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Bali to impose a tourist tax of AUD 14 a head

January 22, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Bali is preparing to impose a USD 10 (AUD 14) levy on foreign tourists to fund environmental preservation and to protect Balinese culture.

“This will give us better fiscal space to support the development of Bali,” Bali Governor Wayan Koster told the Bali Legislative Council.

Bali is thought to have attracted over 6 million foreign tourists in 2018, most of them from China and Australia. The official total for 2018 is not yet available.

Like other popular tourist destinations, Bali is battling a growing tide of plastic waste that has polluted its beaches and waters.

The Bali Environment Agency says the island produces 3800 tons of waste every day – and only 60% ends up in landfill. Much of the rest goes into the sea.

Bali has now banned single-use plastics like shopping bags, styrofoam and straws, which is expected to reduce the amount of plastic in the sea by 70%, the Jakarta Post reported recently.

Koster feels the new tax is unlikely to discourage tourism.

“Tourists will understand. They will be happy to pay it as it will be used to strengthen our environment and culture,” he said.

Kuta beach in Bali has a problem with plastic waste washing ashore during the rainy season

Executive director of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association, Ida Bagus Purwa Sidemen, told the Jakarta Post that provided the levy was used for preserving environment and culture, as intended, it should not cause any decline in tourist numbers.

“However, if there is no real program following the implementation of the bylaw, tourists may feel disappointed and it would lead to a decrease in tourist arrivals,” he added.

So far, no date has been set for imposing the new tax.

Written by Peter Needham

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