The Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, last week announced that 50-70% of the revenue generated from the soon-to-be-introduced Bali tourism tax will be spent on improving waste management across the island.
It has now been confirmed how and where more tax income will be invested.
The legislative changes required to implement a provincial tourism tax were submitted by the ex-governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, before the end of his term in September.
Acting Governor Jaya has pledged to honor all legislative changes in the pipeline as the country prepares for the general election in 2024.
As of the 14th of February 2024, all international visitors to Bali will be required to pay an IDR 150,000 fee, approximately USD 10, as a tourism tax.
The new policy has triggered a mixed response from Bali lovers and tourism leaders. Whatever the feedback, it is clear that this tax will be introduced in February.
We did it!! In just 24 hours, and 15 tons of trash later, we cleaned Bali’s most polluted river. This would have never been possible without the help of the city and Denpasar and Mayor. Thank you to everyone for sharing and for getting the message heard. We are now working with the government on a long term plan to make sure no rivers in Denpasar ever get this bad!♬ original sound – sambencheghib
During a meeting last week where the acting provincial government met with officers from the National Disaster Management Agency to discuss strategy to combat island-wide drought, landfill fires, and wildfires, Acting Governor Jaya pledged that revenue from the tourism tax can be used to help fund improvements to waste management on the island.
Acting Governor Jaya explained, “50-70% [of tourism tax income] will be for waste handling. The hope is that in 2024, the waste problem will be resolved because funds are available.”
Bali's largest plastic landfill, TPA Suwung, has been engulfed in a fierce and uncontrollable blaze for four consecutive days, displacing thousands of residents. Toxic smoke is spreading over Denpasar, Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu, posing serious health and environmental risks due to the release of harmful gases and pollutants from burning plastic. The combustion of plastic generates toxic substances such as Dioxins, Furans, Mercury, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and harmful halogens, contributing to climate change. These toxins threaten vegetation, human and animal health, and the environment at large. Polystyrene harms the Central Nervous System, while brominated compounds act as carcinogens and mutagens. Dioxins settle on crops and in waterways, eventually entering the food chain and affecting human health. It’s easy to forget what happens to our rubbish when we throw it ‘away’. This is often the reality of what ‘away’ actually looks like. This crisis serves as a stark reminder that our consumption choices come with consequences. To make a positive impact on the environment, we must consume less and advocate for better waste management systems globally. For ways to directly support the community head to: https://www.instagram.com/p/CyZ-1eex274/?hl=en♬ Very Sad – Enchan
He added that any upgrades to waste management facilities must be accompanied by educational support for communities to learn about how best to structure their local systems.
Jaya added, “It would be good if existing villages learned about waste management from villages that have been successful.”
With 50-70% of projected tourism tax funds already assigned to waste management, can tourists expect to see some of their tax contribution directly impacting their vacation and travel experiences? Acting Governor Jaya says yes.
The Acting Governor is working to establish a Tourism Civil Service Unit, similar to an existing team working in Surabaya, who will be on hand to patrol and support the island’s busiest resort areas and tourist attractions.
@yahooaustralia #Bali tourists to cop new fee for visiting from #Australia 💰 #balitiktok #travelbali #traveltok #australiatravel #balitraveltips #balitraveltiktok #yahooaustralia ♬ original sound – Yahoo Australia
The Head of the Bali Civil Service (Satpol PP) Nyoman Rai Dharmadi, told reporters that a team of thirty-one officers will be deployed across the island’s most popular tourist destinations to be on hand to offer support, guidance, and advice to travelers.
This may range from giving directions to the nearest ATM, following up on any reports of suspicious activities, helping find lost items, and upholding cultural customs.
Dharmadi explained, “This is actually an initiative of the Acting Governor of Bali, the existence of a Regional Regulation (Regional Regulation) levying foreign tourists certainly has implications for how to return profits to foreign tourists, including how tourists can feel comfortable traveling and interacting in Bali.”
He added that officers will be given training to ensure they are up to speed with all the latest tourism-related information, competency and fluency in foreign languages, and a commitment to ensuring tourist comfort and safety during their time on the island.
Dharmadi added, “Apart from this, the implementation of the levy has consequences for the Bali Provincial Government so that it can really provide a sense of security to tourists, including if there are foreign tourists who violate the provisions of the norms, coordination will be carried out with immigration and the police.”
Many Bali lovers will be happy to hear that there will be more points of contact for support in key areas of the island, but with over 18,000 tourists arriving in Bali every single day, some will argue that just 31 officers will have a lot of ground to cover even in collaboration with existing tourism task forces, the police and community security teams.
Working from averaged travel data from the last year, Bali’s tourism tax will generate at least USD 45 million next year.
Tourists will want to see a tangible and sustainable impact from their contribution, especially since the tourism tax comes as an additional mandatory cost on top of the 30-day visa on arrival, which costs IDR 500,000/USD 32.
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