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Minister Says New Tourism Tax In Bali Should Be Used To Tackle Island’s Waste Problem

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Bai’s Governor Wayan Koster has recently announced a new tourism tax that is set to be introduced in mid-2024.

The news has triggered a mixed reaction from politicians, local leaders, and tourists. The Indonesian Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment has shared how he wants to see the tax revenue spent.

Plastic Pollution On Bali Beach.jpg

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has told reporters that he would like to see the proposed tourism tax revenue spent on cleaning up Bali’s waste problem.

Speaking to the media, Minister Pandjaitan shared his concern that if the issue of waste management continues without significant and rapid improvement the problem will become ‘uncontrollable.’

Minister Pandjaitan said, “I think it [tourism tax] is good for Bali; why not use it to look after its waste.” 

He added, “Garbage must be cleaned; now there is a smell. I spoke to the Mayor of Denpasar to fix it but don’t use it as a political issue, it’s not good just fix it and reduce the smell.”

Minister Pandjaitan was speaking to reporters after signing a new conservation agreement at the Bali Turtle Special Economic Zone.

The issue of waste management in Bali has been a hot topic for years. It is a problem that affects both local communities and tourists.

The lack of meaningful action on tackling the issue has triggered a backlash from local communities.

Outside the Kesiman Kertalangu Integrated Waste Treatment Site in Denpasar, local residents installed protest billboards to raise awareness of the increasingly foul stench coming from the waste processing facility and the backlog of trash to be processed. 

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The statements issued by Minister Pandjaitan have been echoed by many Bali lovers online.

Many tourists were not fussed by the prospect of spending an additional IDR 150,000 in order to support the preservation of Balinese culture and the environment.

Just as many netizens shared their frustration that these issues continue to prevail on the island despite the revenue already generated by other tourism-related taxes.

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Bali’s Governor Koster has formally submitted the proposed legislative changes. The new policies will now go through a process of public discussion or ‘socialization’ starting in September.

If all goes smoothly for the provincial government, their new tourism tax will be introduced in June 2024.

The flat fee of IDR 150,000 will is payable only in Indonesian rupiah, and Governor Koster has already issued statements confirming that tax revenue will be tradable and spent in a transparent manner. 

Tourists-on-Canggu-Berawa-Beach

Yet, there are other leading political figures in Bali who feel like the IDR 150,000 fee is already too low.

The tourism tax is approximately USD 10 and will be a mandatory fee in addition to the IDR 500,000 required for the visa on arrival, which is the most popular visa option for tourists to Bali. 

Speaking late last week, Local politician IGK Kresna Budi shared that he wants to see the tourism tax introduced at IDR 500,000.

He explained, “We try that Bali is the best destination; many people want to go to Bali, so [let’s create a situation] where tourists can take part in maintaining the culture in Bali. For that, we try to charge as well.” 

Tourists Run Away From Dangerous Waves Weather Storm At Dreamland Beach in Bali.jpg

Budi’s views were in alignment with Minister Pandjaitan in that the tourism tax must be spent on improving public services.

He explained, “Now the use of the tax is how we will use it for public health, education, and also insurance for tourists while visiting Bali.”

Ariel-View-of-Sanur-Beach

But, he says that tourists must fundamentally give more to get more public services and resources out of the island.

Budi explained, “I’m saying that whoever pays for something gets better service; do they want it or not? I sure do…So for us to try to provide the best service to tourists and also to the contribution of the tourists themselves, it’s reciprocal.”

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J West

Monday 31st of July 2023

If it's a out cleaning up the garbage then a tax on tourists is a 100% miss because 100% of the garbage is created by Bali villagers. Every year the same, villagers throw the upcountry garbage in the ravines and wait for the rains to wash it down into the tourist areas of ocean and beach. Stop treating the tourists to the garbage talk and start fining the Balinese villages for the unsightly and unsanitary waste practice.

Suki

Sunday 30th of July 2023

Budi explained, “I’m saying that whoever pays for something gets better service; do they want it or not."

People have been paying A LOT in Bali for over 30 years already. Bali island revenue was higher than some small European countries. You cannot even maintain a single road in good condition (except in Nusa Dua for your state friends), not to mention any other public service. Absolutely everything is a horrendous mess. Money is not the problem in this case. It seems to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent island on the planet.

Wayan Bo

Friday 28th of July 2023

In 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s wasn’t such tax and such waist problems wasn’t existing.

Al

Thursday 27th of July 2023

What a load of SAMPAH!

Here's a thought for the locals to contemplate. How about stopping pesticide, toileting and dumping rubbish anywhere and when it rains... ooooh, clean beaches. Clean beaches = no ecoli or typhoid. That's just the basics mind. Now let's revert to high end tourists and turning Bali into another Bhutan or Singapore... omg, I'm passing and soiling myself... in the toilet!

Google the word 'Myopic', and you will understand how tourists view this beautiful, spiritual idland that 'you' are all, as a collective, have no issue destroying.

Lmfao

Suki

Sunday 30th of July 2023

@Al, what me, nor they, seem to understand, is what exactly should attract high quality visitors to Bali? Such people go to places that are clean and high quality..which Bali is not. The entire place needs to be demolished and rebuilt with some standards in mind before it could be called quality. It's a total pipe dream that quality visitors would go to Bali. The place is getting worse and worse with each passing day. More noise, more overdevelopment, less nature, more garbage, no public services, etc etc. It's not even worth to spend energy to talk about, the circus is so far off from common sense that there is no point of even trying anymore.

Tim Richmond

Thursday 27th of July 2023

It should be easy. 4.5M tourists. At 150K = 675B. At 500K = 2,250B. Governor Koster needs a priced project wish list. Prioritize it to determine if you need $10, $50, or something in between. It’s not rocket science.

If the tourist tax is spread too thin across too many projects, it’s just “lipstick on a pig”. For example, only “reducing the smell” of the trash problem won’t fix the problem.

I don’t need a list. My vote is for a sustainable solution to Bali’s trash problem… if done right, that could easily use 2,250B for years to come : )

Good luck everybody