Australian Consul General in Denpasar, Bali, Jo Stevens supports the implementation of a foreign tourist levy of IDR 150 thousand (USD 9.54) per person in Bali, which will come into effect on February 14, 2024.
“This (levy) is a good thing to support culture, for waste management, respecting customs, religious aspects and Balinese culture,” said Jo Stevens on the sidelines of the launch of the foreign tourist levy in Sanur, Denpasar, on Monday.
Meanwhile, regarding the amount of the foreign tourist levy of IDR 150 thousand per person, he continued, that this is the nominal amount that can be paid by foreign tourists. “In my opinion, this is the amount that tourists can pay,” said the diplomat.
Previously, on a separate occasion, British Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Matthew Downing also supported the levy on foreign tourists. According to him, taxation policies related to tourism levies have been implemented by several city or country governments in the world. Funds from the levy, he said, were turned back to be used as a source of funding for a local project, as he understands is also being done by the Bali Provincial Government regarding the foreign tourist levy policy, including for the protection of culture and nature. “Many cities or countries have implemented tourism levies,” he said in Denpasar in early February.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali, Ida Bagus Agung Parta Adnyana, said that levies on foreign tourists are not something strange in the tourism sector.
Many global tourist destinations, he said, had already implemented similar policies, including Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which saw cruise passenger fares increase to 11 euros from 8 euros, and hotel room tax to 12.5 percent or an increase from 7 percent. Then, in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain applies a nightly room fee of up to 3.25 euros, Bhutan applies a daily visit fee of 100 US dollars for adult tourists and 50 dollars for children and recently Venice also started charging tourist fee in 2024.
Meanwhile, two days before the levy takes effect on February 14, 2024, foreign tourists are starting to show interest in paying the levy. President Director of PT Regional Development Bank (BPD) Bali I Nyoman Sudharma revealed that IDR 1.4 billion in funds had entered the regional treasury account since the trial period on February 7, 2024. The BUMD bank is a perception bank that accommodates levy funds from foreign tourists, which is the first in Indonesia. “Now we can accept transactions, hopefully, it will continue to be made easier,” said I Nyoman Sudharma.