Bali to impose $13 foreign tourist levy

DENPASAR • Bali is set to impose a US$10 (S$13.60) levy on foreign tourists that will go towards environment and cultural preservation.

The Bali administration has drafted a by-law on the levy, which it has been discussing with lawmakers since last month.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster said revenue from the tourist tax would fund programmes to preserve the environment and Balinese culture.

"This will give us better fiscal space to support the development of Bali," Mr Koster said at the Bali Legislative Council building.

A renowned tourist destination, Bali welcomed 5.7 million foreign tourists in 2017, most of whom came from China and Australia. The number was expected to exceed six million last year, during which the island province hosted international events such as the annual meetings of the IMF-World Bank.

The province has been battling the growing volume of plastic waste on its beaches and in its waters. Some 3,800 tonnes of waste are produced every day, with only 60 per cent ending up in landfill.

Plastic waste became so unbearable that the island's administration last year banned single-use plastics like shopping bags, styrofoam and straws.

It is hoped that the ban will slash the amount of plastic polluting Bali's marine environment by 70 per cent within a year.

Mr Koster said he is optimistic that the tax would not discourage tourists from visiting the island.


"Tourists will understand (the regulation). They will be happy to pay it as it will be used to strengthen our environment and culture," he said.

The Bali legislature is deliberating how the tax will be collected, whether the levy should be included in the airline ticket or collected at the airport.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 20, 2019, with the headline 'Bali to impose $13 foreign tourist levy'. Print Edition | Subscribe