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Officials Say Proposed Bali Tourism Tax Is Too Small

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Last week Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster announced that he will be introducing a tourism tax in 2024. In a move that has been on the cards for a while, the provincial government has formally begun the process of creating the legislative changes necessary to implement a tourist tax. But some people aren’t too happy about it. 

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Speaking in the provincial capital of Denpasar on the 12th of July, Governor Koster confirmed that the long-rumored tourism tax will be introduced next year.

In his speech, he outlined the reasons why he and his government feel this is the best option moving forward. 

The Governor confirmed that the Draft Regional Regulation on Fees for Foreign Tourists to the Bali DPRD has been submitted.

The legislative changes, once signed off, will enable the provincial government to implement a localized tax on all foreign arrivals to Bali, whether by air or sea. 

Governor Koster explained that the new tax would be used to support the persecution of Balinese culture and natural landscapes. He explained, “Bali’s nature has become a major national and world tourism destination.”

He added that Bali “has indeed made a positive contribution to Bali itself and nationally, but on the other hand, it has also had a serious negative impact.”

The proposed tourism tax, as outlined by the Governor, will be introduced at IDR 150,000. This is around USD 10 but will be payable in Indonesian Rupiah to avoid losses by currency exchange fluctuations. This fee is an additional fee that is separate from the IDR 500,000 fee required for a 30-day visa on arrival. A charge that many leaders in Bali also want to see increased.

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Initially, Governor Koster’s proposed tourism tax received praise from many tourism stakeholders in Bali. Some people, however, think that the IDR 150,000 per person fee is too cheap. 

Local politician IGK Kresna Budi says he wants to see a more expensive tourism tax introduced.

He told reporters, “Because of our experience, if you leave the country, you will only be subject to a visa on arrival of IDR 500,000.”

“So 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.”

He added, “It’s just that my suggestion was actually IDR 500,000 per person. Because IDR 150,000 is too cheap for Bali. Bali is the best destination in the world right now.”

By the numbers outlined by Budi, it seems that he wants to see the tourism tax added for both international and domestic visitors.

Or that he’s expecting a huge increase in international visits in the next 12 months, something that Governor Koster himself has said he would like to put a limit on.


He added that if the tourism tax is implemented at IDR 500,000 (USD 33), then assuming that there are 9 million tourists coming to Bali on an annual basis that the tax would generate IDR 4.5 trillion.

A figure that Budi feels would enable the government to make more impactful change. 


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

The local council chairman is convinced that the fees will help increase tourism to Bali and that the tax won’t hinder progress. 


He added, “I’m sure the [numbers will] increase will not decrease. 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.”

Last week’s news of the proposed tourism tax prompted a heated dialogue with Bali lovers online. Many sat on the opposite side of the argument to Budi when it comes to the ‘give more to get more’ principle.

Many netizens and frequent visitors to Bali said that the tourism tax would be the final straw for them and that they would start exploring new places to visit.

Many people noted nearby Thailand as an alternative option to Bali, a destination with no tourism tax on arrival, and the majority of passport holders are entitled to a visa-free 30-day stay in the country. 

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Mr Bear Snr

Friday 21st of July 2023

The more it costs just to enter a country always means less is spent when you are there. At A$50.00 for a Visa and Rp150,000 Tourist Tax (possibly Rp500,000) plus the increasing Airfares, a number of older Bali regulars we know are now opting for Vietnam whose Visa is A$35.00, Hotels, Food & Drinks 25% of Bali's prices and Airfares 30% cheaper.

John Mallon

Friday 21st of July 2023

I don't mind the visa tax but this will make me think twice after my next trip to Bali, as it is I spend around $2500AUD on accommodation and entertainment, food an drink on top off that.

David Hooper

Thursday 20th of July 2023

Budi, before covid, Balinese people were the most kindest and most honest people. Always found them hard working and extremely friendly. Since flights resumed back to Bali after covid, I have found Bali has become more selfish and extremely money orientated. A lot have become lazy and expecting handouts. As a foreigner in Bali now, you need to be watching out for scams. Before covid I have spent over 12 months (approximately 15 visits) in Bali, over the last year, I have spent 4 months there. I have many Balinese and Indonesian friends, of whom I helped through out covid and still help now, let alone the money I spend around Bali. But I am saddened to say that you really have to be on the watch for scams. This is something that Balinese were never like, they actually protected most visitors from scams!!! If you think Bali is the number 1 tourist destination, think again and I think you need to visit other countries yourself, New Zealand, Hawaii, Thailand, Spain, Fiji and a lot of other destinations have far better tourism operations and they don't need to charge visitors an entry tax!!! Get off your asses and improve the tourism and the money will come!!! Don't get me wrong, I love Bali and the Balinese, however there is a massive difference regarding post covid and now!!!


Thursday 20th of July 2023

Just like in Java the kejawen culture has almost disappeared and has been to a large degree been replaced with a more modern version of Islam, the culture in Bali is bound to change. Nevermind taxes by Pak Koster or other charges. You cannot stop modernization or whatever you like to call it.


Friday 21st of July 2023

@Darwinista, Kejawen has not been "replaced". It has been pushed aside by ME version of islam -- much due to peer and social pressure. I have seen this first hand over the last 25 years.


Thursday 20th of July 2023

Well, Indonesia is a big country. So if Bali get too greedy, why not go to Lombok, Flores or Sumba. Pristine beaches and nature in great abundance, and no traffic jams, greedy guides, or polluted beaches.


Friday 21st of July 2023

@Darwinista, Good point!