The Indonesian island, popularly known as the “island of the gods,” is set to introduce regulations that may make it less appealing to foreign visitors. Bali Governor Wayan Koster stated that the government plans to take harsh action against international visitors who labour illegally on the island, which may include include “digital nomads,” as was mentioned in a news briefing on March 12.
Foreign tourists visiting Bali may soon have to find an alternative mode of transportation, as Bali governor Wayan Koster announced on BNN news today that they will no longer be allowed to rent motorbikes on the island. In a press briefing on March 12, Koster stated that tourists will be restricted to using cars for travel around the island.
Koster announcing the plans
Koster also announced plans to crack down on foreign tourists who work illegally on the island, targeting those who ride motorcycles without valid paperwork or helmets, drive recklessly, use fake Indonesian ID cards, or abuse residence and work permits. He further emphasized that the crackdown is aimed at foreigners who engage in illegal activities on the island, including riding motorcycles without proper documentation, helmets, or fake ID cards, or abusing residency and work permits.
Bali, The Island of the Gods
Bali, known as the “Island of the Gods,” has been a popular destination for backpackers and beachgoers for years, despite being predominantly Hindu within a majority Muslim country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, tensions between locals and tourists came to a head.
Josh Paler Lin and Leia “Lisha” Se, who identified themselves as influencers and content creators, faced trouble with Balinese authorities after one of them painted a fake blue face mask on the other for a YouTube prank. The video received widespread attention and triggered criticism from both locals and foreigners.
In April 2021, the two individuals released an apology video in the presence of their lawyers. However, they were later deported to their respective countries.
Despite the new laws announced by the national government in Jakarta in December that make it illegal for non-married couples to cohabit or have sex, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has stated that these laws will not affect visitors or foreign residents.
The governor, in his recent speech, attributed the lack of progress on the island to the pandemic, which has had a major impact on the tourism industry that the island heavily relies on.
Bali reopened to vaccinated tourists from 19 countries, such as China, France, and New Zealand, in October 2021. Currently, citizens from 86 countries are eligible for visas upon arrival on the island.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced plans to crack down on foreign tourists working illegally on the island, which could potentially include digital nomads. Additionally, as the BNN news today suggests, tourists will no longer be allowed to rent motorbikes, which are a popular way to get around the island, and will be restricted to using cars for travel.