The Bali provincial government claims to have already gotten the go-ahead from five national ministries concerning their proposed ten-dollar tourist tax. According to a report by Bali Post, officials from the departments of transportation, maritime affairs, finance, tourism, and internal affairs have all expressed their support.
Announced earlier this month, the proposal would see a US$10 levy imposed on foreign visitors to Bali, with the funds collected going towards environmental and cultural preservation. The news comes shortly after Governor Wayan Koster’s island-wide single-use plastics ban, a regulation that he hopes will help to reduce plastic waste by up to 70 percent.
I Made Santha, the head of the Bali Provincial Revenue Agency, revealed that Koster had invited representatives from the ministries to discuss the draft regulation on Fri, January 26.
“If I look at it closely, almost all the ministries invited agreed and saw this as an extraordinary idea when we talked about building sustainable tourism in Bali,” he said after attending a meeting about the matter with the Ranperda Special Committee yesterday, as quoted in Bali Post.
Santha also commented on Bali’s strength in the tourism sector and the need for improvements in executing sustainable tourism practices. “When we talk about sustainable tourism development in Bali, there needs to be improvements. And improvements need funding,” he commented.
It is hoped that the proposed new levy on international visitors to Bali will help to address these funding issues. Incidentally, the fee will not affect domestic tourists, who are more likely to travel to the island to visit relatives or conduct business.
Exactly how the new tax will be charged has yet to be decided, though the general consensus seems to favor including the amount in the cost of airline tickets to the island rather than setting up payment counters at the airport.
Whatever the decision, Bali government will have to coordinate with the IATA (International Air Transport Association), airport authorities, and Ministry of Transportation to implement it, as reported by Tribun Bali.
Though a tourist levy would be a new thing for Bali, many countries have already established similar programs, including Japan, where travelers now have to pay a 1000 yen (US$9.15) departure tax to help expand the country’s tourist infrastructure.
With 5.7 million travelers landing on Bali’s shores in 2017, and more predicted to visit this year, here’s hoping that the funds collected go towards a more sustainable brand of tourism here in Bali.