Russian presence in Bali.
Lately, Bali has had several new bulletins regarding foreigners. Lack of respect for traffic laws. Lack of respect for Immigration laws and a few more concerning things such as money laundering and fraudulent business.
Bali, Indonesia, is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. In recent years, however, the island has seen a significant influx of Russian tourists, expats, and businesspeople. Leading some to refer to it as “Little Russia in Southeast Asia.” Unsure if this is a good or bad thing, it is what it is.
It’s a relatively recent thing.
This trend has been especially notable in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted many Russians to seek refuge in Bali.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, Russian visitors to Bali have been steadily increasing in recent years, with more than 157,000 Russians visiting Bali in 2019 alone. This figure is a significant increase from just a decade ago when the number of Russian tourists was less than 50,000.
One of the reasons for this growth in Russian tourism is the increasing wealth of Russians, as well as their love for traveling and discovering new destinations. Additionally, the island’s proximity to Russia, combined with a favorable exchange rate, makes it an attractive destination for Russian travelers.
They are here to stay.
I am unsure if this is a blessing or not. Bali has been hit hard by COVID and the desperation from locals has shown. Therefore, the bending of rules and the sometimes one-eye closed approach has been favored for recuperation.
Moreover, many Russians have chosen to live in Bali permanently, setting up businesses, investing in real estate, and integrating into the local community. According to the Bali Tourism Board, there are currently around 5,000 Russian expats living on the island, primarily in the southern part of Bali, such as Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu.
This Russian presence has had a significant impact on Bali’s economy and tourism industry. Many businesses now cater specifically to Russian tourists, with Russian language signs, menus, and services. Likewise, many Russian-owned businesses have sprung up, including bars, restaurants, and shops.
However, this trend has not been without controversy. Some have raised concerns about the impact of the Russian presence on Bali’s culture and environment, particularly in areas where Russians are concentrated. Others have also expressed concern about the legality of some Russian businesses, many of which operate without proper permits.
In the news.
Despite these concerns, Bali continues to be a popular destination for Russians, and the island’s tourism industry is likely to continue to benefit from their presence. For many Russians, Bali represents an escape from the harsh Russian winters, a place where they can relax, explore, and build a new life. As such, the Russian presence in Bali is likely to continue to grow, bringing with it new opportunities and challenges for the island’s residents and visitors alike. There will need to be some changes in Bali. Let’s hope the locals and the local government can navigate their way through this somewhat delicate subject of more and more foreign permanent residences.