Bali tightens grip on tourist behaviour and dress in proposed campaign

Bali tightens grip on tourist behaviour and dress in proposed campaign

Bali’s Tourism Board is looking to launch a new campaign that will install billboards to encourage travellers to “respect Balinese cultural customs,” the boards chairman Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana said.

This is as Indonesia, which Bali is a part of, is a conservative country influenced by the laws of Islam. And while many Aussies – and tourists from other western countries – often head to the island to live a more lavish lifestyle, characterised by partying, alcohol consumption, and wearing clothing that may not be deemed completely appropriate, the government board has had enough.

The billboards will be installed at popular tourist spots such as Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, Canggu, Ubud, Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Uluwatu.

Locals and tourists on crowded Kuta Beach in Bali (Image: iStock/Pandjaitan)

“The point is that tourists respect Balinese cultural customs by dressing well and neatly, following in an orderly manner, carrying out traffic activities and not doing things that are outside the provisions,” Adnyana told The Bali Sun.

Adyana added that the country is in the process of the ‘socialisation’ phase of the campaign, which will look to build awareness among visitors and educate tourists on proper behaviour on the island.

If the campaign is approved, 10 large billboards will be installed with guidelines for proper etiquette in foreign languages, including English.

“Indeed, we are welcoming and accept everything. Guests are king – but don’t abuse,” Adnyana said.

The board is looking to collaborate with influencers, tourism stakeholders and e-commerce businesses to raise awareness of the campaign’s message.

A travel expert at Finder, Angus Kidman, told, that this move from the Bali Tourism Board is not surprising.

“In recent years we’ve seen increasing efforts by Indonesian authorities to clamp down on unruly behaviour,” Kidman said.

“The most infamous example is the ‘bonk ban’ on unmarried couples. Authorities say that won’t apply to tourists, but it does reinforce that Indonesia takes this issue seriously.

“Good manners and respect are essential for all tourists in every destination. You’re risking a fine or even deportation if you run wild and ignore local attitudes.”

Aussie travellers have found themselves in trouble in Bali – and no, we’re not even talking about Schapelle Corby.

An Aussie man copped backlash online in October last year after a video emerged of him doing burnouts on a rented scooter in the middle of a busy road.

Also, an apprentice builder made headlines globally when he fly kicked a man off his motorbike in a drunken state and smashed windows.

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