Foreign Tourists Are Misbehaving Again in Bali; Government to Screen Quality Tourists and Increase VoA Fees

Foreign Tourists Are Misbehaving Again in Bali; Government to Screen Quality Tourists and Increase VoA Fees

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf) expresses its disappointment over the resurfacing of foreign tourist causing a stir by dancing nude in public and gaining viral attention on social media platforms. In response to the increasing number of misbehaving foreign tourists, the government is reportedly formulating several new policies, one of which involves raising the cost of Visa on Arrival (VoA).

In a statement to the media, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga emphasized the importance of all relevant stakeholders in the tourism industry adhering to standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for tourists. He further revealed that a German tourist involved in the recent incident, who experienced depression as a result, is currently receiving treatment at a mental hospital in Bali.

Recognizing the need to enhance the quality of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia, particularly Bali, Minister Sandiaga mentioned that the government is currently evaluating regulations and strategies. These measures aim to attract high-quality tourists while ensuring that the implementation of these regulations does not deter foreign visitors from choosing Bali as their destination.

Among the proposed regulations and strategies under consideration is the introduction of a tourist tax or tourism tax, which has been successfully implemented in several countries, including Thailand. The goal is to select tourists of higher quality and foster sustainable tourism practices. Sandiaga Uno stressed the importance of striking a balance between preserving the country’s cultural heritage and fostering economic growth through tourism.

The Bali provincial government is actively involved in formulating regulations and strategies to attract high-quality foreign tourists. These efforts align with Governor Regulation (Pergub) No. 28 of 2020, which outlines criteria for high-quality tourists, such as respecting local customs and traditions, being environmentally conscious, supporting local communities, having longer stays, and engaging in repeat visits.

In light of recent incidents, Kemenparekraf urges all stakeholders in the tourism industry to educate foreign tourists about respecting norms, traditions, and local customs when visiting tourist destinations. It is crucial to provide comprehensive guidance to foreign visitors to ensure a positive and respectful interaction with the local communities and preserve the country’s reputation for hospitality.

Regarding the proposal made by Bali Governor I Wayan Koster to revoke the Visa on Arrival (VoA) for Russian and Ukrainian tourists due to disruptive behavior, the government is conducting a thorough evaluation. The decision to revoke VoA for specific nationalities requires careful consideration, taking into account various factors such as bilateral relations, tourism contribution, and potential impact on the overall tourism industry. A comprehensive assessment involving multiple ministries and institutions is underway to ensure a balanced and informed decision.

Furthermore, discussions are underway regarding the modification of the Visa on Arrival fee structure. This evaluation aims to align the fee with the economic value provided by foreign tourists. The consideration includes factors such as the potential for increasing revenue to support tourism infrastructure, maintaining a balance between accessibility and quality, and fostering sustainable tourism practices.

In the context of the proposal to introduce a tourist tax for foreign visitors, the government is undertaking extensive research and consultations with various ministries and institutions. This comprehensive study is crucial to assess the potential impact, feasibility, and implementation strategies for such a tax. The government aims to strike a delicate balance between generating revenue for the tourism industry and ensuring that the tax does not hinder tourist arrivals or compromise the reputation of Indonesia as a hospitable and welcoming destination.

As the government continues to evaluate and refine its policies, it remains committed to supporting the recovery and growth of the tourism industry. A comprehensive approach, involving collaborations between ministries, institutions, and local communities, is necessary to establish a sustainable and responsible tourism ecosystem in Indonesia.