Bali Introduces a “Clean the place up’ TAX

Bali’s leaders are introducing a US$10 (AU$14) charge on foreign visitors that would be used towards funding the island’s environmental and cultural preservation projects.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster is believed to be behind the levy, which he claims will give the popular tourist destination “better fiscal space” to fund programmes and develop the destination.

Speaking at the Bali Legislative Council, the Governor said he doesn’t believe the tax would discourage visitors as they’ll understand its purpose for preservation, The Strait Times reported. “They will be happy to pay it as it will be used to strengthen our environment and culture.” Wayan Koster, Bali Governor

Should the visitor fee be approved by the destination’s Legislative Council, it would only be enforced on foreign visitors, not domestic travellers. The council is also looking at ways to collect the tax such as adding it to airline fares or collecting it at a special counter at the airport.

Preservation of land and culture has become of increasing importance to Bali’s local leaders who introduced a ban on damaging single-use plastics on 21 December 2018. The ban prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags, styrofoam and straws.

Indonesia is following Thailand’s lead by banning environmentally damaging plastic items such as bags, styrofoam & straws on its most popular tourist island, Bali. The ban on plastic items in Bali was announced by the island’s Provincial Government on 21 December and administered on the same day with a six-month grace period for local businesses, Straits Times reported. As part of the ban, disposable single-use plastics such as bags, styrofoam and plastic straws, are no longer welcome on the island. KARRYON contacted Wonderful Indonesia, the country’s tourism leaders, to learn how the new rule will be governed.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster told media that the aim of the initiative is to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 percent within a year. He also hopes it will maintain the harmony and balance out Bali’s ecosystem. He continued, saying that a special team made up of regional staff, non-government agencies and entrepreneurs, has been established to educate locals and business owners on using environmentally friendly alternatives.

“We gave producers, businesses, and suppliers of disposable plastic products to adjust their business plans after the decree was made effective,” Koster said. “This policy is aimed at producers, distributors, suppliers and business actors, including individuals, to suppress the use of single-use plastics. They must substitute plastics with other materials.”

Wayan Koster, Bali Governor

Our hats off for the forthright approach to banning plastic. We can only hope that the levy is not sidelined due to endemic corruption. One has to ask why better collection services and laws are not already in place that make hotels, restaurants and other tourist providers ensure things are cleaned up and recycled. How will the levy help if laws are not enforced now?

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