The Provincial Government of Bali has recently issued a new regulation, Circular Letter Number 4 of 2023, in response to the increasing number of ethical and norm violations among tourists. The purpose of this regulation, which came into effect on May 31, 2023, is to establish a new order for foreign tourists during their stay on the enchanting Island of Bali.
Governor I Wayan Koster, upon signing the regulation, aims to foster a culturally rooted, high-quality, and dignified tourism experience in Bali. With this in mind, the circular letter includes a comprehensive set of obligations and prohibitions for foreign visitors.
Outlined within the circular letter are several prohibitions addressing issues such as waste management, temple etiquette, and appropriate behavior while engaging in tourism activities. These important points serve as guidelines for foreigners and are summarized as follows:
- Restricted access to sacred areas and temples:
Foreign tourists are strictly prohibited from entering designated areas within sacred places or temples known as Utamaning Mandala and Madyaning Mandala. Exceptions to this rule are made for the purpose of prayer and worship, provided individuals are attired in traditional Balinese clothing and not during menstruation.
- Climbing sacred trees:
Foreign visitors must refrain from climbing trees considered sacred. This particular prohibition was introduced due to past incidents involving tourists, including one instance where a Russian visitor posed nude on a sacred tree in Pura Babakan, located in Tabanan Regency.
- Respecting the sanctity of religious sites:
Foreigners are obliged to uphold the sanctity of temples, pratima (idols), and religious symbols. Actions such as climbing sacred structures or taking photographs while dressed inappropriately or in the nude are strictly prohibited.
- Responsible waste management:
Visitors must refrain from littering and ensure proper disposal of waste materials during their stay in Bali. This measure is intended to maintain the cleanliness and environmental integrity of the island.
- Reduction of single-use plastics:
In line with environmental conservation efforts, foreign tourists are encouraged to minimize the use of single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and bottles, and opt for sustainable alternatives.
- Cultivating respectful behavior and language:
Foreign visitors are expected to demonstrate respectful behavior and refrain from using vulgar or offensive language while interacting with locals or participating in tourism activities. This emphasis on respectful conduct strengthens the relationship between foreigners and the Balinese community.
- Prohibition of illegal work and business activities:
Foreigners are strictly prohibited from engaging in illegal employment or business endeavors without the necessary official documentation issued by the relevant authorities.
- Discouraging involvement in unlawful activities:
Foreign tourists are urged to refrain from participating in any form of illegal activities during their stay in Bali. Violations of this rule will result in strict sanctions and legal proceedings in accordance with Indonesian laws and regulations.
By implementing these new regulations, the Provincial Government of Bali seeks to create a conducive and harmonious environment for both foreign tourists and the local community. Adhering to these guidelines will not only preserve the cultural integrity of Bali but also ensure the sustainability and quality of the tourism industry on the Island of Gods.