Bali Governor I Wayan Koster yesterday said tourists who are disrespectful of the island’s holy places would be “sent back home.” The warning comes after a video showing a couple from the Czech Republic washing the woman’s private parts with holy water from a Balinese Hindu temple in Ubud went viral over the weekend.
“In the future, if there are tourists behaving like that we should just send them home, they are being disorderly coming to Bali. We will give them this warning,” Koster told reporters in Denpasar yesterday.
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The viral video, which was first uploaded on Saturday as a story to the Instagram account of the woman, Sabina Dolezalova, has since been captured and shared widely by others. It shows her boyfriend, Zdenek Slouka, splashing water from a pelinggih (shrine) on Dolezalova’s butt.
Unsurprisingly, the video elicited a lot of negative reactions from Indonesians, which led the couple to issue an apology video in which they expressed their regret and admitted their lack of knowledge about the temple and its holy status.
Ida Bagus Agung Partha Andyana, who heads the Bali Tourism Board, said that many tourists who engage in disrespectful behavior in holy places in Bali do so because of a lack of information.
“Most of them do disrespectful things in holy places because they do not know or understand the rules that apply here … sometimes, even guests who have been informed fail to understand or forget, so it’s better to inform them both orally and in writing,” Bagus said, as quoted by Kumparan.
Bagus also went so far as to say that the rules for tourists to enter holy places should be stricter.
This latest viral video incident seems to have reignited the conversation on the state of tourism in Bali and is likely to prompt government officials to issue more policies to ensure an orderly conduct among tourists visiting the island.
“There needs to be more order, from the services and facilities at tourist attractions, as well as the ethics of tourists. We will give a standard for guidance,” Koster said.
In addition, Koster highlighted that Balinese officials and residents must play a role in looking after holy places that are often visited by tourists.
“They shouldn’t think merely on the basis of income, and then allow tourists to engage in disrespectful behavior,” Koster said, as reported by state news agency Antara.