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Lacking 'Quality' Tourists, Bali Mulls New Restrictions

Too many people are disrespecting temples
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2018 5:46 PM CDT
Bali's most prominent temples are called Pura Besakih.   (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

(Newser) – Tourists. They don't make them like they used to. At least that's what officials in Bali think. "The quality of tourists is now different from before," Bali's deputy governor, Cok Ace, said this week during a regional council meeting, per the Guardian. And by different, he means worse. "It is because we are too open with tourists, so too many come." The main issue is visitors to the island (there were more than 5 million in 2017) disrespecting Hindu shrines and temples there. Now, the government is planning to restrict tourist's access to temples and shrines, per Coconuts, which notes that Bali is known as the "island of 1,000 temples."

There are many examples of tourists behaving badly in Bali, which has strict anti-blasphemy laws. Recent instances include, according to the Huffington Post, a Danish tourist squatting atop the Pura Luhur Batukaru temple; a Spanish vlogger climbing on a temple; a woman in a bikini posing in front of a temple while doing the downward dog yoga pose. "The temples need to be preserved since they are the spirits of Bali's cultures and customs," Cok Ace reportedly said. (Read more Bali stories.)

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