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Stop! In the Name of the Law!

Provincial Authorities in Bali Blame Regional Autonomy for Inability to Enforce Tourism Rules and Regulations

(10/22/2012) The Jakarta Post reports that the Bali Tourism Authority (Kadiparda) is promising, once again, a crackdown by municipal and regency authorities on the innumerable illegal tourism businesses operating in Bali.

The highest-ranking tourism official in Bali, Ida Bagus Subhisku, has acknowledged that many accommodation providers, restaurants, travel agencies, guides, spas and adventure operators lack proper licenses.

The very large number of unlicensed tourism operator make a mockery of efforts to regulate and control Bali’s tourism industry; renders the establishment of security, service and safety standards problematic; and results in many tourism business failing to make a proper tax contributions.

Subhisku pointed to autonomy laws as complicating efforts to impose standards and control on the region level. 

“Accommodation businesses, like hotels and villas, as well as other businesses related to tourism, obtain their licenses from the regency and municipal administrations. So, discipline is also part of their authority. We can only urge them to be more selective when giving out permits,” said Subhiksu. 



Recently the Bali deputy chief of police, Brig. General Ketut Untung Yoga, blamed tourist deaths on unlicensed operators, such as dive operators, who have refused any responsibility when their clients perished.

Yoga said that companies without legal standing ensures business owner will act more responsibility in the conduct of their businesses and care of their customers.

The Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI Bali) chairman Tjok Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati admitted robberies and murders had also occurred in unlicensed villas and motels. 

“Such cases sometimes occur in secluded villas and motels without adequate security measures. I really hope that the administration will be stricter on illegal premises,” said Sukawati.

Sukawati’s promise, however, is ironic in that he has admitted in the past that as many as 97% of the hotels and tourism business in his regency of Gianyar are not legally established. [See: Disregarding the Rules] .