Rafting operators on the Ayung River have complained that some hotels along the river are threatening the environment and reputation of Bali by dumping sewage into the river.
They say this mostly happens when the river is in flood and the evidence is swiftly taken away by the heavy flow of water.
Chief complainant Ida Bagus Putra, operational manager of Puri Rafting Bongkasa, also claims some hotels have built pipes to the river banks to secretly dispose of sewage.
“The rafting operators have often complained about this problem. But there are still hotels who are undeterred in polluting the river,” he said this week.
Putra said that in order to protect the sustainability of the Ayung River as a tourist activity, all the hotels along the Ayung River must immediately end polluting practices and protect their surrounding natural environment.
But it is not all bad news for rafting operators. Business is said to be increasing for operators whose main customer base is tourists from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
In efforts to improve service and enhance safety on the river, rafting operators have established five “rescue posts” near parts of the river with the strongest rapids and most prone to mishaps.
These are manned by trained staff who monitor the passing rafts, prepared to lend assistance if boats and their occupants get into distress.
Rafting operators are also now required to send one empty rescue boat for every group of five rafts sailing down the river. The “extra boat” is manned by guides trained to lend assistance whenever it is required.
A Chinese woman tourist drowned in a rafting mishap last month.