Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Bismar Pandjaitan, is fed-up with foreign visitors acting up and misbehaving in Bali and recommends new policies and regulations to rein in unruly foreigners upsetting public peace and order in Bali and the rest of Indonesia.
As reported by Balipost.com and Kompas.com, Minister Luhut recommends instituting a special tax on foreign tourists to finance infrastructure upgrades and tourism promotion.
The Minister’s latest “get tough” stance towards foreign visitors was announced after he viewed a video made on 15 March 2023 showing a shirtless and helmetless American tourist on a motorcycle abusing a group of policemen conducting roadside vehicle inspections.
“I am asking a tourist tax soon be implemented for foreigners visiting Indonesia,” said Luhut during a coordination meeting on controlling international visitors in Bali held on 03 April 2023. Posting on his Instagram Account, the Coordinating Minister said the proposed tax, as similar taxes imposed in other countries, would be helpful in financing destination development and tourism promotion.
Continuing, Luhut recommends the Government soon create “disincentives” for specific foreign nationalities known to act in a problematic way. He sees such disincentives as necessary so that Indonesia can be more selective regarding foreign travelers they welcome to the Republic.
Elaborating further, Luhut described Bali as an inexpensive tourist destination. Because of this, he feels foreign low-income tourists are encouraged to come to the Island and disobey local norms and rules.
The Minister alluded to data from the Travel Tourism Development Index for 2021 that he claims foreign tourism expenditures in Indonesia are lower than other destinations promoting “quality tourism.”
“This problem increasingly persuades me that Bali must return to a more transformational map steering away from mass tourism to quality tourism,” said Luhut. In the meantime, the Coordinating Minister calls on all ministries and related agencies to urgently take stern action against foreign tourists who insult national institutions. Adding: “We cannot allow anyone to ridicule Indonesia. We cannot remain quiet in the face of law violations, especially when this is augmented by insults leveled at national institutions. Soon, we will focus enforcement against violations of public order.”
Luhut continued saying that if foreign tourists wish to enjoy the beautiful panoramas of Indonesia’s nature, these visitors must first understand and respect Indonesia’s cultural values, traditions, and the rule of law.
Before the call for a crackdown by the Minister, he viewed a video showing a foreign national verbally abusing a policeman working a roadside traffic check trying while ticketing the man for several violations of traffic laws. The video was uploaded to the Twitter account of @niluhdjelantik on Wednesday, 15 March 2023. The foreigner, later identified as an American, was driving a motorcycle while failing to wear a helmet or a shirt. In the 45-second video, the American repeatedly screamed at the policeman: ”You wanna steal my money.”
Stay Informed on Bali Tourism-Related News: Subscribe to Bali Update