There She Blows

Complaints and Questions of Legality Plague Charges Levied by ITDC for Admission to Blow Hole at Nusa Dua

The imposition of a Rp. 15,000 -25,000 per person admission fee for tourists at the Waterblow on the southern peninsula of the Nusa Dua Complex is being criticized in some quarters as over-priced and not in keeping with the quality of the attraction.

As reported by NusaBali, the managers of the Complex, the Indonesian Tourist Development Corporation (ITDC) are responding to criticism, claiming the official admission fee is still under discussion with the Regency of Badung. Nonetheless, managers at ITDC have wasted no time and already implemented a program of charging visitors to view the natural spout of water generated by waves crashing on the southern shore of the rocky promontory.

One visitor, quoted by NusaBali, Marselino (35), said he was surprised by the Rp. 15,000 charge for a single admission for a domestic tourist to the area surrounding the water spout, saying other than the spout of water there was little else to see at the locale.

Continuing, Marselino explained on Monday, May 13, 2019: “I have just learned on my most recent visit that you now need a ticket to visit the Waterblow. The price is too high to just seek waves and coral. In the past I visited the area on many occasions, but lately I have been busy working.”

The new system of charging visitors to the area has sparked a polemic. The head of operations for ITDC-Nusa Dua, Made Pariwijaya, said the ticket price was put in place after obtaining agreement for the Badung Regency Tourism Office. Effective May 1, 2019, domestic tourist have been charged Rp. 15,000 while foreign tourist pay Rp. 25,0000 for each visit to the water spout. In contrast to claims that the ticket price “was still under discussion,” the ticket price is based on the decree issued by the Regent of Badung Number 17/041/HK/2018.

In a WhatsApp sent by Pariwijaya to Nusa Bali, the ITDC official said: “Yes, the ticket price has been approved by the Head of Tourism (Dispar) for Badung.”

Somewhat confusingly, the Tourism Service for the Badung Regency who have the authority to set ticket prices for tourist attractions said no agreement has been reached with the ITDC. I Made Badra, the Head of Tourism for the Regency of Badung, denied that there is any agreement on prices to be charged to Waterblow Visitors. Badra said on Monday, May 13, 2019: “It hasn’t been discussed (entrance fees). Tomorrow (May 14) we will discuss this at the Badung Regency Office (Puspem Badung) together with an agreement on cooperation.”

Badra said that the ITDC was still involved in the process of socializing the new admission system to the public and no ticket system has yet to be put in operation. When he was asked about regulations and the legal basis for the ticket charge, Badra told the press to contact another Badung officials of the Regency (Kabag Tapem) in charge of technical issues. Badra also says whether or not a share of the revenues from the ticket price will be set aside for the local community has still to be discussed.

When the Kabag Tapem for the Badung Regency, IGA Made Wardika, was contacted he explained that his office is in charge of facilitating a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperative Agreements with the ITDC, the Regency, and the local community. Wardika said the Memorandum of Understanding was already in hand, but the Cooperative Agreement was still “in progress” with the ITDC and local community.

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