Last Updated on 2024-02-07 , 10:51 am
If you’re planning to visit Bali anytime this year whether for a romantic getaway on Valentines Day, (…a trip while on bail…), a fun family vacation over the Lunar New Year or just a chill solo holiday away from city life, you need to listen up:
Starting from February 14th, as part of the new Love Bali initiative, all foreigners, including Singaporean tourists, must pay a tourism tax of 150,000 rupiah (S$12.80) when visiting Bali, Indonesia.
The tax applies to those visiting mainland Bali and nearby islands like Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. Even tourists arriving from other parts of Indonesia by land or domestic flights must pay.
And no, not even children are exempt from this new implementation.
If travellers visit neighbouring islands like Lombok and Gili Islands and return to Bali, they will need to pay the tax again.
The commencement of the tourism tax was first announced by Tjok Bagus Pemayun, the tourism chief of Bali, in September 2023.
Why Do Tourists Need to Pay?
According to Bali’s Management Villa’s data last year, the holiday island sees a whopping monthly average of over 430,000 tourists a month, with the recorded highest being 541,353 tourists in July 2023.
Bali’s tourism authority is expecting seven million tourists to visit the resort island in 2024, around 1.8 million more than the 5.2 million arrivals in 2023.
With that many tourists coming in and out of the state, it is inevitable that increasing over-tourism would also lead to a problem of environmental pollution. Idyllic seaside beaches and resorts have reported collecting over 40 tonnes of rubbish from its waters.
Moreover, there have also been reports of unruly tourist behaviours such as desecrating sites of worship, driving under the influence of alcohol and even conducting illegal crypto transactions.
Bali’s tourism authority hopes that with the implementation of the Love Bali initiative, they would have the monetary funds to preserve their culture, protect their environment, and ultimately improve the overall tourist experience.
The Love Bali website states: “Levy for the International Tourists for the Protection of Culture and the natural environment of Bali, (is) a form of support, towards the efforts to preserve the nature and culture of Bali.”
“Also, improve the quality of services, safety, and comfort of tourists, by developing land – sea – and air infrastructure in an integrated and connected manner.”
How to Make Payment?
If you’re worried that the implementation of the tax would lead to longer waits at immigration, fret not.
Like everything else these days, you make your payment online before arrival. In fact, the Bali tourism authority highly encourages tourists to do so via the Love Bali website or mobile application.
After which, they will receive a voucher via e-mail to show at Bali’s airports or seaports.
Bali’s tourism chief also promises quick payment processing at airport counters.
Singaporeans and ASEAN nationals get a 30-day visa-free stay, while others pay 500,000 rupiah for a visa on arrival, plus the new tourism tax.
In January, there was a proposal for a significant entertainment tax, reaching up to 75%, on services provided in karaoke lounges, nightclubs, and spas.
However, by early February, authorities abandoned the plan due to resistance from business owners and hospitality players. They were concerned that the tax might discourage tourists from visiting the country.
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