that whether or not an Israeli Team will participate in the World Beach Games in Bali remains to be determined. Nonetheless, the organizers have put in place anticipatory steps should Israel’s participation in the games eventuate. “If Israel’s participation) happens, it’s been anticipated. Tactical steps for that possibility are in place,” said Dito.
A meeting is scheduled for 28 April until 01 May in Bali to be attended by the Chef de Missions for the NOC World Beach Games by delegations from 69 countries. The coordination meeting was confirmed in a letter from the Secretary-General of the Association of National Olympic Committee (ANOC), Gunilla Lindberg, sent on Monday, 17 April 2023, to the chairman of the Indonesian National Olympic Committee, Raja Sapta Oktohari.
A list of 69 countries participating in the ANOC World Beach Games does not list Israel with the final decision on the participation of two qualifying teams from Israel to be taken after the April planning meeting in Bali. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
The National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a non-governmental organization affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), representing all branches of sport. The Chef de Missions Meeting includes contingents the NOC has designated to participate in the global sporting event.
AWBG Bali will be held from 05-12 August 2023, followed by a meeting of the ANOC General Assembly from 13-15 August 2023. AWBG represents one of the globe’s largest multi-branch sporting events.
Based on the number of participating countries, it will be the largest event ever held in Indonesia. Before the 11th-hour refusal by Indonesia to host the U-20 World Cup, the ANOC World Beach Games were meant to serve as a starting point for President Joko Widodo’s ambition for Indonesia to host the 2036 Summer Olympics.
The Chef de Missions Meeting in late April will enable Indonesia to demonstrate its readiness to host the World Beach Games, including the supporting component elements of event venues, accommodation, and transportation. The AWBG 2023 welcomes 1,600 athletes from 130 countries. All countries participating in Bali have teams that have won the right to participate in qualifying rounds.
Below is a list of the 69 countries and territories expected to attend the Chef de Mission Meeting in Bali for the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games 2023 from 28 April-1 May 2023. [Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists]
Conspicuous by its absence from the list is the State of Israel, which has two qualifying teams eligible to compete in Bali. The final decision on whether the Governor of Bali will allow Israeli athletes to compete in Bali will be announced on 01 May 2023.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong (SAR)
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- The Philippines
- U.S. Samoa
- Saudi Arabia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States of America
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Main Article: Bali Foreign Tourists – Limitation of Numbers?
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