Problem with new Bali tourism tax levy

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Thousands of tourists are reportedly dodging Bali’s new tourism tax fee following “flaws in the system”.

The 150,000 IDR ($15) tourist levy came into effect on February 14 and it’s expected to bring in more than $18 million this year from Aussies alone.

However, top tourism officials have acknowledged it is not running as it should with the majority of tourists entering the holiday hotspot (around 60 per cent) not paying the fee.

Instead, around 5000 people per day are paying levy, a lot less than what officials had hoped, according to national publication The Bali Sun.

Top tourism leader, Wayan Puspa Negara, told reporters this week the current system “has many holes” with fellow stakeholders criticising the system, rather than blaming tourists.

“At the airport, there are no payment counters that intensively charge fees,” Mr Puspa Negara said, according to The Bali Sun.

“So far the payment system uses an application, and the existing offers can only attract a few foreign tourists so we need to add more counters [at the airport].”

He suggested that airlines take on some of the responsibility of checking that tourists have paid their tourism taxes. He also added tourism attractions in Bali could be doing more to support the new system.

“Hotels, restaurants and tours attractions can all be end points, where foreign tourists are checked whether they have paid or not.”

Last week, head of the Bali Tourism Department, Tjok Bagus Pemayun said tourism officials are confident foreigners are aware of the new system.

However, Mr Puspa Negara disagrees, suggesting the government carry out a more “intense and massive outreach”.

“Especially in countries that are the largest source of foreign tourists to Bali,” he added.

As of March 26, tourism police units have been conducting spot checks to ensure travellers have paid the fee.

“We will target tourist attractions in Bali including Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu Beratan and also Tampaksiring,” Head of the Bali Tourism Department,” Tjok Bagus Pemayun said last week, according to The Bali Sun.

It has been supported by leading tourism stakeholders on the island, including the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association.

It involves tourists showing their Tourism Tax Levy Voucher, which they will receive via email from LoveBali after payment.

The voucher consists of a QR code that will need to be shown to the inspectors.

How to pay the tourist levy

You can pay the $15 fee via the website or Love Bali app.

You will need to enter your details, including your passport number and arrival date.

Then you can choose your payment method and once successful, you will have a ‘Levy Voucher’ sent to your email.

It is important to make sure the voucher is valid and active as your will need to present it at scanning checkpoints when entering Bali.

There will also be a counter to pay the fee by debit or credit card at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport or Benoa Harbour, but this is not the method encouraged.

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