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Bali takes action: New task force conducting crackdowns to weed out 'misbehaving foreign visitors'

AsiaOne - July 27, 2023

Venkat Gunasellan – Planning a vacation on the Island of Gods soon? Then it is worth knowing the new law enforcement that's happening in Bali.

Indonesian authorities have rolled out a new task force – the Bali Becik Task Force – that will "weed out misbehaving foreign visitors and low-spending guests" in an attempt to clean up its tourism image.

The islandwide crackdown will be carried out every month till the end of the year without disrupting day-to-day tourism activities. The new task force reportedly aims to conduct 100 law enforcement operations monthly.

"The main problem regarding foreigners in Bali is the large number of foreign tourists with low spending who often make trouble," mentioned Indonesia's immigration chief Silmy Karim. "Because Bali is included in the category of cheap tourist destinations, it attracts thin-pocketed tourists."

Additionally, Bali residents are also encouraged to keep an eye out on visitors and report those who break the law through a new hotline number.

This shouldn't come as a surprise since 163 foreigners were deported from Bali in the first six months of 2023 for breaking the law, including acts of disrespect in Hindu temples.

In May, a German tourist was arrested for public indecency at the Saraswati Temple in Ubud.

She was reportedly denied a ticket to a temple performance, but the 28-year-old pushed past security to enter the sacred grounds and then removed her clothes.

And in April, a Russian tourist was deported from Bali for posting a photo of himself naked from the waist down on Mount Agung.

The people of the Hindu-majority island believe the mountain is sacred and the home of their gods.

The do's and don'ts when in Bali

In June, Bali released a set of dos and don'ts for tourists. The dos and don'ts are available on a card, which will be given to tourists upon arrival at the airport.

The list contains a total of 16 rules, which include respecting Balinese traditions, customs, art and culture, as well as the local wisdom of the Balinese people during rituals and ceremonies.

Tourists are to refrain from hurling offensive words and acting aggressively towards members of local communities, government officials and fellow tourists, including on social media.

Plus, all payments are to be made using Indonesian rupiah and the Indonesian Standard QR Code.

Source: https://www.asiaone.com/lifestyle/bali-takes-action-new-task-force-conducting-crackdowns-weed-out-misbehaving-foreig