What’s Happening In Bali? A Light Rail Transit System And New Taxes In Focus
In an effort to ease roadway congestion from the airport, Indonesia plans to start building a light rail transit (LRT) system on the popular resort island of Bali next year.
Tourist-dependent Bali attracts millions of foreign visitors annually and the island’s narrow roads have been clogged with traffic jams since its reopening after COVID-19 lockdowns.
“LRT will be underground so traffic at Bali’s airport … in 2025 to 2026 can be managed,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said on Thursday.
Bali Expecting 24 Million Visitors By 2026
If it’s not built, people in Bali could be stuck three hours at the airport in 2026, Pandjaitan said in Jakarta. The airport is expected to receive 24 million visitors annually by that time.
When asked who could help fund the project ordered by President Joko Widodo, the senior minister said it had courted investment interest in South Korea, Japan and China.
Additionally, a LRT was recently opened in Jakarta to help ease congestion and lessen pollution, with a Chinese-funded high-speed rail from the capital to Bandung to launch next week.
New Tax Rules To Preserve Culture
In another planned move next year, Bali will impose a $10 tax on travellers entering the resort island in order to preserve its environment and culture.
While domestic Indonesian tourists would be spared, foreign tourists entering the island from abroad or from other parts of the country would need to pay the fee electronically.
When asked if the new tax would bring a drop in tourist numbers, Governor I Wayan Koster said authorities did not believe so. The payment “applies only one time during their visit to Bali.”
Intense Crackdown On Misbehaving Tourists
The collected taxes would be used to preserve Bali’s environment and culture and to build better quality infrastructure to make potential tourists’ trips more comfortable, the governor added.
In recent days, the predominantly Hindu island has been intensely cracking down on misbehaving travellers after a series of controversies stemming from acts of disrespect.
A Danish woman and one from Russia were recently deported for controversial activities, with the local government in June publishing a guide for people wishing to visit Bali.