April 15, 2024

The innovation of tourism taxes in Bali : how the island paradise is reinventing its revenues for local well being

The innovation of tourism taxes in Bali : how the island paradise is reinventing its revenues for local well being

Around the world, many tourist resorts are adopting an innovative approach by charging entrance fees, raising millions of euros in the process. At the heart of this trend, Indonesia recently introduced a tourist tax on the popular island of Bali. Foreign visitors attracted to this corner of paradise must now pay 150,000 Indonesian rupiahs (around nine euros). This article explores how Bali is using these funds to protect its natural and cultural environment, while addressing local challenges.

Bali’s new tourist tax, introduced in mid-February, aims to preserve the island’s environment and culture. Inspired by practices adopted worldwide, this lucrative measure will enable Bali to reinvest these millions of euros to continue its efforts to improve the natural and cultural environment. The authorities are also focusing on improving services, safety and comfort for tourists, while developing integrated and connected infrastructures.

Faced with problems such as traffic jams and waste management, Bali’s tourism and hotel industry leaders are calling for transparency in the use of these funds. They want the revenue to benefit Bali’s villages, which have become must-sees for tourists seeking authentic cultural and heritage experiences.

Local initiatives in the villages aim to preserve customs and create economic opportunities for local people who are less directly affected by the economic impact of tourism. The test period preceding the implementation of the tax has already raised more than $100,000, underlining its positive potential.

In Europe, Venice recently introduced a five-euro entrance fee, effective at weekends and on certain days from April to mid-July. This tax, designed to limit over-visitation and encourage longer visits, also funds services for local residents. By registering tourists on a dedicated website, the municipality can tailor public services to the number of visitors, while generating funds to improve the local quality of life.

Councillor Simone Venturini assures us that this tax is not a way of making money, but an instrument for financing services for citizens, such as maintenance, cleaning and reducing the cost of living, including the possibility of reducing taxes on waste.

The revenue from the tourist tax in Venice, estimated at 37 million euros in 2023, is legally earmarked to finance tourism-related facilities and services. This includes security staff, maintenance of the architectural heritage and support for annual cultural events such as the ‘Festival of the Redeemer’.

In Barcelona, the two-year increase in tourist tax is intended to fund the city’s infrastructure, including roads, bus services and escalators. Revenues from the tourist tax finance innovative projects such as “Viu la vela”, which promotes sailing among young people, and initiatives linked to the blue economy.

In conclusion, Bali has distinguished itself by reinventing its approach to tourism taxes to protect its environment and support its local communities. Like Venice and Barcelona, these tourist destinations are strengthening their commitment to sustainable tourism management, marking a shift towards ethical and responsible initiatives. These innovative practices underline the importance of maximising the economic benefits of tourism while preserving cultural identity and environmental balance.