Bali weighs up $10 tourist tax

A $10 tourist tax on foreign visitors to Bali is being considered to fund efforts to preserve the Indonesian island’s environment and culture.

The provincial government has drafted a bylaw on the measure, The Jakarta Post reported.

Bali governor Wayan Koster said: “This will give us better fiscal space to support the development of Bali.”

Lawmakers are still deliberating how the new tourist tax will be collected. Options include adding the levy on top of air ticket charges or collecting it at the airport.

Bali attracted 5.7 million foreign tourists in 2017, most from China and Australia, with last year’s figure expected to top 6 million.

Koster 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.

“Most foreigners come to Bali for a holiday, local tourists only come to visit their family, have meetings or for their institution’s events,” he said, adding that the subject of the levy was still under discussion.

Bali banned single use plastics like shopping bags, Styrofoam and straws last month in a battle against a growing volume of plastic waste that has polluted its beaches and waters.

The Bali Environment Agency recorded that the island produced 3,800 tons of waste every day, with only 60% ending up in landfill.

The ban is expected to result in a 70% decline in plastic found in Bali’s marine environment within a year.

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