Officials in Nusa Penida have given their assurances to tourists that the arrival process at the harbor will be better staffed and more efficient from now on.
The news comes after footage circulated online of hundreds of tourists crammed into the harbor building seeking shelter from the rain.
Earlier this week videos emerged on citizen journalism social media account in Bali showing hundreds of tourists packed into the small arrivals hall at Banjar Nyuh Harbor in Nusa Penida.
The tourists rushed into the building as they disembarked their fast bats to gain shelter from the rain.
However, the harbor was not prepared to deal with such a rapid influx of tourists and did not have enough staff on duty to efficiently process each arrival’s tourism levy payment.
All international tourists arriving in Nusa Penida are required to pay an IDR 25,000 tourism levy. Although card payments are accepted most tourists choose to pay in cash and as such Banjar Nyuh Harbor is largely operating a manual system.
Although crowded, most tourists were relaxed about the situation but nevertheless, some showed frustration that the process wasn’t more efficient.
Speaking to the press to confirm the videos, the Head of the Klungkung Tourism Department, Ni Made Sulistiawati, said that she ‘did not expect that the number of foreign tourists would overflow when it rained.’
@tj_wonderfullandscape This is a paradise island 🏝️🏞️#diamondbeach #nusapenida #bali #indonesia #scenery #beautiful #amazing #view #foryou ♬ Icarus – Position Music
In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon Sulistiawati explained “Yesterday, our officers were overwhelmed by guests, more than 200 foreigners immediately came when it rained heavily.”
Two big gazebos have been installed at the harbor to provide more shelter in the future.
To help prevent Tuesday’s commotion from happening again Sulistiawati has committed to ensuring there are more staff on duty to process payments and assist tourists, especially heading into the monsoon season and the festive period.
Typically there are five officers on duty to process tourism levy payments but it is clear as Nusa Penida becomes evermore popular with tourists that more infrastructural improvements are needed to keep up with the time.
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The IDR 25,000 fee will remain in place when the Bali Province Tourism tax is introduced on the 14th of February 2024.
The Nusa Penida tourism levy fee is also a separate fee from the tourism retribution fee tourists are required to pay if they go snorkeling or diving in the Nusa Penida Marine Protection Area.
Day trips and getaways in Nusa Penida are soaring in popularity with tourists right now. Sanur Habor sees over 4,000 tourists a day board fast boats and ferries.
The vast majority of these tourists are making the crossing to Nusa Penida. Sanur Habor is the busiest fast-boat port in Bali and is the starting point for adventures to Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, the Gili Islands, and Lombok.
It is also possible to catch a fast boat to Nusa Penida from Padang Bai which is the preferred route of thousands of tourists every year, though there is little difference in ticket prices between Sanur and Padang Bai.
Tourists are advised to book their fast boat tickets as early as possible in this coming high season. While there are dozens of boat crossings every day, tickets for the most popular crossing times frequently sell out in advance.
Fast boat operators are also under continued warnings to prioritize safety, especially during the monsoon season when conditions at sea frequently become dangerously rough.
Tourists planning their visits to Nusa Penida are reminded to be especially cautious of the cliff tops and entering the ocean at Kelingking Beach, Diamond Beach, and Broken Beach.
Over the last 12 months, there have been dozens of callouts to Search and Rescue to save tourists who have either fallen from the clifftops or been swept out to sea.
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