This week’s announcement about another new tourism task force being set to work in Bali has been received positively by the tourism sector in Bali.
Following the deployment of a task force designed to crack down on foreigners breaking their visa conditions, the provincial government launched another group assigned to ensure that tourism activities are mutually beneficial for visitors and life on the island.
Speaking to reporters about the Task Force for the Acceleration of Bali Tourism Governance, the chairman of one of Bali’s tourism stakeholder groups, Putu Winastra, shared his praise for the initiative. He said, “The task force formed by the governor is very good.”
Winastra shared that the deployment of the task force will help hold anyone who is behaving outside of the law or cultural norms of Bali will be held to account.
He noted that the presence of the task force creates a formal channel for rule breakers to be bought to justice in a timely manner.
Winastra explained it as a fairer and more formal progress “because there must be two sides, not only tourists but also the industry.”
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He further explained, “This task force is very important in the framework of implementing and actualizing the enforcement of regulations together with relevant stakeholders.”
Officials have also announced that proposed policy changes that will affect tourism in Bali are still in the pipeline.
They confirmed that the proposed legislation changes must undergo rigorous legal processes and socialization before they are passed into law.
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In the interim, the Task Force for the Acceleration of Bali Tourism Governance has their boots on the ground to ensure that tourists and tourism operators are behaving legally and culturally respectfully.
He continued to share that he hoped the task force would be a permanent working group dedicated to ensuring high-quality tourism prevails in Bali.
He continued, “Don’t be [this commitment] reversed; in fact, if left unchecked (not disciplined), it will have a negative effect on tourists who really really want to travel or take a vacation and enjoy Bali. Because it will cause inconvenience.”
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Speaking on behalf of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, I Made Mendra Astawa said, “Especially now, Bali tourism is currently in the recovery phase. Do not let unscrupulous tourists act [in a disorderly way], which could damage the image of Bali as a world tourist destination.”
This week an incident at Saraswati Temple in Ubud hit international headlines. A young woman from German suffered an episode of ill mental health that prompted her to interrupt a cultural performance at the palace.
This incident caused great offense and concern to locals and tourists alike, and while a cleansing ritual has already taken place, immigration has announced that the woman will be deported when it is safe for her to fly.
While the woman is now receiving treatment at a specialized mental health facility in Bali, her actions left tourism stakeholders asking how such an incident could have happened in the first place.
Cok Wah, the owner of the temple, told reporters that the incident posed an opportunity for reflection and improvement.
He shared, “[this must result in a] step forward. We are more selective, and we are increasing security. Decades after the performance has been going on, this is the first time something like this has happened. We have to make it an evaluation material.”
The handling of this case has demonstrated that a proactive and collaborative approach is still needed between officials, tourism operators, and tourists in Bali.
After weeks of heightened tensions, increasing outrage online, and a series of monumental policy change proposals, the way in which the incident was handled at Saraswati Temple and the positive feedback about the deployment of the Task Force for the Acceleration of Bali Tourism Governance can be taken good news for tourists.
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