Indonesia considers tourist tax to limit bad behavior in Bali

Indonesia is considering imposing a tax for tourists after a series of incidents where foreigners have violated laws or customs.

Sandiaga Uno, tourism and creative economy minister, told reporters this week that the possibility of a tourism tax is “currently being studied”.

“We expect the study to wrap up in the coming weeks so we can decide the issue,” he said.

“The island should shift away from mass tourism and focus on becoming a quality tourism destination,” said Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating maritime affairs and investment minister, earlier this month.

Pandjaitan then called for a tourism tax saying Bali is one of the world’s cheapest tourist destinations. He stated that this has “encouraged many low-income foreigners to come to Bali, leading to an increase in unruly behavior”.

Business groups fear that a tax would discourage people from visiting. This could cause further damage to the tourism sector at a time where it is still recovering from the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Bali entertained approximately 6.2 million foreign visitors a year. Tourism was estimated to contribute about 60% of the island’s economy.

But local people have grown increasingly frustrated with disrespectful or unlawful behavior by tourists. There has been several cases with foreigners posing naked for photos at sacred sites, bad driving on the roads, etc.

Bali’s governor, Wayan Koster, said last month that the island planned to ban tourists from renting motorbikes, because many are violating traffic regulations.

Sandiaga and Luhut have both suggested that funds collected through the tax could be used to support the development of the local tourism industry.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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