Bali Tightens Oversight on Foreign Tourists

Bali Tightens Oversight on Foreign Tourists

Tirta Empul, the pool at the Holy Springs Temple, is a favorite choice for tourists to cleanse and pray.

Bali, the renowned island paradise, is ramping up its scrutiny of foreign tourists following several incidents that have disrupted the local community.

The Directorate General of Immigration of the Republic of Indonesia, in collaboration with local police, has increased monitoring of foreign nationals, including enforcing traffic regulations.

Saffar Muhammad Godam, Director of Immigration Supervision and Enforcement at the Directorate General of Immigration, stated that foreign nationals who break the law will face immigration administrative sanctions designed to prevent future violations.

“Immigration administrative sanctions for foreign nationals who violate regulations are imposed to deter future offenses,” said Saffar at the Denpasar Immigration Detention Center in Bali, as quoted by local media.

Meanwhile, the Bali office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has taken a further step by mandating local village leaders to monitor foreign tourists’ activities and take action against those who violate laws and local customs.

Earlier this month, a foreign national in Bali went viral on social media after stopping a female motorcyclist and then assaulting her, causing her to fall in the road.

“This effort is to maintain security and order in Bali. Involving village authorities makes it easier for us, as the immigration office, to monitor foreign nationals,” said Pramella Yunidar Pasaribu, Head of the Denpasar Immigration Office, recently in Denpasar.

Bali, one of the most visited resort islands in Southeast Asia, is famous for its beaches and scenic ocean views. However, in recent weeks, local news outlets have reported several crimes and misconduct by foreign tourists, causing public disorder or violating national laws and local customs.

On Wednesday (June 26), Indonesian immigration officials arrested 103 foreign nationals, comprising 12 women and 91 men, at a villa in Bali for alleged cybercrime activities, including online gambling. They are all set to be deported.

Local media have also reported numerous complaints from local residents about the behavior of foreign tourists.

Another incident that caught social media attention involved a foreign national, allegedly British, who commandeered a truck carrying statues and drove recklessly from Kerobokan, North Kuta, to Ngurah Rai International Airport, causing the truck to hit several cars and damage some airport facilities.

In recent months, some foreign tourists have been reported for reckless motorcycle riding in Bali, endangering other road users. The Bali immigration office also found several foreign tourists working illegally in Bali.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, emphasized the need for strict enforcement of regulations for foreign nationals to maintain the comfort of local residents in Bali.

“The key is strict enforcement of rules in case of violations. Concrete steps include enforcing strict legal measures for offenders. There will be no tolerance, especially regarding residency permit forgery. The government will not hesitate to deport,” stressed Sandiaga.

Sociologist Wahyu Budi Nugroho from Udayana University in Bali mentioned that law-breaking behavior by foreign tourists not only harms the local community but also damages Bali’s reputation, known for its cultural and spiritual tourism attractions.

Wahyu emphasized the necessity of strict sanctions for those engaging in illegal activities.

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