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New Fees Coming To This Increasingly Popular Tourist Activity In Bali

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Tourism leaders in North Bali have announced some huge changes to the way they will be operating one of the island’s fasting growing tourist attractions.

Dolphins watching off the northern coast of Bali has fast become a bucket list essential for travelers, but there are a few things to know before saying yes to the experience. 

Dolphins in Lovina.jpg

For the last few months, tourism leaders in and around Lovina Beach have been having serious discussions about how to improve the dolphin-watching experience for tourists along the northern coast.

Leaders have also committed to improving and implementing a series of standard operating procedures that help protect the welfare of wild dolphins. 

One of the key discussions tour operators have been having is the need to create a set tariff for the dolphin-watching experience.

This way, a level playing field is created for all tour operators who wish to run the dolphin-watching experience, and tourists can feel confident about booking a sunrise tour. 

@doydoy69y Lumba lumbaaaaa dilovina #pantailovina #lovinabali #dolphin ♬ suara asli – dionrobusta_

The Head of the Buleleng Tourism Office, Gede Dody Sukma Oktiva, has announced that the set fee for all tourists who wish to join a dolphin-watching boat tour will be IDR 100,000 per person.

This set rate has been agreed upon by local tour operators, who are all on board with offering their tours for this new set fee.

The IDR 100,000 will be implemented on a trial basis over the next few months, but leaders are fairly certain that the results will be positive and that the rate will be implemented permanently. 

Oktiva explained to the press, “It [the fee] is agreed by the management and tourism associations, so it’s not for the government to decide. It agreed on all the entry points, that’s the price for tourists, both domestic and foreign.”

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@mark_shirley Swimming with dolphins in Lovina. So lucky a group swam right under us and came up infront by 8ft and then swam back under us!! So good #bucketlist #dolphins #travellife #lovina ♬ original sound – RALPH | TEMPLATE

This means that from now on, tourists booking an official dolphin-watching boat tour directly with the provider will be charged a flat rate of IDR 100,000.

Some tour providers may wish to create package deals that include breakfast, snacks, snorkeling, or a boat tour around other areas, which will, of course, incur a greater cost. But moving forward, to a fixed rate will be IDR 100,000 per person. 

Oktiva said, “For packages provided by hotels, for example costing IDR 200,000 is even better. So that in the future, we hope that each entry point, it will be busy. With that [popularity], if guides pick tourists up at the hotel, [the fee] still has to be above that [IDR 100,000].” 

@ramanihaj Core memory🫶🏻 #lovina#dolphintour#balitravel#bucketlist#traveldestination #solotravel ♬ original sound – Ramani – travel inspo

The areas where tourists can find an official dolphin-watching boat tour are Lovina Beach, Binaria Beach, Celuk Agung Beach, Anturan Village, Kaliasem Beach, Happy Tukadmungga Beach, and Penimbangan Beach. 

Tour operators feel that IDR 100,000 is a fair and competitive price for the experience. Set the fee much lower, and they would be forced to compromise their service offering, set the fee higher, and it may be discouraging for tourists. 


Oktiva added that there’s a small possibility this new set fee could change in the coming months. “In the future, we will sort it out; later in September, we will evaluate it, with [tour providers], about this price because there is encouragement for foreign countries; it is differentiated because the purchasing power is higher, it will be tested first, we will socialize this only.”


Neither Oktiva nor tour providers have issued updates about the proposed standard operating procedures that were outlined earlier this year.

The SOPs were set to come into play in order to ensure that the wild dolphins were not stressed or disturbed by the tour boats. 

There have been many reports of boar operators chasing, harassing, and corralling the wild dolphins at sunrise in order to get their guests a closer sighting. 

dolphins in water

This is one of the tourism experiences that comes with a warning for tourists in a recent campaign by World Animal Protection.

An undercover investigation found that there are no ethical animal tourism experiences in Bali and Lombok, and their teams noted that this, too, included encounters with wild animals in their natural habitats. 

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Friday 21st of July 2023

All operators are forced to charge the same fixed fee? So the operators can just lean back and wait for their turn instead of actively marketing and finding customers?

And let me guess, a cut of the 100k goes straight into the pockets of the "big boss" in the area?

Exactly the same way the local taxi mafia operate. Any attraction slightly popular can expect the same price model soon.


Friday 21st of July 2023

Hello. The price has been 100,000rp for over 10 years. My friend will pick you up from your accom, he gives tea/coffee and pisang goreng on the boat, all for 100,000. No news here. But hey, why is there no reporting on the Lovina Festival this weekend???


Friday 21st of July 2023

This is unethical practice, dolphins are resting after hunting all night, returning to the same place to sleep n rest for their next hunt. This practice is outlawed in many areas around the world.

Marc De Smet

Friday 21st of July 2023

Last week my (Indonesian) wife did the dolphin watching again (3rd time in 8 years). She confirmed that there were as always more boats than dolphins and they chase the dolphins just like before. If the governor can forbid walking to the top of all mountains in Bali, he might consider a complete ban on dolphin chasing in Bali too. This would be a measure that has a direct positive impact on animal welfare.

Wayan Bo

Friday 21st of July 2023

Dolphins need money to can buy daily fresh fish.