Couples will have to prove they are married ahead of travelling to Bali.

Couples will have to prove they are married ahead of travelling to Bali.
© Shutterstock

New laws will outlaw cohabitating in Indonesia

Global News

Changes likely to hit tourism industry in destinations such as Bali.

Couples planning a romantic getaway to the idyllic island of Bali may have to rethink their plans, or tie the knot beforehand, after the country’s parliament passed new laws that ban cohabiting outside of marriage. The new rules do not just apply to residents, but also foreign expats and tourists heading into the country to enjoy its beautiful beaches and tropical climate.

While it is unclear how the law will be enforced it seems couples will have to prove they are married ahead of booking or on arrival, which will undoubtedly put many off. The news comes at the wrong time for the country’s tourism industry, savagely hit by the Covid-19 outbreak and just starting to return to pre-pandemic levels.

The good news is that the changes are not expected to come into force for several years, but the country’s tourism industry fears it will put people off visiting.

“From our point of view as tourism industry players, this law will be very counterproductive for the tourism industry in Bali – particularly the chapters about sex and marriage.” said Putu Winastra, chairman of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA).

Bali is the jewel in the crown of Indonesia, with figures showing the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on its tourism industry: averaging around 500,000 foreign visitors each month before the pandemic, arrivals slumped to 45 for the entire year of 2021.

A healthy revival has been forecast for Indonesia’s travel industry, contributing $118biillion to the country’s GDP while creating more than 500,000 jobs each year for the next decade.  

Falstaff Editorial Team
Find out more