It isn’t surprising to open your Instagram and see your friends and influencers chilling on some picturesque mountain in Bali while you are in bed doom-scrolling. But soon, this will be a thing of the past. Bali’s governor has now announced a ban on tourist activities on its mountains with immediate effect. These include the stunning Mount Batur and Mount Agung.
Why is Bali imposing a ban on its mountains?
As reported by CNN, the Bali government took this step after it saw a rise in incidents where tourists violated the sanctity of sacred mountains by their misbehaviour. Wayan Koster, the governor of Bali said, “These mountains are sacred and revered. If their sanctity is damaged, it is the same as degrading the sacredness of Bali”.
Seeing the rise in misbehaviour by tourists, several tourists have been deported and banned from the country for six months. Last month, a German tourist allegedly stripped naked and gatecrashed a sacred performance at a Bali temple. Earlier, three tourists were arrested for dancing in a temple and disrespecting its sanctity.
On whom will the ban be imposed?
Speaking at a press conference, the governor mentioned that mountain activities like climbing and hiking were no longer allowed for both foreign and domestic tourists as well as locals. He said, “This ban is in effect forever and is not only for foreign tourists but also domestic tourists and local residents… (with the exception of) religious ceremonies or the handling of natural disasters.”
He did not elaborate or discuss potential punishments for those who violated the new rules but groups of foreigners have been deported and banned from returning to Indonesia for six months by authorities.
While it is still an order, it will require official approval from the local parliament to be finally enacted as a law. It is time people start acting like sensible tourists and respect the local cultures and the sanctity of places.