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Bali tax: Why your holiday just got more expensive

Lucy Dean
Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Tourists travelling to Bali are set to fork out an extra AU$14 under a new tourist levy designed to help protect the island’s environment and culture.

The island hot-spot saw 5.7 million tourists visit its shores in 2017, with most coming from Australia and China. That number is estimated to have surpassed 6 million in 2018.

And the island has also been struggling with the volume of plastic waste, leading the island to ban single-use plastics in December last year.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster said he trusts tourists will not be put off by the levy.

“This will give us better fiscal space to support the development of Bali,” Koster said, according to the Straits Times.

“Tourists will understand (the regulation). They will be happy to pay it as it will be used to strengthen our environment and culture.”

The local authorities are currently discussing how the tax will be collected, with support for schemes which would see the levy included in airline tickets or collected at special counters at the airport.

Bali is far from alone

Japan imposed a similar tax this month. Dubbed the ‘sayonara tax’, the levy of 1,000 Japanese Yen (AU$12.71) will be used to help cover the cost of visitors expected during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Venice, now known as much for its canals as its sheer number of tourists, also charges users a tax for staying in its hotels in addition to a “landing contribution”.

This tax is designed to target day-trippers – largely those who arrive on cruise ships. Venetians have begun rejecting the 30 million tourists who visit the lagoon city every year, citing the sheer damage 30 million pairs of feet have on the historic city.

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