On the 14th of February, Bali’s new sustainable tourism levy will come into effect.
All international tourists arriving on the island will be required to pay an IDR 150,000 fee to contribute to the preservation of the Balinese culture and its natural heritage.
The Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, has just revealed that tourists will be given access to discounts on travel experiences once they have paid the fee.
The Acting Governor has not yet issued the full details of how the discount system will work but has said these discounts will be made in collaboration with tourist destination managers in Bali at both natural, cultural, and man-made destinations.
Discount vouchers will be given when entering the tourist attraction.
The Acting Governor said, “The amount of the discount varies, and this is to stimulate foreign tourists to pay before arriving in Bali because they will get the biggest discount voucher.”
As it stands, tourists are being encouraged to pay for their tourism tax before they arrive in Bali using the Love Bali website or app.
This is simply for convenience, and it makes sense to do it at the same time as applying for the eVOA if that is the visa option tourists are opting for.
Tourists may be asked to show proof that they have paid their tourism tax on arrival at Bali Airport and at their accommodation.
As the tourism tax becomes the new normal for tourists, the Acting Governor has asked third parties such as tourist accommodations, tourist destinations, travel agents, and cruise ship agents to help get tourists up to speed and ensure they pay their fees.
He says third-party supporters must be fairly compensated for their efforts.
He said, “In the future, we need to provide incentives or collect wages. We collect them not at the airport but at tourist destinations.”
Acting Governor Jaya has said for some time that tourists should be able to pay their tourism tax anywhere that is convenient, whether that is online, at the airport, or after arrival.
However, the overall message is that tourists should pay before arrival. This, he feels, will also give tourists more of an opportunity to understand how and where their money is being spent.
He said, “It is important for foreign tourists to know that their money is used for cultural preservation and waste management on the Island of the Gods.”
The Head of the Bali Tourism Service, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, said the Love Bali application is ready to use and has passed data security tests.
The app and website are set to be usable in five foreign languages besides Indonesian: Mandarin, English, German, Korean, and French. However, the app and website appear to still be going through updates and have been intermittently inaccessible over the last week or so.
As now confirmed by the Bali Provincial Government, the tourism tax funds will go into the regional general treasury account (RKUD) managed by the Bali Bapenda and be used for “environmental, cultural and natural preservation programs in accordance with the local tourist levy regulations.”
Local reports explain, “socialization of this regulation has been carried out to Indonesian representatives in world countries. For foreign tourists who violate, the mechanism is in the form of a verbal or written warning, up to the highest sanction in the form of notification to Immigration.”
Tourists will naturally be hopeful that they get access to impactful discounts on tourist experiences for paying the tourism levy fee.
With the partnerships managed by the Bali Provincial Government and Bali Tourism Board, it’s likely that these discounts will be applied at DTWs, which are government-managed or supported tourist attractions, such as Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple, Ulun Danu Beratan, and many more.
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