Earlier this month, Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster announced that he will be introducing a mandatory tourism tax in 2024.
The announcement triggered a huge response from Bali lovers and tourism stakeholders. Now the Governor has revealed more details about his plans.
Speaking from Denpasar on Thursday, 20th July, Governor Wayan Koster announced that the new tax will be payable by electronic system.
The provincial leader already revealed that the tourism tax will be payable only in Indonesian rupiah so as to mediate against any international currency exchange fluxations.
Governor Koster said that the payments will be made via an e-payment platform so as to support transparency of spending.
As soon as the news broke about the new tourism tax, online commentators were quick to stress the importance of transparency.
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The Governor said that all tax spending will be made in a transparent manner in alignment with the Indonesian and Bali provincial law.
He added, “Coordination regarding incentives with the general government needs to be carried out when the central government also imposes a ‘tourism tax’ for every foreign national who comes to Indonesia.”
This e-payment system will also “enable foreign tourists and the public to know and gain access to the widest possible inform about the management and cultivation of the levy proceeds from foreign international tourists.”
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He confirmed that the IDR 100,000 flat fee will be applicable to every foreigner who enters Bali, whether by air or sea.
The Governor also said that once introduced, the cost of the tourism tax will be reevaluated every three years in order to ensure that the system is working effectively.
However, members of the Bali Provincial DPRD have already suggested that IDR 100,000 is too small of a fee. Suggestions about what the rate should be range from IDR 150,000 to 500,000.
This is all in addition to speculation that the Visa on Arrival fee may increase in Bali, with some leaders wanting to see the fee tripled as soon as possible.
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Representatives from the Golkar Party want to see the tourism tax introduced at a rate of IDR 150,000. They are keen to ensure that the implementation of the tourism tax in Bali correlates with improved service and quality across the island’s tourism sector.
Representatives from Golkar have told Governor Koster, “Regarding the levy amounting to IDR 150,000 per person, socialization should be carried out properly to tourists, collection officers, and tour guides so that it does not cause clashes on the ground.”
Local politician Komang Sewi Putra has also said that the tourism tax must actively contribute to the betterment of life on the island, calling on the government to ensure sufficient legislative changes are in place to guarantee where the revenue from the tourism tax gets spent.
Putra told the House of Representatives that “In encouraging the active role of foreign tourists to participate in protecting Bali’s culture and natural environment in a sustainable manner, it is very necessary to have an adequate legal umbrella in the form of Bali Provincial Regulation.
As it stands at the moment, the tourism tax will be introduced in early 2024. The fee is an additional IDR 100,000 charged to all foreigners arriving in Bali, including children.
As Governor Koster has announced this week, the fee will be payable via an electronic system in order to ensure transparency of spending and, in theory, speed up the payment process at the airport.
Bali Airport has confirmed this week that they are investing in improving the efficiency of the arrivals process for tourists.
This will include the installation of automated immigration gates; this is another step in the process of bringing ‘gold standard’ immigration services to Indonesia.
Officials want to see Indonesia be a world player when it comes to tourism immigration services. Other improvements to the process include the launch of the e-Visa on Arrival process.
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