The holiday essential Bali authorities want to ban

It’s fast become a familiar sight, bikini-clad tourists roaming the streets and posing for photos in front of Bali’s sacred temples – but officials say they are fed-up.

More than five million tourists visited the island in 2017 but politicians are now calling for a sweeping change to the iconic holiday hotspot’s regulations, following what they described as a decline in the “quality of tourists”.

Bali’s deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, better known as Cok Ace promised change, saying the temples need to be preserved.

“The quality of tourists is now different from before,” he said at a recent regional council meeting.

A young woman in a bikini looks out to sea at a temple at Padang Padang beach. Image: Getty
Bali officials said the quality of tourists has decreased in recent years. Image: Getty

“It is because we are too open with tourists, so too many come.”

The decline in dress code and behaviour could now see those tourists not only banned from entering in bikinis and other revealing garments but banned from visiting the temples unaccompanied.

“This is the government’s attempt to maintain the Pura (temples),” he said.

“The temples need to be preserved since they are the spirits of Bali’s cultures and customs.”

A young woman visits Bali’s Tirta Gangga temple. Authorities could soon ban tourists from visiting temples unaccompanied. Image: Getty

His demand for action follows a string of recent incidents where scantily dressed foreigners have posed inappropriately in front of the island’s many temples.

Most recently, a Danish tourist caused outrage when he squatted and posed at a plinggih padmasana shrine. It is meant to be left empty for Balinese Hindu deities.

In 2016, a young woman was inundated with abuse after she performed a downward facing dog yoga pose at the door to a Balinese temple.