Image: The image that went viral. Credit Instagram @dreamchaser_travelling.
The Bali Tourism Alliance (APPMB) spoke out yesterday after an image that went viral on social media of a tourist behaving contrary to Balinese cultural customs.
The tourist was photographed sitting on the temple high chair, the place most sacred for Bali Hindus.
Head of APPMB, I Wayan Puspa, told NusaBali that an incident like this needs definite follow-up steps. Especially as incidents like these are being repeated often again and to that end, Puspa hopes strengthening the flow of information to tourists can be one of the answers.
“There must be a notification to potential tourists regarding the rules for visiting Bali from upstream to downstream. We need mandatory information about what can and can’t be done in Bali for every tourist arriving to the island,” said Puspa Negara, Monday (3/10).
The photo spread on social media, besides being insulting to the Hindu community is also felt to show the weak information received by tourists about Bali and its customs.
“We don’t see this issue as solely about supervision. For us, the most important thing is how these new tourists can get complete information about Bali. Starting from upstream to downstream, regarding what they can and cannot do,” he said.
Puspa continued saying that the role of various parties is very much needed in this situation, including airlines, immigration, guides, drivers, destination ticket guards and the wider community. Thus, foreign tourists will gain knowledge about Bali and its social and cultural norms.
“When tourists enter the country they have to sign a declaration at customs regarding luggage. Well, they could also easily read and sign a declaration when entering Bali on what they can and can’t do. This could happen just before landing,” said Puspa Negara, also a former member of the Badung DPRD.
This step, he added, is to respect Balinese local wisdom and to protect Balinese taksu. “And the penalties can also be included on the paper, from customary sanctions to deportation,” he said.