Bali's new tourist tax starts tomorrow — what you should know

The latest tax comes amid a crackdown from authorities on how best to preserve the island amid soaring levels of tourism.

Bali is one of the most sought-after travel destinations for Aussies, with over a million of us visiting the popular island hotspot each year.

With the flight time around seven hours from the east coast, and around four from the west, the tourist town is an accessible and beloved location for people all over the country, and has been for decades. From tomorrow however, there'll be one extra fee Aussies hoping to soak up the Bali sun should be aware of.

Last year Bali was dethroned as Aussies' favourite travel destination in favour of Japan, but millions of Aussies still travel there every year. Source: Getty

What is the Bali tourist tax?

You might remember Indonesian authorities last year announced a one-off tourist tax of $50 for travellers headed to Bali — that was scrapped in December, but was since reintroduced and now revised down to just $15 (150,000 IDR). The payment will be implemented from tomorrow, and though it's a one-time levy, anyone entering Indonesia will still have to pay the $50 'visa fee' to be granted 30 days of travel on arrival.

It's also worth noting the tax is in place on a per entry basis, so if you leave Bali and come back, you'll be slugged again.

A plane flying into Bali.
Travellers to Bali will from tomorrow have to fork out a $15 tourist tax, in addition to the $50 visa fee. Source: Getty

Why is there a new tourist tax?

Particularly in the wake of the pandemic, Balinese officials say they're trying to explore new ways to preserve and maintain the island's culture and heritage, including many of its sacred sights. With up to 18,000 people from all over the world touching down on the island every day, it's not hard to imagine that the natural landscape would take a hit.

It's estimated that the tax could bring in nearly A$185,000 each day in revenue for the island. Some reports have suggested that up to 70 per cent of the tourism levy could be spent on tackling Bali’s chronic waste management issues.

How do I pay the tax?

Bali enthusiasts will be able to pay the new tax through the "Love Bali" website or app.

A tourism levy voucher with a QR code will then be sent to the traveller’s e-mail for scanning upon touching down on the island. There will also be a payment service desk at Bali's international airport and at seaports for those who have not made payment prior to arrival.

To pay the tax, you'll simply need: A name, passport number, email and arrival date.

Canggu beach in Bali.
The new tax comes as authorities explore new ways to maintain the island amid soaring levels of tourism. Source: Getty

What if I don't pay it?

The short answer is you could be deported or fined.

There are a few exemptions in place for people like diplomats, those with official visas (for periods longer than 30 days), ship crew members, student visa holders and non-tourist visa holders. But the average Aussie will be made to pay the levy prior to gaining entry.

Do I have to pay to gain entry to anywhere else in Indonesia?

Bali is the only province in the country that's so far implemented such a fee, coming amid a general crackdown from authorities on how the island operates, with tourist behaviour, waste management and crime all under the microscope. Last year, Bali rolled out a 'dos and don'ts' good behaviour card slipped into travellers' passports on arrival.

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