One of Bali’s top tourism professors is calling on the provincial government to ensure that revenue generated from the new Bali Tourism Tax is spent on improving facilities for tourists.
The new sustainable tourism initiative is set to protect and preserve Balinese culture and nature.
Professor of Tourism at Unud, Prof. Dr. I Putu Anom, said that the government has a responsibility to use the funds generated from the new tourism tax in such a way that directly benefits tourists.
He says that if this cannot be done, then tourists will feel literally shortchanged, and this will lead to a level of resentment or resistance from travelers.
The professor says that funds should be used on projects that are visible to tourists. He added, “Foreigner assistance funds should be spent on things that directly impact foreign tourists.”
He continued, “The problems of rubbish, traffic jams, and crime are things that can disturb foreign tourists while on holiday in Bali. When they arrive at the airport, don’t be faced with traffic jams. The same goes for going to the airport after finishing your holiday in Bali.”
Top officials in Bali have already confirmed that funds will be spent in a transparent way, though many have noted that more socialization of the initiative is needed before it comes into effect on the 14th of February so that all tourists arriving on the island know what they are paying, how and why.
In fact, the Deputy British Ambassador to Indonesia, Matthew Downing, visited the Udayana University Campus in Denpasar this week to discuss the tourism tax further.
Downing noted that there are many other cities and provinces in the world that are introducing a similar tourism tax in 2024.
Downing said, “I also encourage cooperation with travel agents and embassies abroad to ensure that tourists get all the information.”
He added, “Bali is a strong magnet; many British people know and hear about Bali, so that attracts our people to visit Bali.”
Downing also spoke with the Bali Provincial Government about increasing cooperation in the technology sector.
Downing said that the British government wants to work with officials in Denpasar to develop more smart city projects that support both tourism and the development of English skills.
The new Bali tourism levy comes into effect on the 14th of February. All international tourists visiting Bali will be required to pay the IDR 150,000 either on or before arrival.
Tourists are bin encouraged to pay their tourism levy fee before arrival via the Love Bali app or website.
The process is straightforward. Simply open the Love Bali app or webpage, enter your personal details, proceed with card payment, and receive the levy voucher by email.
Tourists must have this voucher ready to present to officials on arrival. Alternatively, it is possible to pay on the card on arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and the seaports.
However, officials are keen to make the process as speedy as possible and remove hurdles to the arrivals process.
According to Wonderful Indonesia, funds generated by the tourism levy will be spent on ‘nurturing nature,’ ‘preserving heritage,’ and ‘elevating your experience.’
However, the exact projects funds will be spent on have not been outlined as of yet. Late last year, the Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, said that up to 70% of funds generated by the tax would be spent on creating new waste management systems on the island.
Many tourists have expressed that they feel this is an issue that the government should fund to fix since tourism is not the leading cause of the waste management issues on the island.
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