Chinese tourists fear Bali travel over sexual assault

By Xu Keyue and Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/6 22:53:40

Bali police escort the suspect in the sexual abuse of a Chinese visitor on the island. Photo: Courtesy of the Beijing Times.

Recent violence against tourists in Bali Island, Indonesia has sparked concern among Chinese tourists, especially women, who believe the cases ruined their idea of the "romantic island." 

Some even said they cancelled their trips because of the recent sexual assault incident. 

China's Consulate General in Denpasar announced on its website on Friday that a 29-year-old Indonesian jet ski instructor allegedly sexually assaulted a female Chinese visitor during a jet ski lesson on April 23.

The instructor, who was arrested, confessed to police and is expected to soon face a court, the announcement said.

"So creepy," a Sina Weibo user said, recounting her own experience of being grabbed by her surfing instructor when she visited Bali in 2017. 

Another netizen claimed that she had planned to visit Bali this year but decided to cancel it after hearing about the incident.

A woman surnamed Bian from Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, who had joined several water entertainment events in Bali, told the Global Times on Monday that she considered the local instructor unprofessional, which made her a little scared at that time. She noted that the events were very popular among tourists.

Some netizens even associated Bali with India, where sexual assaults are relatively rampant. They said they would never go to such places alone.

The incident is not the first sexual assault case on tourists in Bali. reported on Sunday that at least four sexual assault and robbery incidents happened during the last five years. The youngest victim, an Australian girl, was only 9.

However, three tourist agencies, including Ctrip, told the Global Times that the incident is an isolated one. 

No tourist has withdrawn through its agencies to Bali, although some repeatedly consulted them about safety issues after the incident, said Zhu Qin, an employee at a Shangrao-based tour agency in East China's Jiangxi Province. 

She noted that the agency's guide would constantly warn tourists about safety issues in Bali.

"Relevant tourism departments should blacklist the tourist places which experience similar incidents," Lan Jianxue, an deputy director at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday.

He noted that the number of Chinese traveling abroad is increasing, and similar sexual abuse incidents at tourist attractions, including those in India and US, are also increasing.

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