Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Sunday made it clear that a special policy needs to be enacted to overcome the multiple issues that the Borobudur Temple management comes across too often; littering and vandalism.
This comes after the Minister announced the plan to increase entry fees to the 9th-century Buddhist temple from Rp 51,000 (roughly 3,4 US dollars) to Rp 750,000 or roughly 51 US Dollars in current exchange rates to limit and filter tourist visitations to the historical place acknowledged by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
"Not mentioning tourists who commit vandalism, lodge objects between stones in the temple, littering, and worse of all failing to respect the Borobudur Temple as a Buddhist site. All of these need special handling," said the Minister on June 5.
Preserving the temple, according to the Minister, is essential to protect it from increasing vulnerabilities and threats. He cited multiple studies by experts suggesting the temple is also deteriorating due to the changes in the climate, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
"Borobudur Temple is an Indonesian cultural heritage designated as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. With reliefs that are full of meaning, especially for Buddhists and us humans in general, it is crucial for all of us to pay special attention to preserving the rich history and culture of the archipelago," he explained.
The government is also planning to limit the number of daily tourist visits to 1,200 and limit it to online reservations. According to the plans that have not been finalized, locals will be charged Rp750,000 to enter the actual temple structure and foreign tourists will be charged Rp1.4 million or roughly 96 US Dollars to step on the same location. However, he said students will only be charged an Rp5,000 entry fee once the new policy takes place.