New tax for tourists in Bali

By Catur, 2024.04.13

A tourist is buying a trip and the ticket to Bali and wanna pay New Tourist Tax in Bali

Following the precedent set by other global tourist hubs, Bali’s provincial government has introduced a tourist tax on arrivals to the island. Questions remain over the efficiency of application and implementation of the programme, as well as the distribution of the revenue.

Introducing the New Tourist Tax in Bali

On the 14th of February, Bali’s provincial government, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, made an announcement in the media that every tourist who travels to Bali via Ngurah Rai International Airport will be required to pay a tourist charge of 15 USD or 150,000 IDR. The information had been reported by newspapers and online news outlets long before it was implemented, as the idea of a tourist tax had been discussed since 2023.

Documents for traveling to Bali by air

Goals of the Programme

The money is aimed at helping cultural preservation and environmental measures, primarily due to unruly tourist behaviour, which saw the damage, destruction, or desecration of holy sites like temples after the border opened following the pandemic.

It is reported that 50-70% of the revenue will be used to handle waste management in Bali, which has proven to be one of the most pressing matters on the island. This extra charge, on top of the Visa on Arrival, finally came into effect on Valentine’s Day this year.

However, the reality of this tourist tax is far from ideal.

Precedents in Other Global Tourism Hubs

The tourist tax is not ground-breaking, as some countries with iconic tourist destinations have already implemented it long before Bali. Countries like Bhutan, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are just a few examples that have introduced this tax in one way or another. For Indonesia, specifically Bali, this has never been done before.

However, there is still a lot of confusion about the levy because many visitors were uninformed.

Woman is undergoing security check at the airport

Issues in Implementation

Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, stated that only 40% of international travellers paid the tourist tax. He later added that about 7 million tourists are expected to visit the island, a million more than in 2023. This number means that from the tourist tax alone, Bali is estimated to generate revenue of around 45 million USD in 2024. The government focused on Australian, Indian, Singaporean, and Chinese visitors, which comprised the four largest source markets to Bali in 2023.

The local government is said to be discussing stationing more officials on domestic arrivals with Angkasa Pura, the management company that handles airports all over Indonesia. This makes a lot of sense because many visitors to Bali have been to other islands first. They often travel from Java and then don’t pay the tax as their entry point into the country is not Bali, and the levy only applies on the island. Another problem is with the tourists who come by ferry via Gilimanuk. There was no report about this as of writing this article.

Paying the New Tourist Tax in Bali

So, how does one pay for this tourist tax?

There are instances in which visitors have no prior knowledge of this tax, but they can pay at the counter with a debit and credit card. However, the government prefers that you pay through the website or the app.

You may be exempted from paying the tourist tax if you hold these specific visas:

The purpose of this tourist tax is noble, but with all these confusions, no clear rules, and lack of awareness made by the government for international visitors, it will be a Herculean task to make this implementation successful. The biggest task for the government is to create a fixed rule and then distribute it to the related officials to ensure the goal is met.

The main documents and blanks for travelling to Bali

Catur

The author of the project On Bali

Hi everyone! My name is Catur, and I was born and raised in Central Java. I moved to Bali in 2011 but left the island in 2016 before returning in 2018. Bali feels more than a home to me, and maybe that’s why my name feels like a premonition. Catur means four, both in the Balinese and Javanese languages. It is spoken like ‘c’ in chess, which is also the meaning of my name in Indonesian.

Date of Last Update: May 31, 2024

OTHER ARTICLES