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Jakarta Post

Crimes committed by tourists in Bali raises questions over visa exemption expansion

  • Made Anthony Iswara

    The Jakarta Post

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Denpasar, Bali   /   Wed, January 8, 2020   /  07:43 am
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Foreign tourists disembarked on the jetty at Banjar Nyuh Port in Nusa Penida, Bali on June 10, 2019 (Shutterstock/JG Arif Wibowo)

The thousands of visitors that flock to Bali every year are starting to get under the skin of Kuta village head I Wayan Wasista, whose village has metamorphosed from rice paddies and fisher villages to an all-day tourist epicenter. From begging and alcohol-induced acts to crimes like theft and skimming, he expressed concerns about the rising numbers of lawbreaking visitors in his area. “Back then, would we have ever envisioned that there would be tourists committing crimes, like skimming or robbery? I’m quite surprised myself. How have we come to this?” Wasista asked. Wasista’s qualms reflect a public order problem that has haunted Bali ever since it saw a huge visitor uptick in the last decade or two, experts say. In a broader context, it presents a big challenge for Indonesia’s shift in economic focus to tourism as an engine of growth with Pr...