JAKARTA: Bali will impose a 150,000-rupiah ($10) tax on tourists entering the “Island of Gods” from next year to preserve its culture, officials said on Wednesday.
The tourist-dependent Indonesian island attracts millions of foreign visitors annually and the beach-dotted island is trying to capitalise on its popularity to top up its coffers and protect its tropical allure.
“The payment of a fee for foreign tourists applies only one time during their visit to Bali,” Governor I Wayan Koster told local lawmakers.
The fee will have to be paid electronically and will apply to foreign tourists entering Bali from abroad or from other parts of Indonesia, he said.
The levy will not apply to domestic Indonesian tourists.
More than two million tourists visited the island last year, according to official figures, as Bali rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic after imposing a zero-tolerance policy on rule-breakers.
When asked if the new tax would deter visitors, Koster said authorities did not believe numbers would dip.
“It’s not a problem. We will use it for the environment, culture and we will build better quality infrastructure so travelling to Bali will be more comfortable and safe,” he told reporters.
The palm-fringed hotspot has vowed a crackdown on misbehaving tourists after a spate of incidents that have included acts of disrespect to the predominantly Hindu island’s culture.
Bali immigration deported a Danish woman last month after she was filmed flashing to the public while riding a motorbike.
A Russian woman was also booted out of the island in April for posting a nude photo of herself in front of a sacred tree.
In June, the local government published a guide for tourists who wish to visit Bali after being pressed to do so by the island’s immigration office.