New data suggests that Bali is more popular than ever to Australian visitors, with 1Cover Travel Insurance saying that travel to Bali has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
Natalie Smith, a spokesperson for 1Cover Travel Insurance, said: “We’ve seen a big uptick in Bali travel, particularly in recent months. Indonesia and Bali especially have experienced some of our highest sales growth, with a 12 per cent increase on pre-pandemic levels. Bali's travel industry has rebounded with remarkable vigour since the pandemic, and there’s no sign of that abating.”
Jetstar, a low-cost Australian airline, has reported a 10 per cent increase in Bali flights compared with pre-Covid levels. And travel agency, Webjet revealed that Bali is the number one overseas destination for Australians in early 2023.
Trouble in paradise
However, this increase in tourists has led to an increase in Australians being arrested, fined, or even deported from Bali.
“As Bali finds its feet in the aftermath of the pandemic, there has been a noted increase of troublesome tourists,” Smith explained. “Whether they’re disobeying road rules, drinking excessively, or disrespecting local laws and customs, these travellers are testing the limits of Balinese hospitality.”
This year, six Australians have been deported from Bali, reported 9News, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there has been a 67 per cent increase in drug arrests over the past few years.
Ravindra Singh Shekhawat, General Manager for Intrepid Travel Indonesia, said that the recent hike in unruly behaviour has forced a range of strong measures from authorities. “Bali is a land of immense cultural value and traditions that visitors must understand and respect. Locals are getting increasingly fed up with the anti-social behaviours exhibited by a few unruly tourists. Police have responded to this unruly behaviour by increasing their routine checks on the ground, such as driver license checks and drink and driving checks,” he explained.
Smith added that a few key regulations should be made known to all Australian visitors to Bali: “When riding a scooter, you must carry a valid driver’s licence, wear a helmet and abide by all traffic rules. Another key regulation is not to misuse your visa status as an overstay of more than 60 days can result in a hefty fine.”
Shekhawat also that Australians should take the time to understand local cultural laws and traditions. “Visitors should understand, especially if they are visiting a site which holds a sacred value, to act according with local rules,” he said. “Bali is one of the best destinations for holidaying in Asia as it offers many unique experiences, all travellers need to do is behave well and follow the local rules to enjoy their holiday without any troubles.”