Bali, the popular Indonesian vacation destination, is suffering from its success. According to The Jakarta Post, the island hosted 5.7 million international visitors in 2017, causing a major strain on its beautiful environment. Tourists, when they come by the millions, create an awful lot of waste, burden the sanitation resources, and make the natural landscape vulnerable to erosion.
As a potential solution, the Balinese regional government drafted a bylaw imposing a $10 tax on foreign tourists, to be charged upon leaving the country. “Contributions from tourists are needed to help us preserve our environment and culture. Tourists come to enjoy our environment and culture. Why not contribute to preserving it?” said Bali Legislative Council Speaker I Nyoman Adi Wiryatama.
Bali wouldn’t be the first to impose such a tax. Japan recently voted a “Sayonara Tax” into law for foreign travelers, wherein tourists are asked to pay around $9 upon leaving the country. That money is then put toward maintaining the country’s tourist infrastructure. The law took effect on January 7, 2019.