Escalating Overtourism in Bali

Escalating Overtourism in Bali

CNN Indonesia reports that critical social media remarks regarding Bali’s traffic jams and mounting trash problems support accusations that the popular Indonesian island holiday destination has been overwhelmed by overtourism.

Bali received the unenviable distinction of being mentioned by CNN as one of the destinations that have suffered the most from overtourism. Other media, including Channel News Asia (CNA), have depicted Bali’s tourism charms and attractions as deplorable and rapidly declining. 

The Bali Tourism Service (Dispar) counted  5.2 million foreign tourists visiting Bali and 9.4 million domestic visitors in 2023 through 26 December.

No Longer the Bali we Love to Visit?

In an article titled ‘Not quite the Bali it used to be?” CNA depicted Bali as no longer as relaxing and carefree as it was in the past. The report also mentioned that the Island is now attracting more problematic tourists who commit criminal acts and create public disorder, demanding an increased police presence in Bali.

Escalating Overtourism in Bali

Escalating Overtourism in Bali

Overtourism on the Island of Bali

Last year, Bali tourists deported 340 foreigners, an increase from the 188 deported in 2022. Most of those shown the door by immigration were from Russia, the USA, the UK, and Nigeria. Many were deported for overstaying their visa, working illegally, and lewd behavior in areas deemed sacred by the Balinese,

Recognized tourism and culture observer-academic Chusmeru blames overtourism for growing environmental destruction and cultural degradation in Bali. “The problem of overtourism is not only the number of tourists but also the disruption and displeasure they impose on local populations, “commented Chusmeru. 

The academic accuses tourists of being impolite, entering areas off-limits to visitors, and posing in lewd and lascivious ways at religious sites.

Escalating Overtourism in Bali

Gridlock on Bali Toll Road

Tourism leaders in Bali are now actively seeking solutions to the problems of overtourism, which is ruining the Island’s world-renowned reputation and natural environment. Professor Chusmeru called for the government to provide greater education to attract better-quality travelers to Bali. He believes educational programs should emphasize good etiquette and cultural sensitivity when visiting Bali. “Quality tourists are defined not only by their wealth but also by their ability to behave properly and actively participate in preserving Bali’s environment,” Chusmeru explained.

Efforts to foster quality tourism in Bali are made difficult by the rapid growth in arrival numbers.

Chusmeru said the new tourism tax would provide funds to improve tourism management, educate visitors, and support tourism development projects. 

Professor Chasmeru said Bali is at a crossroads between maintaining its cultural identity and adapting to new economic realities. Education and enforcement of regulations by the local government are essential to attract quality tourists who care about preserving the environment and Balinese culture.

“The Balinese people understand that customs, traditions, culture, and religion are inseparable. Sustainable tourism dictates that attention must be paid pay to all these aspects while supporting cultural and environmental conservation,”

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