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Bali’s Credibility As A Tourism Destination Questioned As Leaders Propose Tax Increases

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Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies has spoken to the press amidst plans to increase the Bali Tourism Tax Levy by over 500%.

Political leaders in Bali are calling for the newly introduced tourism tax to be increased to USD 50 per person, but Minister Uno feels the island’s credibility would hang in the balance.

Tourists Do Melukat At Tirta Empul Temple in Bali.jpg

Minister Sandiaga Uno told reporters that increasing the Bali Tourism Tax Levy from USD 10 (IDR 150,000) to USD 50 would risk the destination’s credibility in the eyes of international holidaymakers and travelers. 

Speaking to the press, Minister Uno explained, “If we keep changing our policies, Indonesia’s level of credibility in the eyes of stakeholders and the world will be questioned.”

He continued, “We must be able to convince tourists that by paying US$ 10, traveling in Bali and Indonesia as a whole provides a safe, comfortable, enjoyable, clean experience, and culture-based tourism is maintained. That is our first task before we tamper with existing policies. Not yet six months old, still very new.”

Minister Uno added, “And after this study can be made and confirmed, please allow the next government to make a policy. But I need to remind you that our current tourism position has reached the top 20 in the world, it is considered quality and sustainable tourism. Don’t let this increase in our tourism actually have a negative impact.”

Minister Uno’s comments come as a response to local policies Chairman of Commission II of the Bali Province DPRD, IGK Kresna Budi’s, calls for the Bali Tourism Tax Levy to be increased by over 500% as soon as possible to help attract tourists who, in his opinion, are of high quality. 

Doubling down on his statements issued last week, Budi told reporters, “We want to increase it by USD 50. So, we can use the necessities. Why is Bali being sold cheaply? If we go to England, we will get a visa of IDR 5.7 million.”

In his initial statements issued on Wednesday, 19th June, Budi explained that “we wanted to improve the regional levy regulation so that the quality of tourists who go to Bali could have better ethics. That doesn’t mean they’re not good, yes or no.”

“This means that there will be supervision, and we will support it, which is called the tourism police. The budget will be more for tourism support, too. And for tourists too if something happens in Bali.”


He noted how tourists acting disrespectfully or engaging in illegal activities in Bali affects tourists, the authorities and the Bali community at large.

Budi said, “Sometimes there are officers who may have something in the household that can get carried away when dealing with tourists. However, our hope is that we remain a community that, if seen by the world, is a community that is polite to guests and maintained.”


Budi believes that simply increasing the price of the Bali Tourism Tax Levy will be a notable deterrent to foreigners who wish to behave badly on the island.

However, many Bali lovers and tourism stakeholders have been quick to note that there is not necessarily a direct cause and effect between the budgets of tourists and their behavior.

Low-budget tourists are not inherently distressful and unlawful in their ways, just as high-budget tourists aren’t inherently well-behaved or respectful either. 

Nevertheless, Budi explained, “Automatically, with higher costs, the quality will come. Our hope is that everything will be fine; Bali belongs to everyone, not just Balinese people; tourists love Bali.”


The Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, along with the Head of the Bali Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, have confirmed that a study is underway to figure out how, when and if the Bali Tourism Tax Levy fees may be changed.

Acting Governor Jaya told reporters, “That will be studied later, let (the US$10 levy) work first. We are currently carrying out an evaluation to optimize tourism levies. Later, a joint decision will be made with the DPRD. Please wait for the evaluation.”

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Duncan McCallum

Monday 1st of July 2024

As well as clamping down on tourists who misbehave the tourist police should clamp down on these scam money exchange kiosks that are giving the island a bad reputation. Because the government does nothing to eradicate this practice it creates suspicion that the police are in on it.


Monday 1st of July 2024

We have just been to Bali and happily paid our tourist tax at the current price. I fully agree with this level of tax, but I will be looking for other travel destinations in the future if the travel tax gets increased to US$50. We have been to Bali about 8 or 9 times and love and respect the place. Increasing the tax on top of now having to pay for a visa would be a massive slap in the face.


Friday 28th of June 2024

Be careful what you wish for. You cater to money oriented people you're asking for a crowd that is extremely entitled and will demand everything for that buck.

Expat in SEA

Friday 28th of June 2024

“We want to increase it by USD 50. So, we can use the necessities. Why is Bali being sold cheaply? If we go to England, we will get a visa of IDR 5.7 million.” I don’t know where this figure of IDR 5.7 million is coming from as a quick look at the British visa website says it’s roughly GBP 130, so IDR 2.7 million, for a normal tourist visa. Considering 5he visa to Indonesia plus this tourist tax with an increase, we should be looking at something close to IDR 1.3 million. But enough of figures, the point is to really know why this should be implemented in the first place. What is really the problem that needs to be tackled? Unruly tourists? Too many tourists? Not enough money on some people’s pockets? I went to Bali already twice, one before the tourist tax was implemented and once after. Didn’t really noted any difference in infrastructures (roads, pavements…), and I’m not using the word improvements on purpose. As said before, Bali is not the only destination for holidays in SE Asia. So, if Bali wants to run into a Maldives model, fine. But no complaint about the consequences. Going that way, one could think: ok, let’s close all the rooms which are less than USD 70 a night per person (I could have put USD 100, so take my number as a random number). And beer will be USD 10 (again, random number). I am questioning myself about gathering with friends there, I would rather go to Vietnam, Thailand, Lao or Cambodia, where you can have good value for money. It is quite difficult to accept being penalised because of a minority of people who act badly and are not respectful of the country they are visiting. In conclusion, really looking forward to seeing what will be done in the future.


Wednesday 26th of June 2024

But for who does the extra money really go?