Tourism can have great impact on a region. It has the potential to invigorate the economy and inspire investments and healthy growth but also can have negative effects. Some tourist destinations had learned about the devastating impact on natural resources, the destruction of landscapes by unhindered construction and hotel developments and the loss of cultural identity. Bali is not isolated from the effects of tourism and always sought a way to harmonious integrate tourism into the Balinese way of life. The Balinese people are friendly and welcoming to visitors and love to share their island paradise with the curious traveler. One challenge has always been to curb negative effects and help to preserve the natural beauty of the volcanic Island. Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry issued a statement that a entry tax on tourists would help to raise funds that can be used to finance conservation for Mangrove and coral reef restoration projects.
The travel minister Sandiago Uno said that conservation measure would have a positive impact on the local environment. Other countries have engaged in similar measure to raise funds and to control tourism numbers to a healthy level. Nia Niscaya, is the deputy for strategic policy at the ministry and recognizes Thailands latest restrictions on tourism as an example to consider. Balis Governor Wayan Koster is considering a ban on Motorbikes for tourists. His aim is at foreign tourists who ride motorcycles without proper license. He also targets tourists who illegally work in Bali. That trend for remote workers to live in a cheap country without contributing to a tax base has become a problem for officials who seek to curb foreign influence. Critics are not all in favor of the latest laws and regulations from the federal and local government. Putu Winastra is the chairman of the country’s larges tourism group (The Association of The Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies – ASITA) and views some changes very critical. Especially the latest introduction of a law that would ban cohabitation and sex of unmarried couples. Tourists would not be exempt from that law. Putu Winastra said “From our point of view as Tourism industry players, this law will be very counterproductive for the tourism industry in Bali”
We at the Bali Coral Farm welcome measures that help in natural preservation efforts and assist in funding of crucial environmental restoration projects. We make our living of the pristine natural environment that surrounds us. But at the same time we also depend on the tourist industry for our shipments of life coral to the wholesale customers all over the world. How difficult our business was without the frequent visitors to Bali became apparent during the Covid lockdown. Many of our Coral Import partners had to wait for extended periods for available flights needed to certain shipping destinations. Tourism some times fuels other businesses that are not directly related to the travel industry. Coral Farming is just one example of many that benefit from the regular influx of visitors to our beautiful island. Without tourists we would not have the broad shipping options via airfreight that we have now. The survival of our coral during shipping and transit is closely tied to the time it takes to get from Bali to its destination. Every stopover and every hour in a cargo hold puts additional stress on the life coral. We hope there is a middle ground that allows the government to efficiently crack down on the ones that abuse the rules and disturb the peace of our citizens, while still allowing a healthy number of visitors to enjoy a stay in our island paradise. Our team at the Bali Coral Farm and our beautiful farm raised coral will be very thankful for it.