Aussies Heading To Bali To Be Slapped With Tourist Tax
Travelers heading to their favourite holiday spot will soon have to save a little extra, as Bali makes the moves to impose a tourist tax.
The government has drafted a by-law which will see tourists pay a levy to visit the popular destination, the Jakarta Post reports, in a bid to fund the protection of the island's environment and culture.
“This will give us better fiscal space to support the development of Bali,” Bali governor Wayan Koster said.
The levy will only apply to international tourists and is said to be $14 per visitor.
Bali has been battling a growing problem with plastic waste, as rubbish inundates beaches which were once pristine.
In December, single-use plastic items including shopping bags and straws were banned from the island as part of a move which the government hopes will reduce marine plastic by 70 percent within a year.
Koster said he is confident the tax will not hinder tourists' plans to continue visiting Bali and explained why domestic tourists would not be affected.
“Tourists will understand [the regulation]. They will be happy to pay it as it will be used to strengthen our environment and culture,” he said.
“Most foreigners come to Bali for a holiday, local tourists only come to visit their family, have meetings or for their institution’s events."
Local leaders and tourism figureheads appear to support the policy.
“As long as the levy is used for preserving environment and culture, I think it would not cause a decline in tourist numbers," said da Bagus Purwa Sidemen, the executive director of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association.
"However, if there is no real program following the implementation of the by-law, tourists may feel disappointed and it would lead to a decrease in tourist arrivals."
Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies Bali chapter Ketut Ardana said the plan has been discussed in Bali "for a long time".
The details of how the new tax will be collected are still being discussed. Tourists could possibly have the fee included in their airline ticket or hand it over at special counters within the airport.
The decision puts Bali on a growing list of countries which taxes travelers.
Earlier this month Japan began collecting a departure tax-- otherwise known as the sayonara tax-- of ¥1000 ($13AUD) from each person leaving the country by aircraft or ship regardless of their nationality.
Meanwhile in Venice, day-trippers will be charged up to about $15AUD to enter the canal city, it was announced in December.