On the 14th of February 2024, big changes will happen across Indonesia. The country will elect a new president, and the province of Bali will introduce its new tourism tax.
The much-discussed tourism tax is set to be a mandatory fee for all international arrivals.
What we know about the tourism tax so far is that the fee will be set at IDR 150,000 per person, including children.
The fee will be applicable to all international arrivals and must be paid in Indonesian Rupiah so that revenue generated by the tax is not impacted by currency exchange.
Officials have also confirmed that the fee will be payable online before tourists arrive in Bali, though they are yet to confirm through which website since the immigration website processes visa fees for all of Indonesia, and the tourism tax is exclusively for travel to Bali Province.
The tourism tax will also be payable on arrival by card at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Official confirmed earlier this year that card payments will take just 23 seconds to process.
He assured tourists that paying the tourism tax would not eat into their precious vacation time. The payment will also be available on a card so that the risk of corruption or ‘leaked funds’ is minimized.
Last month, five immigration offices from Ngurah Rai Immigration Post at Bali Airport were arrested for extorting funds from tourists to use the priority lane.
The fast track service at Bali Airport is always a free service that can be used by VIPs, the elderly, those with disabilities or access needs, and those traveling with young children.
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However, the finer details of the tax are still up for discussion. One idea now on the table is for tourists to pay their tourism tax at their accommodation.
The Regent of Badung, I Nyoman Giri Prasta, has suggested that tourists should be allowed to pay their tourism tax fee at their accommodation after they’ve arrived and settled in.
Regent Prasta resides over Badung Regency, which is home to Bali’s busiest tourism districts, including Uluwatu, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta, Legian, and Canggu.
Regent Prasta is concerned that even though guarantees have been given about the speed of payment processing, with the increasing volume of tourists traveling through Bali Airport, the added task of paying the tourism tax will inevitably lead to queues.
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Regent Prasta told reporters, “I think it’s simple to make things easier. If possible, this levy should be made at the hotel when the guest checks in.”
“The guest’s destination in Bali, if should they are already at the hotel, that means they have arrived at their destination. That’s where they should be charged IDR 150,000. For example, at the airport later, the queue would be very long.”
He added that there are already many steps in the arrivals process for tourists in Bali and that the addition of paying the tourism tax will feel like too much to do for tourists seeking a seamless arrivals experience.
Regent Prasta said “Not to mention immigration, baggage and other things, it’s complicated, it takes a long time.”
“There are a lot of guests coming to the airport, crowded together, if you check in at the hotel there are no more than 50 people. So it’s easy and data collection is easy.”
Regent Prasta confirmed to reporters that he had already tabled this idea with leaders in the provincial government.
He explained, “We have conveyed it. It is a consideration and hopefully this can be done. For example, if the payment is made in the country where the tourist comes from, that is an international area. [We’re] talking about the Regional Regulation, it applies to the Island of the Gods.”
As one payment is introduced, another could be able to be removed. Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has suggested that the current visa-on-arrival fee could be scrapped for tourists from twenty countries, including Australia.
The Tourism Minister told reporters on Monday, 11th December, that he feels the tourism tax should be collected before tourists depart for Bali to prevent queues at the airport.
He said, “Certainly, it will not be collected at the hotel. As little as possible, it will be done at the airport. We hope this can be done before or pre-departure from tourists, especially from abroad.”
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