Foreign visitors to Bali must now pay to a levy to enter the island, which authorities say will support local nature, culture and communities. Olivia Palamountain reports

Bali, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, has implemented a new tax for foreign visitors. As of February 14 this year, foreign tourists entering the Indonesian island province have had to pay a 150,000 rupiah (£7.60; US$9.60) levy upon arrival.

The new tourist tax aims to help protect Bali’s environment and cultural heritage from the impacts of overtourism, with Indonesian authorities asserting the funds will go towards preserving the island’s natural resources and traditional way of life.

Tourism accounts for around 60 per cent of Bali’s GDP, with nearly 4.8 million foreign tourists visiting between January and November 2023 alone. However this popularity had led to issues such as environmental degradation and disrespectful tourist behaviour.

As reported by The Times, Bali’s residents, many of whom are Hindu with a strong belief in respecting the natural world, are frustrated by inappropriate behaviour from visitors, who include British backpackers but largely come from Australia, China, India and increasingly Russia. Incidents that have angered locals include a Russian tourist stripping nude atop the holy Mount Agung.

To ease the tourist tax process, travellers are urged to pay the levy online through the Love Bali website prior to their arrival. The fee applies to all foreign tourists flying into Bali from overseas or other parts of Indonesia, while domestic tourists are exempt.

Countries joining Bali in an attempt to tackle overtourism through tourist tax include Japan, Spain and Italy.

From July 1 this year, tourists looking to climb Mount Fuji will now have to pay a 2,000 yen (US$13) fee per climber for entry. There will also be a cap of 4,000 visitors allowed to scale the mountain per day.

In Seville, Mayor José Luis Sanz is planning to charge tourists an entry fee to access the Plaza de España, while in Venice, a €5 charge to enter the city centre will come into effect from April 2024, with a ticketing system to limit the numbers pouring into the canalside city.