Bali accelerates introduction of tourist tax to support ecology and culture

Eva Homicio

Women dancing in a red and yellow sari

Women dancing in a red and yellow sari ©, Mathis Jrdl

The authorities of the Indonesian island of Bali have decided to expedite the implementation of a tourist tax, which will now take effect from February 2024 instead of July, as was initially planned. Foreign tourists will be required to pay a fee of $10 USD upon entering the island or in advance online. 

Authorities are also considering the option of incorporating this fee into the cost of airline tickets.

This decision was made against the backdrop of a growing number of tourists and a corresponding increase in dissatisfaction among local authorities and residents of the island. The primary reasons for this discontent include a lack of respect for local traditions and customs, as well as environmental issues caused by the large influx of tourists.

Party in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Party in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia ©, Cassie Gallegos

The funds collected from the new tax will be allocated to a range of important projects. Specifically, the financing of environmental initiatives is planned, such as the preservation of coral reefs and mangrove forests, which are key elements of the local ecosystem. 

Additionally, these funds will be used to support and preserve the island's cultural heritage, including local customs and rituals that are an integral part of Bali's identity.

This move is part of a broader strategy by Bali's authorities for the sustainable development of the island. It aims to strike a balance between the tourism industry, which is one of the main sources of income for the island, and the need to preserve its unique culture and nature. 

The introduction of this tax is an attempt to balance economic interests with socio-ecological responsibility, which should lead to the long-term sustainable and harmonious development of Bali.

Additional Information: what is a mangrove forest?

A mangrove forest is a type of wetland forest located in coastal areas in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. These forests are formed from mangrove trees, which are capable of surviving in salty water and poorly oxygenated soils. 

Mangrove trees have a unique root system that allows them to adapt to complex environmental conditions, including periodic tides.

Key functions of mangrove forests:
Erosion Control: The roots of mangrove trees strengthen the soil and prevent its erosion, which is especially important for coastal areas.

Biodiversity: Mangrove forests serve as a habitat for a variety of species of fish, birds, crabs, and other animals, as well as rare and unique plants.

Carbon Sequestration: These forests actively absorb carbon dioxide, making them a crucial element in the fight against climate change.

Economic Value: Mangrove forests often serve as sites for fishing and timber collection, and also attract tourists.

Natural Filter: Mangrove forests also act as natural filters, capturing pollutants from water and air.

Rumah pohon treehouse Nusa Penida Island, Bali, Indonessia

Rumah pohon tree house, Nusa Penida Island, Bali, Indonesia ©, Darren Lawrence

Due to their ecological and economic significance, mangrove forests are the subject of special protection and research. However, they are also threatened by deforestation, pollution, and climate change, requiring active efforts for their conservation.

Earlier we reported: Germany will simplify the process of acquiring citizenship

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