Bali confirms entry levy for all tourists

Starting from February 14, all international visitors entering Bali will need to pay a one-time levy of 150,000 rupiah (US$10) per person.

This applies to both direct or indirect entry via other port of entries in Indonesia.

Foreign tourists entering Bali will need to pay a one-time levy from February 14; Uluwatu cliff in Bali, pictured

The tourism levy aims to contribute to the preservation of Bali’s unique cultural heritage and to reinforce the efforts towards sustainable tourism.

For the first year of operations, the Bali government targets to reap 250 billion rupiah – the fund will be allotted for the cultural preservation programmes and the critical waste management in 2025.

The levy is payable through the Love Bali website or app and a tourism levy voucher with a QR code will be sent to the traveller’s e-mail for scanning upon arrival in Bali.

‌Speaking at a dialogue with members of the Indonesia Inbound Tour Operator Association (IINTOA), Indah Yustikarini, head of marketing at Bali Tourism Office, said: “We encourage travellers to settle the payment online before arriving in Bali for their convenience and have their QR code ready on their mobile phone for scanning at the airport or seaport.”

However, a payment counter will also be available at the airport and seaports for those who have not made payment prior to arriving in Bali.

For travellers visiting in groups and cruise passengers, their DMCs and cruise agents will take care of the payment process, according to Indah.

She explained that the levy is only applied once, for example, if travelling from Bali to other parts of Indonesia, then returning to Bali, there will not be another charge.

Certain visa categories are exempted from this fee, including diplomatic and official visa holders, conveyance crew, KITAS and KITAP holders, family unification visas, golden and student visa holders, and business visas.

“Business event delegates and travel agents on a familiarisation trip can apply for this exemption,” she said.

To qualify for the exemption, travellers must submit the application at least five days prior to arrival on the Love Bali system – it takes the office a maximum of three days to review and process the requests, Indah said.

For a start, checkpoints will be available at the international arrival terminal at Ngurah Rai International Airport and Benoa harbour. Additional checkpoints at other gateways will soon follow.

She said that her office will work with travel related organisations like hotels and attractions to enable them to check and process payments for their guests through the Love Bali platform.

Several IINTOA members, however, have expressed their concerns over the readiness of Love Bali, such as the ease of application and payment process, as well as the potential long queues at the checkpoints.

Ricky Setiawanto, director at Panorama Destination, said: “Our business partners are informed about the tourism levy but when their clients tried to pay, the (pay levy button) did not respond. They are worried (that if they are unable to pay in advance) they will have to go through a long queue upon arrival.”

In response, Indah said simulations and tests are in progress and she has invited travel executives to participate. The system is expected to be fully operational by February 7.

As for managing queues, Indah shared that 10 staff will be stationed at the international arrival terminal of Ngurah Rai International Airport on February 14, armed with mobile scanners to offer assistance. Her office will adjust operations if more manpower is needed.

IINTOA chairman Paul Talo said: “Our hope is that international travellers will really see the result. The first-year programme, for example, is to tackle waste issue, so we hope that (by end-2025) there will no longer be a garbage issue in Bali.”

Talo added that future tourism levies should be ordered by the central government for implementation on a national level, and not by a provincial government.

Hasiyanna Ashadi, managing director of MarinTur Indonesia agreed, saying that IINTOA should take a proactive step to remind the government of the danger of applying such levies at the provincial level.

Industry players warned that levies implemented by different provincial authorities would result in travellers making multiple payments in order to explore more than one destination in the country.

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