LifestyleBali locals demand closure of sacred sites due to escalating disrespectful tourist behavior

Bali locals demand closure of sacred sites due to escalating disrespectful tourist behavior

Tourists do not respect the sacred places of the Balinese
Tourists do not respect the sacred places of the Balinese
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Dudarev Mikhail
5:43 PM EST, January 22, 2024

Almost 90 percent of Bali's inhabitants are Hindus. They are increasingly apprehensive of tourists who disrespect local customs and traditions. The Batur volcano, considered a Balinese holy site, is revered by the locals as the dwelling place of gods and ancestors.

Bali's holy sites free of tourists

In recent years, tourists' tremendously irresponsible behavior has triggered not only a series of scandals that echoed in international media but also several fatal accidents.

In November 2022, an American tourist tragically fell from a steep ascent during a trip to Mount Agung, home to the holiest temple of Balinese Hinduism. Then, in May of the same year, another visitor from the USA slipped and embarrassingly fell into a gorge during an organized excursion to the Batur volcano.

The primary trigger for introducing restrictions on tourists, nonetheless, is their scandalous behavior. Tourists frequently engage in sexual activities on the tops of holy mountains or openly dance there naked.

A case in point is Jeffrey Craigen, who was deported from Bali the previous year for dancing nude on Batur's peak. Similarly, two years ago, a Russian porn actress caused a furor when she recorded sex scenes at the same site.

Local guides oppose the planned changes

Wayan Koster, the governor of Bali, proposed a draft regulation in January this year to designate the islands' mountains as sacred zones. He justified the decision by asserting that tourists' behavior has crossed all limits, and the concept to restrict access to Balinese peaks was suggested by religious leaders.

Resistance to the proposal of limiting tourist access to Bali's sacred sites comes from local guides and travel agencies. Guiding foreigners to mountain tops is their primary source of income.

Source: scmp.com / Fly4free

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