Skip to content

Bali now says it has no plans to ban backpackers when it reopens to tourists

Sept. 21, 2021
3 min read
Bali now says it has no plans to ban backpackers when it reopens to tourists
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor's Note

This post has been updated with new information. 

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information.


The Indonesian government is doing a bit of public relations damage control after a government official reportedly said that Bali planned to ban backpackers and budget travelers when it reopened its borders to foreign guests. Now that same official is saying it was a matter of miscommunication and that no such ban will be implemented.

The comments came during a virtual press conference last week. According to the Bali Sun, Maritime and Investment Coordinator Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated the following when discussing Bali's plan to reopen for tourists:

Sign up for our daily newsletter

“We’ll aim for quality tourism in Bali, so we won’t allow backpackers to enter once the reopening plan for international travelers is officially put in place in the near future."

For more daily TPG news dropped right in your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter!

In a statement given to Lonely Planet, a representative for the minister described it as a "misunderstanding." According to the spokesperson, the minister meant to say, "visitors who violate health rules and regulations, laws and immigration regulations in Indonesia [will not be allowed to enter]."

**The Points Guy has reached out to the Indonesian government for comment. We will update the story once we hear from them.**

The government spokesperson reiterated that all foreign visitors and tourists can visit Bali once the borders are reopened, provided they adhere to protocols. No specific target date has been given for when Bali, a popular destination for travelers across the economic spectrum, will relax restrictions to allow tourists back in.

Indonesian authorities had planned to reopen in late July, but a spike in coronavirus cases derailed that strategy. Reuters reports that Bali has eased restrictions for international visitors, but all incoming tourists still must take three PCR tests before being allowed onto the island and then quarantine for a minimum of eight days upon arrival. Visitors must also be fully vaccinated and present proof on a phone app verified by the government.

Related: 15 dream-worthy Bali hotels to book now

No doubt the news that Bali isn't going to actually consider any type of ban or other limitations on backpackers will come as a relief for many travelers. Backpackers tend to fall in the “budget traveler” category, and Bali has been a magnet for such low-frills tourists for years. Who can blame them? The lush tropical setting, seductive beaches and emphasis on health and wellness activities make Bali bucket list-worthy even if you can’t pay for one of the island’s many high-end resorts.

Bali’s location in Southeast Asia also makes it relatively easy to get to, another reason why backpackers flock to the island. Blocking such visitors to the island — even if they could figure out how to do it — would appear to be a self-defeating move for a destination that no doubt wants to resume the lucrative tourism industry that is so important to the island’s bottom line.

It’s not completely unheard of, however, as many destinations that offer beautiful and delicate environments are considering ways to balance the commercial demands of mass tourism against environmental and quality-of-life concerns.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases