For around two years since the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, Bali's tourism practically became dormant. Now that the island is starting to receive a flow of international visitors, several local outlets are reporting about plans to increase the fee for the visa on arrival (VOA) entry by threefold.
Currently, one needs to pay IDR500,000 (US$34.84) to obtain a VOA. For now, there are 43 nationalities eligible for VOA in order to visit Bali, entitling them to a 30-day stay that is extendable by another 30 days.
However, according to an official memo of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights obtained by Coconuts from a travel agency in Bali, there is an official plan to increase the VOA fee to IDR1.5 million (US$104.52).
Coconuts have reached out to several government officials but have yet to receive a concrete confirmation on the plan. We will update this article once we do.
Needless to say, Bali tourism businesses are not happy about the plan.
In a panel discussion that took place in Nusa Dua earlier today, the chairman of the Indonesia's Tourism Industry Collective (GIPI) Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana expressed disappointment.
"We and 10 stakeholders object to the plan to increase the VOA [fee] three times," said Partha Adnyana, or known as Gus Agung.
Gus Agung claimed that since the reactivation of the VOA on March 7 (before that, VOA was not available due to the pandemic), Bali saw an increase in the number of international arrivals. In the past three days, he said, around 2,500 new tourists touched down in Bali daily.
He later asked the state-owned holding company for tourism and aviation industries, Indonesian Journey or InJourne's director Dony Oskaria, who also attended the discussion, for assistance.
"I ask Mr. Dony to help address this in a formal forum," said Gus Agung.
In response to that, Dony said he would immediately respond to the situation. "We will try so that this [VOA price increase plan] is canceled," he said.