The Indonesian Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies has confirmed that discussions are still underway regarding a potential tourism tax on visitors to Bali.
Statements made by Minister Sandiaga Uno this week come as the discussion about the future of tourism in Bali continues.
During his weekly press briefing, Minister Uno acknowledged that changes must be made to tourism management in Bali following yet another incident of public indecency from a foreigner on the island.
The video of a tourist in Bali indecently exposing herself went viral over the weekend, just days after a German woman experienced a mental health episode and invaded the stage of a Balinese cultural show in central Ubud.
Minster Uno said, “We should be able to prevent incidents like this by implementing good and strict standard operating procedures for the comfort and safety of tourist attractions in the context of enforcing regulations, maintaining norms, and respecting the customs of the local community for the good image of Bali and Indonesia in general.”
The Tourism Minister confirmed that his department is working around the clock to raise awareness about the do’s and don’ts of travel and behavior in Bali.
He added that his teams work with airlines, immigration, and other tourism stakeholders to get more information out there for both travel businesses and tourists themselves.
Minster Uno announced that he has been in discussions with President Joko Widodo and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan to establish new policies that will help ensure international tourists can stay longer, with a higher quality of visiting which would result in a broad economic impact on the community.
He added, “We continue to push Bali in terms of cultural and environmental preservation in a sustainable and quality concept which we believe can open more jobs and provide welfare for the community.”
Minster Uno shared some of the solutions which are still on the table.
He explained, “Some of the rules or strategies that are being discussed include; the discourse on imposing a tourist tax or tourism tax as an effort to select quality tourists. A strategy like this has been implemented in many countries, including in Thailand, starting this year.”
During his weekly press briefing, Minister Uno also announced the imminent launch of the Golden Visa for foreigners who wish to live in Bali and other parts of Indonesia.
Minster Uno explained that the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies and the Department of Immigration is creating a residency-by-investment style visa category that will be formally launched soon.
The exciting announcement is hoped to make it easier for foreigners, especially those in the digital space, to move to Indonesia. Minster Uno shared his hopes that the creation of the Golden Visa will help boost the creative economy across the country, especially in Bali.
Minster Uno is on a mission to create 4.4 million jobs in tourism and creative economies by the end of 2024.
The Golden Visa will offer applicants a series of exclusive benefits not on offer through existing visa programs like the retirement visa, work KITAS, and second home visa.
Minster Uno revealed that the Golden Visa would allow applicants greater global mobility with multiple entries to Indonesia, in addition to longer stay periods of 5-10 years.
This is along with the right to own high-value assets within Indonesia and being a fast-track lane for citizenship applications.
Similar residency-by-investment style visas are available around the world. Most existing programs in other countries require applicants to either make a sizable donation to national development funds or invest in high-value property with a commitment to not sell the said property for a minimum amount of time.
The Golden Visa may be on the horizon, but Indonesia’s visa on arrival for tourists is currently one of the most open visa policies in the world.
The tourist visa on arrival costs just IDR 500,000 and is available to citizens from over ninety countries. The visa on arrival can be purchased upon landing in Bali and other international airports or applied online in advance of travel to Indonesia.
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