Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, supported concerns raised by members of the Balinese community regarding the actions of a seemingly growing number of visitors to Bali who openly flaunt rules and regulations, especially road rules, according to reporting from Tempo.
While the government is rolling out the red carpet for foreign tourists, say Tempo, there is no excuse for disrespecting Balinese customs, culture and laws.
At his “Weekly Brief With Sandi Uno Event” on Monday, the Minister said that “we will take firm action if they break the law. Of course, we will also ensure that tourists can carry out tourism activities safely, comfortably, and happily.”
Sandiaga also outlined do’s and don’ts for travelers. For example, on how to maintain and respect religious norms, customs, and culture and the values of the local community, including protecting and preserving the environment.
He also said that businesses that provide services to foreign tourists need to be controlled and even given social sanctions when a violation occurs. “For example, when [foreign tourists] rent motorbikes, you (business actors) have to make sure that they use helmets and don’t change the license plates.”
He went on to underline the seriousness of the warning, saying that “we follow them and make sure they comply with traffic rules.”
This comes on the back of recent reports of a disturbing rise in foreigners flaunting Indonesia’s traffic laws, especially those riding motorcycles with no crash helmets, no driving licenses, no identification and no proof of ownership of the vehicles they are using. The latest ‘trend’ however is to use fake number plates on both motorcycles and cars, which is being seen as a very disrespectful slap in the face to the Balinese.
Tempo and other local newswires are reporting that offenders are being arrested and Bali Police have said they will increase patrols, especially in tourist areas, such as Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Tanah Lot, Ubud, as well as Gianyar and Denpasar.
The former deputy governor of Jakarta supports the clamp down, saying that his team is coordinating with the Bali Tourism Agency through the Bali tourism board. At present, the ministry is preparing a task force to handle security and order in the Balinese community related to tourist activities.
“This will surely affect quality tourism because quality tourists will also be very disturbed by the behaviour of tourists who break the law,” Sandiaga Uno concluded.