‘Why should Bali be sold cheaply?’: Officials mull higher tourist tax to deter misbehaving visitors

Bali welcomed 5.24 million foreign visitors, or 45 per cent of overall foreign visitors to Indonesia, in 2023. - AFP

JAKARTA: Bali’s provincial legislative council has proposed raising its tourism tax from 150,000 rupiah (S$12) to around US$50 (S$68) in a bid to deter misbehaving tourists from visiting the popular Indonesian resort island, reported Kompas.

“I think the 150,000 rupiah tax is too low, so Bali seems like a cheap tourist destination,” Bali’s council leader Kresna Budi told reporters after a council meeting on June 19.

“Why should Bali be sold cheaply?” he said, citing as an example that Indonesians need to pay millions of rupiah to obtain a visa when visiting Britain.

He added that people who visit Bali should be of “higher quality”, and not those who brazenly violate local laws and disrespect local norms.

“There is this problem because usually, those who act up are members of the bottom layer (lower-spending tourists),” he was quoted as saying in The Bali Sun.

Kresna suggested that a portion of the tax collected could be used to set up a tourism police unit to handle tourist issues specifically.

The proposal is now being considered by Bali’s acting governor.

Kresna also said he hoped the immigration authorities at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport could collect the tax more efficiently, adding that a percentage of the tax collected could be allocated to immigration and airport authorities.

Since the implementation of the 150,000 rupiah tourist tax on Feb 14, only 40 per cent of an estimated 2.2 million inbound visitors to Bali have paid up, according to the island’s tourism agency.

Plans to install automated scanners at the airport fell through because of space constraints, said Bali tourism chief Tjok Bagus Pemayun.

He noted that many foreigners could have avoided the tax payment by entering Bali from the airport’s domestic arrival gate, as enforcement at the international arrival section is tighter.

Funds from the tourism tax were intended to be channelled towards the improvement of the island’s education and health sectors.

Bali welcomed 5.24 million foreign visitors, or 45 per cent of overall foreign visitors to Indonesia, in 2023. - The Straits Times/ANN

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Indonesia , Bali , tourism , tax


Next In Aseanplus News

Asean news headlines as at 10pm on Friday (July 19)
Cebu Pacific, AirAsia hit by Microsoft global outage
K-drama star Lee Joon Gi in KL this September
Chinese envoy celebrates opening of Jinping Boulevard, highlights strong Sino-Cambodian ties
'I'm a guy, I'm an idiot': Harith Iskander blames himself for pending divorce
Myanmar marks 77th anniversary of the assassination of independence hero Gen Aung San
High Court rejects Iswaran’s bid for prosecution to provide statements of witnesses; trial set for Aug 13
Microsoft outage hits some Philippine banks
Bakong mobile payment system to facilitate international tourist spending
Microsoft system disruption causes flight check-in delays in Vietnam

Others Also Read