The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut B. Pandjaitan, has emphasised that the government will control Bali’s tourism sector through several enforcement measures.
Actions will include enforcement against violations of public order, incoming tourist taxes, to the selection of foreigners from countries that are often problematic. According to Pandjaitan, Bali must return to the tourism transformation roadmap from mass tourism to quality tourism.
“In the near future, we will focus on taking action against various forms of violations of public order that have been committed. More than that, I also ask to apply taxes to tourists entering Indonesia be realised immediately,” he said in a recent upload on his personal Instagram account @luhut.pandjaitan, which was accessed in Jakarta on Monday 3rd April 2023.
This incentive will be very useful for financing the development of tourism destinations and promotions, as has been implemented in several countries which also have large tourism industries, added Pandjaitan.
“I also ask that a study be carried out immediately for disincentive policies for foreigners from several countries which are often in trouble. This is important to do so that the foreign tourists who come are well-selected,” he said.
Pandjaitan noted that Bali has become one of the world’s top tourist destinations with very low costs, thus encouraging low-income foreign tourists to come to Bali and ultimately violating the rules there.
Data from the 2021 Travel Tourism Development Index also confirms that foreign tourist spending in Indonesia is lower than in countries that offer quality tourism. He said that he hopes that the steps and efforts taken will succeed in the same spirit, namely to never underestimate Indonesia.
“We are a nation that really maintains the noble values of culture, traditions, and regulations. If foreign tourists want to enjoy the beauty of Indonesia’s nature, they must first understand and respect the noble cultural values, traditions, and regulations enforced in this country,” he said.
In Denpasar, Friday, the Head of the Bali Tourism Office Tkok Bagus Pemayun emphasised that this control effort will be carried out in accordance with the regulations set forth in the Bali Governor Regulation Number 28 of 2020 concerning Bali Tourism Management.
“Of course, our hope is in accordance with what is stated there, namely we want quality tourists, to maintain existing traditions, protect the environment including orderly traffic, and also use transportation facilities through the tourism travel service business,” he said.
Until now, 29 airlines have been serving international routes to Bali, with 86 countries being granted visas on arrival (VoA). From the data submitted by the Bali Tourism Office, since the beginning of March 2023, the total number of passengers on international routes has averaged 27,000 per day.
Pemayun explained that for special visits by foreign tourists, the number would increase in certain periods, which generally would be seen in May, June, and July.
The Bali Provincial Government aims to ensure that the plan to enforce control is not going to deter tourists.
“Take a look at Singapore. Tourists are afraid to litter, so they properly throw away the trash. The proof is that foreigners can be orderly and there are a lot of foreign tourists going to Singapore,” he said.
One of Bali Governor Wayan Koster’s proposals regarding reviewing or revoking VoA for Russians and Ukrainians is also considered to have no effect on foreign tourist visits to the Island of the Gods.
“I am optimistic, Russians and Ukrainians will still come, even if the VoA is abolished, for example, because Bali is indeed a safe and comfortable destination, that is what is sought. Tourists are definitely looking for safety and comfort first, and we are much safer as a world tourism destination,” he concluded.