The Indonesian island of Bali has long been a top destination for travellers due to its sandy beaches and historic temples. However, it has also recently been facing serious issues of waste disposal. A new Bali tourist tax may help.
According to the Bali Environment Agency, 3,800 tons of waste are produced each day; but only 60% is disposed of in landfill sites. The rest of it ends up on the beach and in the sea. It then becomes a danger to marine life.
The island welcomes millions of visitors each year (5.7 million visited in 2017); which can place a strain on the local resources and infrastructure. This can, in turn, contribute to environmental damage. Authorities on the island have already taken steps to deal with this problem; banning some single-use plastics, such as straws and carrier bags.
Bali tourist tax may help deal with environmental damage
The government is also considering implementing a tourist tax to help deal with the rising tide of waste. A newly drafted bylaw would impose a $10 fee on visitors upon their departure. This would then be used to fund waste disposal projects as well as the better preservation of Balinese culture.
I Nyoman Adi Wiryatama, head of Bali’s provincial parliament, says that “Tourists come to enjoy our environment and culture. Why not contribute to preserving it?” While Bali governor, Wayan Koster holds that “Tourists … will be happy to pay it as it will be used to strengthen our environment and culture.”
Bali is just the latest of a number of destinations that are taking measures to combat the problems that come with over tourism and the added pressure on local infrastructure. Chile has introduced limits for tourists on Easter Island, while the famous Maya Bay in Thailand remains closed to visitors. Many countries and cities have also implemented additional fees and taxes on tourists, such as Venice, Amsterdam, New Zealand, and even Japan.