When Indonesia's parliament passed new laws a couple of weeks ago imposing jail terms for having sex outside marriage or living together without marrying, it sent a small tsunami through tourism industry sites, speculating that the new laws would drive away visitors.
Don't worry, they've now been assured by Bali's governor, who said that those who "visit or live in Bali would not need to worry with regard to the entry into force of the Indonesian Criminal Code." The code, largely designed to follow Islamic law in the majority-Muslim nation, takes effect in three years. Bali is majority Hindu.
The governor pointed out that prosecution can only happen if there is a formal complaint by a child, parent or spouse—not a likely chance for visitors—and that "there will be no checking on marital status upon check-in at any tourism accommodation, such as hotels, villas, apartments, guest houses, lodges and spas."
The governor also denied that the stories had depressed tourism numbers, pointing out that both the numbers soon to arrive and numbers for later bookings have continued to rise. Officials expect the number of visitors to rise by 2025 to the pre-pandemic level of six million visitors a year.