Bali begins imposing a new tax on foreign tourists

Bali begins imposing a new tax on foreign tourists

The Indonesian island of Bali on Wednesday began imposing a 150,000 rupiah ($10 or 9 euros) tax on tourists who want to protect the “Island of the Gods,” authorities said.

The volcanic island with fine sandy beaches, which attracts millions of foreign visitors every year, is looking to bolster its finances to counteract the unwanted effects of tourism.

“This levy aims to protect the culture and environment in Bali,” acting Bali Governor Sang Made Mahendra Jaya said at an opening ceremony on Monday.

The fee must be paid online through the Love Bali portal and applies to foreign tourists coming to Bali from abroad or from other parts of Indonesia, according to a press release.

However, the tax does not apply to Indonesian tourists.

The governor estimated that online payment will shorten queues for arriving visitors.

According to official figures, nearly 4.8 million tourists visited Bali between January and November last year as the island's tourism sector, which suffered badly from the Covid-19 pandemic due to border closures, continues to recover.

The tropical island has pledged to crack down on rudeness from tourists after several incidents, including naked foreigners in temples or holy sites, that shocked the island's majority Hindu population.

Last year, the local government published a guide for Bali tourists explaining behaviors to avoid.