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Indonesia postpones $252 entry fee to Komodo Island after operators strike



Indonesia has postponed a steep rise in the entrance fee for Komodo Island, home to the giant lizards known as Komodo dragons, following a strike by tour operators.

The annual fee of 3.75 million rupees ($252) will instead be imposed in January 2023, Gusti Hendriyani, spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, said on Tuesday.

“The postponement is in line with public aspirations,” she said.

Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said the strike was called off following a dialogue between local government officials and protesters.

Tour operators and workers in Labuan Bajo, the town on Flores Island where most Komodo visitors stay, declared a month-long strike on August 1, the same day authorities imposed the new tax .

Previously, domestic visitors had to pay $5 per entry and foreigners had to pay $10, but no single-entry option was offered under the new pricing.

The government aims to limit visitors as part of conservation efforts, but tourism operators had called for the old price structure to be reinstated, saying the new tax was killing their business as many would-be tourists canceled bookings.

Listed by National Geographic as one of the top 10 destinations in the world, Komodo National Park is home to over 5,000 rare giant lizards.

The government first floated the idea of ​​restricting access to Komodo Island in 2018.

The island typically sees over 10,000 visitors per month.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said last year that the Komodo dragon was increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change.

–IANS

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(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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