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New fee for travellers headed to Bali - how to know if you're exempt

Millions of tourists head to Bali every year, and they will be adding millions of dollars to the economy with a new fee.

No one likes extra fees, but a new tourist levy will be applicable to Australian travellers heading to Bali from today.

The Indonesian government announced last year there would be a 150,000 Indonesian rupiah ($15) charge applicable before foreigners entered the popular tourist destination from January 14, but there are some exceptions.

Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Bali tourist tax’.

Fee: tourist overlooking the beach at Bali.
A new fee will be imposed on travellers headed to the island of Bali. (Getty Images)

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What is the Bali tourist tax?

The small fee is for travellers entering the province of Bali from February 14, and is not applicable to those visiting other parts of Indonesia.

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The government said the fee was part of a bid to conserve the island's natural environment and culture. The plan is to improve the quality of services and safety standards experienced by tourists, with things like waste management and boosted infrastructure.

The extra cost is on top of the existing $50 visa-on-arrival payment.

About 4.5 million tourists visit Bali each year, meaning the new tax could deliver $1,295,000 into the economy each week.

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How many times do I have to pay?

You only need to pay the fee once, as long as you don’t leave Indonesia.

You can travel freely around Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan without paying another fee and to other parts of Indonesia, but, if you leave to go to Singapore, you will have to pay again on your return.

“The levy is paid only once while travelling in Bali, before the person leaves the territory of the Republic of Indonesia," Bali Tourism Department said.

How can I pay the Bali tourist tax?

You can pay the tax online at the Love Bali website here, or download their app.

You will need your passport number and travel dates. A voucher is issued, which you need to present at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport or at Benoa Bali Harbour.

You can also pay at the airport - additional staff are being deployed to make this a smooth transition. You can use a debit or credit card but, be warned, this could eat up time if you’re forced to queue.

What happens if I don’t pay the Bali travel tax?

You could be fined or deported if you choose not to pay the tax. Australian travellers should also be aware authorities are cracking down on bad behaviour on a wider scale.

An official dos and don’ts list - including respecting sacred sites and encouraging the use of the local rupiah - has been released by the government. There’s a hotline for inappropriate activity to be reported.

Who is exempt from the Bali travel tax?

Some foreigners will be able to apply for an exemption on the website or app, but should do so a month before travelling.

These include:

  • Diplomatic and official visa holders - Those visiting Indonesia to conduct government business, a diplomatic posting, or special assignments in Indonesia

  • Conveyance crew - Those working on board a ship

  • KITS/ KITAP holders - Those who possess a Residence Permit Card for a temporary, limited or permanent stay to live and work

  • Family unification, golden and student visa holders - Those helping family settle, corporate investors or students

  • Specific non-tourist visa holders

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