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The Cost of Paradise Poised to Increase

Bali Preparing to Charge Foreign Visitors for Travel Insurance

(10/25/2013) The Province of Bali is examining how to provide insurance coverage for international tourist visitors to Bali in order to provide proper care when tourists fall sick, are injured or die.

The State News Agency Antara quotes Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika, saying: “At this stage, a provincial regulation is in the stage of final drafting. We are targeting for the regulation’s completion by the end of this year.”

Pastika said that for insurance coverage to be extended a fee would have to be paid by every visitor passing through a Bali air or seaport. From this fee a premium would be paid to provide both insurance coverage and separate funds for the protections of Bali’s culture and environment.

“In other words, not all the money paid will go to the government. Some will be used to assist those involved in accidents, fall sick or die while in Bali. When people die, we are sometimes confused on how to return the remains of the dead,” explained Pastika.

The Governor said that while many foreign tourists already have insurance, that coverage is in their country of origin and it is not clear who will organize their affairs while in Bali. Pastika said that officials in Bali are often faced with difficult problems in dealing with sick, injured or dead tourists. By insuring foreign visitors, the benefits can be used to look after such tourists.

On the subject of a contribution for the conservation and protection of cultural sites, Pastika said such fees were the norm in many other countries,

“If we seek a contribution paid from the existing Visa-on-Arrival this is made difficult because the laws would need to be changed. Because of this, we are planning steps (to collect the necessary funds) in accordance with the current law,” the Governor said.

He said that the province would not create a new agency or body to administer the funds obtained for cultural conservation and preservation but, instead, would channel the funds through traditional villages (desa pakraman) and the Hindu Society (Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia).