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The Indonesian island of Bali is banning tourists from renting motorbikes.
The new rules – part of a crackdown on antisocial behaviour – come after a series of traffic offences by foreigners.
Visitors will be encouraged to rent cars instead.
” As tourists, [you should] act as tourists,” Governor I Wayan Koster said.
“[This means] using the vehicles prepared by travel agents, instead of roaming around with motorbikes, without wearing t-shirts and clothes, with no helmets, violating [traffic rules], and even without a licence.”
Around 6.2 million people visited Bali in 2019 – including 1.2 million Australians.
Many of these tourists favour motorbikes to get around which can easily navigate the country’s winding roads.
Why is Bali banning bikes for tourists?
Over 170 foreign nationals have broke traffic laws between February and March, according to local media reports.
Common offences include drunk driving, speeding, and the use of fake license plates.
Bali’s economy is heavily reliant on visitors, with tourism contributing around 60 per cent of the island’s annual Gross domestic product. Many businesses were decimated during the pandemic.
After international travel restrictions were eased, travel has rebounded.
But locals are getting increasingly fed up with anti-social behaviour and hooliganism.
“Why now? Because we are currently tidying up, during the COVID-19 pandemic we couldn’t have possibly done that because there were no tourists,” he told to Kompas news.
405 people died in Bali in 2020 due to motor vehicle incidents, the Bali Sun reports.
The ban will be implemented sometime later this year. The government have not outlined how it will be enforced.
Not everyone is pleased with the plans. Dedek Warjana, chair of Bali’s motorbike rental association, said the authorities should act on specific violations instead of setting a blanket ban.
“I visit Bali every year but if the scooters are banned I will not be coming back for sure,” wrote one Twitter user.
Bali to crack down on Ukrainian and Russian tourists
Alongside the bike ban, Bali’s governor asked Jakarta authorities to revoke visas for Ukrainian and Russian tourists.
These travellers – who “flock to Bali” – are the worst behaved, the governor claims. Several have been arrested for misusing visitors visas to set up businesses.
More than 77,500 Russians and 8,800 Ukrainians arrived in Indonesia between September 2022 and January 2023.