The concept of tourism is simple. People who have enough money go to a certain place to enjoy the place, the culture, and hospitality of the locals. That way, the tourist can help the economy in the destination. However, there is a rise of begpackers that blight several Asian countries.
This issue is so big that many governments in East and Southeast Asia countries start to crack down this practice. The begpackers bring nothing but trouble to the local government. In Bali, tough stance has been taken by the authority.
What is a begpacker?
To say it simply, a begpacker is someone who goes to foreign countries and beg for a donation from the locals. That is problematic because tourists are supposed to bring money to help the economy, not taking them out. They seem to think that they are entitled to travel the world so they beg people to give them money.
Many ways to beg
There are many ways a begpacker begs. They commonly sit in a popular place with a sign. Most of the sign reads: ‘I travel around the world without money. Please support my trip’ or something to that effect. They also have a ‘free hug’ but with donation bowl, often while being blindfolded for some reason. Other also busking, selling pictures, selling bracelets, and straight up begging to have their money to travel the world.
Problems in Indonesia
There have been several problems arising from begpackers in Indonesia. In 2017, the police had to pay the hotel fee of tourist from The Czech Republic and Slovakia who ran out of money. In 2018, a policeman also had to find a ride for two tourists from New Zealand after they claimed they have no money. Two tourists also stole a bike in Gili Trawangan and punished according to the island unique law.
Bali had enough of begpackers
Bali and indeed Indonesia obviously have no problem with backpackers who want to travel in the lowest possible budget. They are all welcome. However, begpackers who plan to take advantage of the kindness of locals will be dealt with swiftly and firmly. Tourists who are caught begging will be sent to their respective embassies and banned from entering the country. An official from Ngurah Rai’s Immigration Office stated that they will no longer tolerate that kind of practice.
Indonesia is visa-free for people from many countries, especially western developed ones. Unfortunately, some of the travelers from those take advantage of those privilege to come to touristy areas and beg. These begpackers are real problems faced by many governments that they start to make a stern stance now.