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This Popular Asian Destination Is Now Charging Tourists to Enter

It's the latest major destination to introduce a levy on tourists.

Tourist destinations around the world are grappling to find harmony between tourism and sustainability. Levying tourist taxes has become a common way to manage overtourism and Bali is the latest destination to employ this tactic. The $10 tax has come into effect this week after its announcement last year. Here’s everything you need to know.

Tourist Tax Introduced

From February 14, 2024, travelers entering Bali need to pay a one-time tourist tax of $10. You can do this online on the Love Bali website. It is not applicable to tourists traveling to other parts of Indonesia, but it’s a local tax that authorities in the province of Bali are charging. 

However, there are exemptions. People with diplomatic or official visas, student visas, golden visas, temporary or permanent stay cards, and other visas apart from a tourist visa are exempt from paying this tax. Those travelers also need to go to the website to apply for an exemption. Domestic travelers are also not required to pay the tourist tax—it’s for foreign tourists only.

For years, the beautiful Asian destination has been overrun by tourists—so much so that it made Fodor’s No List in 2020. After the devastation caused by the pandemic, it has made a wonderful recovery. Around 4.8 million people visited Bali last year between January and November—that’s more than the population of the island (4.3 million). 

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Tourism is a big source of income for locals and while this post-pandemic recovery is economically positive, the strain is already being felt, especially with misbehaving tourists running wild on the island. There are many stories of deportation of unruly tourists–and we frequently report them. Left without patience, the authorities are cracking down on people who disrespect ancient traditions and sacred places like this man who posed naked on a holy mountain and was sent packing. 

Bali, like many other destinations that have become tourist magnets (and Instagram-famous), is trying to strike a balance. This newly introduced tax is earmarked for preserving culture and tradition, supporting sustainable tourism, building public infrastructure, and keeping the city clean. 

Related: How Not to Be a Jerk When You Visit Bali

Tourist Tax: A Common Practice

You may not notice it, but destinations around the world charge tourist taxes. It’s often included in your room charges or you may need to pay it upfront when entering a city. These taxes are used to counteract overtourism—the money helps pay for resources that are feeling the pressure of demand or deter high numbers of visitors.

In Europe, it’s widespread. Rome charges up to €7 per night, while guests in Barcelona pay €4. Amsterdam has been trying to control an outpouring of tourists with a 7% tax on overnight stays. This year, the city will increase it to 12.5%, making it the most expensive city in Europe in terms of taxes.

Bhutan is also up there with high tourist taxes. The tiny dot of a country neighboring India charges travelers $100 per night as Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) to preserve its pristine environment.

Manchester introduced a small fee of £1 per night, per room in April 2023. Venice has been debating tourist tax since 2017 and it was finally approved in 2022. Starting this year, day-trippers will need to pay €5 during the peak season. 

More and more destinations are heading this way. Currently, Scotland is trying to design a tourist tax system, which may go into effect in 2026. Iceland, which is growing increasingly popular amongst travelers, is also contemplating a fee to add to its sustainability efforts.

Related: 5 Popular Destinations That Will Be More Expensive to Travel to in 2024