June 24, 2024

Travel In Bali

Travel & Tour Tips

Tourism official says Nas Daily’s ‘Whitest Island in Asia’ clip is actually good for Bali

Tourism official says Nas Daily’s ‘Whitest Island in Asia’ clip is actually good for Bali

Arab-Israeli vlogger Nuseir Yassin AKA Nas Daily stirred the pot last week with his take on tourism in Bali. The island’s officials, however, do not seem to think one particularly controversial video is problematic, at all. 

Known for minute-long videos about travel experiences with his trademark faux-positive persona, Yassin immediately posted several clips upon finally touching down in Bali last week.

In one clip, titled, “The Whitest Island in Asia,” he marveled about how “white” the island is.

Yassin highlighted four reasons as to why many white (and “non-white” people AKA other foreigners) call Bali their home, namely the island’s nature (with a shot of him being surrounded by paddy fields); hospitality (highlighting hotels in Bali and the hospitality of the locals); prices (where he said, “Everything is affordable to white tourists at least”); and scooters (with shots of him driving around with other scooter riders).

Many responded negatively to Yassin’s video, arguing that it glorifies gentrification on the island while overlooking how locals are exploited for the sake of tourism dollars. 

Bali Tourism Agency Head Tjokorda Bagus Pemayun, however, sees the video in a more positive light. The official told Coconuts today that, at the end of the day, the clip promotes Bali’s tourism as it emerges from a time when the island’s bread-and-butter industry was severely hampered during the pandemic.

“In the video, he is flattering Bali, such as Bali greenery. This is actually good for the promotion of Bali tourism,” he said. 

Despite the online backlash, Tjokorda said that the video would not negatively affect the island’s tourism sector. 

“I don’t see his video as a complaint or slandering Bali as many [netizens] have said,” the official added. 

Bali tourism officials are hoping for 4.5 million international arrivals this year, in addition to 9 million domestic travelers. That would put the number just below that of 6,206,884 international tourists arrivals in 2019, AKA before the pandemic.

While that particular video might have rubbed people the wrong way, Yassin did upload other content during his Bali visit. Some clips actually highlighted things that often go unreported in Bali, such as the island’s Deaf Village and the traditional salt lady. In other words, as Tjokorda put it: Yassin is promoting Bali in the end. 

Yassin also went beyond Bali in his Indonesia tour, highlighting people who make a difference like a group of youths from West Java who have gone viral for their litter clean-ups.

In another clip, Yassin touted Indonesia as a possible hub for electric car production, as the country possesses the world’s largest nickel reserves (ahem, Tesla).

Yassin also held his Nas Summit (he dubbed it the “Davos Conference of content creators”) last week in Jakarta with popular podcaster Deddy Courbuzier and the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno himself attending.