Bali wants even more Australian tourists to visit the island

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The number of foreigners arriving in Bali in 2023 has reached over 5.2 million people.

Australian tourists still top the charts as the most frequent international tourists to the island.

Leaders want to welcome even more Australians to the Isle of the Gods in 2024.

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This week, Acting Governor of Bali Sang Made Mahendra Jaya met with Australian Consul General H.E. Joe Stevens at the Bali Governor’s office in Denpasar.

Acting Governor Mahendra Jaya shared his hopes that the friendship and cooperation between Australia and Bali can continue to improve and develop in various sectors.

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According to data from the Bali Provincial Tourism Office, the five countries with the highest number of visitors to Bali are Australia with 1,201,652 in 2023, followed by India with 394,428. In third place is China with 253,255 tourists who went to Bali.

In fourth place, 236,250 British tourists visited Bali, with the top five complemented by American tourists with 229,606 arrivals in 2023.

Acting Governor Mahendra Jaya told reporters: “Going forward, we hope that the number of Australian overseas tourists visiting Bali will continue to grow along with the growing cooperative relationship between Bali and Australia.”

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The two spoke at length about building new cooperative ventures between Bali and Australia, as well as the recent introduction of a tourism tax in Bali.

The acting governor said: “We hope that the Australian Consul General can assist us in liaising with Australian citizens regarding the implementation of this levy, we have prepared the procedures and systems and we are asking for assistance so that Australian citizens.

“Those who will be traveling to Bali understand the application of these fees.”

His Excellency Joe Stevens replied: “Bali is like a ‘second home’ for our citizens, we are very grateful for all the hospitality of the Balinese people so that our citizens feel safe and comfortable traveling in Bali. In the future, we hope that our cooperation and friendship will become even closer.”

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Bali’s tourism tax will be introduced on February 14, 2024, the day of Indonesia’s general election.

The mandatory tax of IDR 150,000 per person will be paid online or upon arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.

Officials have confirmed that paying by card will take just 23 seconds.

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The tourist tax was well publicized, with much dialogue about the new fee circulating online.

Many tourists share their neutrality about the tax, not minding paying the surcharge, but for many Bali lovers the surcharges add up and start to make them look for vacation options elsewhere.

Some regular Bali tourists, especially those from Australia, have noted that the new IDR 150,000 fee is another expense to consider when planning a trip.

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Currently, Australian tourists and travelers from 96 other nations must pay IDR 500,000 for a 30-day visa on arrival.

Before the pandemic, Australian tourists were entitled to visa-free travel, which allowed them to visit Indonesia for up to 30 days without paying a visa fee.

With an extra IDR 650,000 per person in the budget, some tourists are exploring emerging travel destinations.

Data from Expedia Group, shared earlier this month, revealed that while Australians are the most frequent arrivals to Bali, Bali is no longer the number one destination for Australian tourists.

Tens of thousands of Australian tourists visit Japan. Lured by cold winters, large metropolitan cities, unique culture and accessibility, Japan is growing in popularity.

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However, there is hope on the horizon for Australian tourists planning their next trips to Bali.

Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno has suggested that he will reintroduce visa-free travel for the nations with the highest number of tourists in the near future.

The discussion is still on the table, but the move will certainly help encourage more Australian tourists to Bali, as incumbent Governor Mahendra Jaya wants to see.

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