Rising reports of unruly foreign nationals on the Island of Gods prompted the authorities to form a task force specializing in handling problematic tourists.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno in his weekly press briefing yesterday said that the central government in coordination with the Bali Province administration decided to form a new task force to address various violations committed by foreigners on the island.
“We must work fast together with the Bali Provincial Government to form units under the task force,” he said.
“We will be firm if there are violations against the law, but we will still maintain hospitality for [tourists] coming to Indonesia especially Bali.”
The new task force incorporates elements from various institutions including Bali Police, Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), and pecalang (Balinese traditional security officers).
In the same press briefing, Bali Vice Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said that there are three main problems that will be prioritized by the new task force.
The first one, he said, is the fact that many tourists often behave inappropriately on the roads of Bali including riding motorbikes with minimum clothing items.
“The second one is illegal businesses, and the third one is stay permits problems,” said Tjokorda, who is affectionately called Cok Ace by the locals.
Cok Ace acknowledged that it will be impossible for the new task force to immediately cover all the island, so they came up with three main regions as priorities for the time being: Nusa Penida, Ubud, and Sanur.
In Ubud, for example, Co Ace revealed that he had received reports of foreign nationals even going as far as creating their own neighborhood where all the residents are exclusively foreign nationals and putting fences encircling the neighborhood.
“[We] don’t know what’s happening behind the walls,” he said.
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