According to reporting from Tempo, Bali is reportedly one of the tourist destinations that experienced overtourism between January and November 2023. Other cities in the world that face a similar fate include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Athens, Miami, Phuket, Paris, and Venice.
Overtourism is a relatively new term that refers to a condition in which an area receives too many tourists beyond its capacity or capability, ultimately leading to issues such as congestion, increased crime, and disruption of order. In attempts to curb the high number of tourists, several tourist destinations are now imposing bans, fines, and taxes, reports Tempo, adding that between January and December 26, 2023, more than 5.2-million foreign tourists and over 9.4-million domestic tourists visited Bali, according to the Bali Tourism Agency.
To manage the high influx of tourists, Bali Governor Wayan Koster previously issued a list of do’s and don’ts for tourists, including a ban on swearing, touching sacred trees, or climbing buildings.
Starting February 14, 2024, international tourists will also have to pay a new tax of IDR 150,000 or USD 10 per person. Those who have already paid the tax will have to pay it again when they return to Bali after visiting other destinations in Indonesia.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of international tourists has increased significantly over the last few decades. From 25-million international arrivals in 1950 to more than 1.3-billion in 2017. This number is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.3-percent until 2030 when there will be 1.8-billion tourists.
The influx of international tourists to famous tourist destinations like Bali could not be avoided. Therefore, various efforts need to be made to overcome overtourism.
According to Tempo, the UNWTO recommends limiting the number of visitors at the same time, without causing any harm to the physical, economic, and socio-cultural environment, as well as a decline in tourism quality, to prevent overcrowding.
In 2021, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, called on stakeholders to develop tourism potential in the western, eastern, and northern areas of Bali so that tourists do not only crowd the southern area. “[To prevent] overcrowding and overtourism that could occur like before the pandemic,” Sandiaga Uno said, as quoted from Antara News.