Bali's tourism players have raised concerns that a viral video may keep travelers away from the island due to fear of prosecution over who they get up to within the bedroom.
The video, uploaded on TikTok by a domestic tourist in Bali last week, showed the user pranking his wife for her birthday at their Nusa Dua hotel. The user had enlisted the help of hotel security to fake a raid in which they demanded to see guests' marriage certificates to catch unmarried guests. Later on in the video, hotel staff came out to surprise the user's wife and wish her a happy birthday.
Clips of the video, depicting only the fake raid portion, went viral online insinuating that authorities have been carrying out morality checks in Bali. This came just a couple of months after Indonesia's new criminal code raised concerns about whether or not people, including tourists, would be jailed for having sex outside marriage (in short, no, they wouldn't, except in very specific circumstances).
The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) came out to allay the concerns while warning content creators to be mindful of posting videos that could be damaging to Bali's reputation as a safe tourist destination.
"We guarantee that hotels will not ask for your marriage certificates. Second, we guarantee there will be no hotel raids. Third, we will keep guests' personal data safe," PHRI Bali Vice Chairman I Gusti Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya said on Saturday.
"If you want to prank others, think of the impact. Don't post content that benefits you but is harmful to us."
The Bali Tourism Agency says it is issuing a circular to hotels, restaurants, and tourist destinations on the island to avoid tarnishing the reputation of the tourism-dependent island.
Meanwhile, the prankster and the hotel apologized directly to Bali Governor Wayan Koster over the controversy.