The conversation as to whether there should be a fee to visit Bali’s world-famous Kuta Beach has been in and out of headlines and coffee shop discussions for years. The conversation has resurfaced this week, and it seems like this is the moment the idea will be formally implemented.
The Kuta Traditional Village committee has brought the discussion to public attention. It has confirmed their hopes that an entry fee tariff system will be implemented within the next few weeks. It is speculated that entry fees will range between IDR 5,000 (USD 0.33) and IDR 15,000 (USD 0.99) per person per visit.
Leader of the Kuta Traditional Village, Bendesa Adat Kuta I Wayan Wasista, told reporters that his committee is communicating with the Tourism Office, the Badung PUPR Service, and others. He confirmed that the situation is still being assessed but that talks have been positive and constructive.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday 6th September, he said, ‘We have met the Badung Regent and related agencies to discuss the implementation of this tariff. A date has yet to be agreed upon but Bendesa Wasista’s statements to the press can be taken as a sign that plans are full steam ahead.
He shared details of how the entry fee for the Kuta Beach tariff would work. The Kuta Traditional Village has designed a levy system that they feel is fair and would enable the organization to maintain the beach in alignment with tourist demand and not be off-putting for visitors.
The Kuta Traditional Village suggests a tariff of IDR 5,000(USD 0.33) for children over the age of 4. They wish to charge IDR 10,000 (USD 0.66) for domestic tourists and IDR 15,000 (USD 99) for foreign tourists. Children under the age of four, either local or international, would not be charged.
Bendesa Wasista confirmed that the fees would be split between the Kuta Traditional Village committee and the Badung Regency Government to be spent on maintaining the area. He said, ‘This tariff is in collaboration with the Badung Regency Government. Later, the calculation can be 70 percent for the Badung Regency Government and 30 percent for the Kuta Traditional Village’.
It is thought that the entry tariff and monitoring system would be easy enough to organize. There are six main entrances to the beach, and staff would be stationed at each entrance throughout the day. Bendesa Wasista did not detail practicalities about whether tourists would be allowed to have multiple entries or how that would be monitored. Nor did he share details of whether the payment system would offer cash or contactless options.
Bendesa Wasista expressed his positivity about the idea and said, ‘Yes, hopefully, this will be realized. Because the existing arrangement is also to provide a sense of security and comfort for tourists. It is hoped that this setup would also give the Kuta Traditional Village more scope to manage vendors and hawkers on the beach.
He shared how there are plans to offer beach vendors and hawkers trading carts or stalls from which to operate. This includes opportunities for vendors who sell snacks, cold drinks, and souvenirs.
He also mentioned the creation of a dedicated counter where massages could be booked and paid for so that tourists feel safe and that vendors can formalize their businesses. This would bring a level of fairness and security to both sides. Bendesa Wasista highlighted how traders currently approach tourists when tourists should be left to enjoy the beach in peace and have the option to visit traders at a set location should they wish to do so.
The entry fee levy is similar to the tourism levy implemented on the Nusa Islands. The fees are used by the regency government to maintain tourist facilities, such as the beaches, roads, and boat services. The fees have been in place for years, and tourists are generally happy to pay the extra few dollars to support local infrastructure.
The entry fee is not currently being discussed for beaches in Legian, Seminyak, or Canggu. If the introduction of an entry fee for Kuta Beach goes ahead and is successful, it is likely similar initiatives will be implemented across Bali’s tourist hotspots.
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