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Lately we as Indonesians have become embarrassed by the behavior of foreign tourists who act arbitrarily from the public to government officials in Bali.
Several times we have read and seen videos uploaded on many social media related to the actions of tourists who do not respect Balinese culture and even act on their own terms.
The latest news spread on social media there are two Caucasians who harass Hindu shrines in the tourist attraction area Monkey Forest, Padangtegal Village, Ubud, Bali.
In the video circulating seen male tourists who wash the butt of female tourists with water pouring on a pelinggih purified by Hindus.
Not feeling guilty, they burst out laughing at what they had done.
Finally, the two tourists made a video of apology after a mediation attempt by the person concerned, the Police, Immigration, Indigenous Village and Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic.
Not long before the incident, there was a foreigner in Denpasar who tried to steal a motorbike owned by local residents, then ran away and tried to crash into vehicles passing on the road.
The action made a Scoopy biker fell down and his motorbike rolled and was dragged a few meters from the scene.
Caucasian man was finally caught and brought to the authorities.
There are still a few more incidents that make us Indonesians restless and embarrassed by the arbitrary actions of these tourists ranging from tourists who slapped the head of the Immigration officer, damaged the Catur Muka statue, banned residents from swimming in front of the villa, to tourists who took many hotel items which should be banned.
Not only the behavior of the tourists who are not polite and tend to be arbitrary, the Government of the Province of Bali is also facing the phenomenon of “Begpacker” namely desperate and poor foreign tourists coming to Bali.
These begpackers often pretend to be tired and then make money on the streets because they don’t have the money to live while in Bali. There are also tourists who scavenge garbage just to find leftovers.
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And when the Indonesian government has to be bothered handling this problem, again the money from the state budget used to deal with this matter ranging from consumption, lodging to accommodation.
Of course this is very troubling to make us embarrassed and fed up, not only local residents in Bali but also the tourism sector in Indonesia who seem to “prostitute” themselves to foreign countries without knowing the problems to be faced.
Based on the World’s Travel & Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Indonesia has become the most open country with foreign tourists ranked 17th in the world.
This means that tourists from abroad can easily enter Indonesia without the hassle of strict rules, not to mention visa-free facilities that are enforced in many countries.
Yet for Indonesian citizens to take care of visas abroad such as European Union countries and the United States it often has difficulty because of the many conditions that must be submitted so that their visas are accepted and can go to Europe.
Some important conditions that must be completed by Indonesian citizens such as having to attach a round-trip plane ticket, hotel booking, to the attachment of proof of account owned.
So even the developed countries in Europe and America do not have to take care of the “begpackers” who run out of costs for food and the cost of returning to their home countries.
Similar policies should also be implemented in Indonesia so that foreign tourists are not haphazardly able to enter Indonesia and act arbitrarily even begging in their own country.
We must be aware to throw away our mental inladers, that Caucasian people are not higher in rank than Indonesians. We are not inferior to Europeans or Americans so that they can act arbitrarily especially in sacred places.
In addition, we must leave behind the cultural heritage of the colonial era that has passed more than 350 years. Most of the Indonesians assume that white people automatically have abundant money so that they do not cause problems later on.
We have seen the phenomenon as proof that white people are always rich is not the right thing.
In addition, many of these events are a reflection of how the government through the Ministry of Tourism rashly made programs that were deemed not well prepared and mature.
In 2019, the Ministry of Tourism is targeting around 20 million foreign visitors to enter Indonesia, but the target of 20 million tourists is followed by a relaxed selection system that makes no filter for foreign tourists entering Indonesia.
The number of 20 million tourists entering Indonesia is indeed a crazy target and can increase the country’s foreign exchange with a very significant value, but if it causes problems the country will also be inconvenienced.
Not to mention if they have begun to disrupt and damage Indonesia’s own cultural values, that is a price that cannot be paid for material things.
This is a hard slap as well as a reflection for the world of tourism in Indonesia, that the most important thing is not just the number of tourists who come by loosening the rules that are actually important.
Maintaining the legacy, culture, values and integrity of Indonesia as well as the sustainability of tourist attractions in Indonesia is more important than just the large amount of foreign exchange, but many tourist attractions are destroyed due to over capacity and also tourists who do not respect customs local residents.