The Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) wants to assure travellers that they do not have to worry about being prosecuted over their private activities. This comes after a video of a prank that went viral on TikTok, causing concern among tourists.
The TikTok video featured a couple being "raided" by the staff of a Nusa Dua hotel in Bali who demanded to see their marriage certificate. The stunt was apparently a prank of a domestic tourist for his wife’s birthday.
The viral video capitalised on travellers’ concerns about Indonesia’s new law by insinuating that authorities are carrying out morality checks in Bali and that non-local tourists may also be jailed for engaging in sex outside of marriage.
Tourists urged to be mindful of content they create
“First, we guarantee our guests that we will not ask for a marriage certificate. Second, we guarantee that there would be no sweeping of the hotel. And third, we will keep our guests’ personal data private,” said I Gusti Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, PHRI Bali’s Vice Chairman, on Saturday (18 February).
He also warned others, especially tourists, to be mindful of contents they are releasing as it may affect the tourism industry of Bali.
“If you want to do a prank, you have to be careful and think about the impact. Don’t just make content for your own benefit while it is detrimental to us,” Suryawijaya added.
As a precaution, the Bali Tourism Agency said that they will reinforce the need to protect their tourism’s reputation by issuing a notice to hotels, restaurants, and other tourist areas on the island to avoid damaging Bali’s reputation as a tourism-dependent island.
The hotel management where the prank happened has likewise clarified the video at the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, saying that the incomplete video was the one that went viral and not the prank part.
Last December, Indonesia’s parliament passed a controversial law prohibiting cohabitation between unmarried couples, with the measure being widely regarded as a “stepping back in time.” Violators of the law could be sent to jail for one year.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and lifestyle writer who focuses on politics, the economy, and pop culture. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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