Indonesian parliament urges gov’t against Komodo National Park entry fee hike amid protests

Amid ongoing protests from native guides and tourism associations following an entry price hike for the 2 primary islands of Komodo Nationwide Park, the Home of Representatives (DPR) has requested the central authorities to rethink the plan.

Yesterday, Dede Yusuf, the deputy chair of DPR’s Fee X overseeing tourism affairs, stated parliament was by no means consulted concerning the new value coverage, which covers the islands of Komodo and Padar.

As beforehand reported, vacationers should pay IDR3.75 million (US$250) for an annual cross to see Komodo dragons roam the earth on the nationwide park’s two primary islands as of Monday. With the brand new value, friends can come and witness the dragons as many occasions as they need in a yr.

Earlier than the worth hike, overseas vacationers had been charged IDR150,000 (US$10.68) per particular person to enter the islands, whereas home vacationers had been charged IDR5,000 (US$0.36) on weekdays. Separate charges for additional actions similar to snorkeling utilized.

Dede, a lawmaker representing the Democratic Get together, stated parliament was “shocked” by the worth hike.

“There was no [communication between parliament and the government]. [Parliament] was on recess [when the price hike was introduced] so we heard the shocking information identical to the Borobudur case, and now it has occurred to the Komodo Nationwide Park,” stated Dede.

Dede was referring to a proposed value hike to go to the enduring Borobudur Temple in Central Java, which was scrapped following backlash.

“[We hope] that the federal government would postpone [the Komodo Park’s price hike] till [they] might rationally clarify to parliament as to why the worth might attain [IDR3.75 million],” stated Dede, who added that whereas the parliament can be on board with a value hike for the conservation of the dragons, they don’t really feel the bounce needs to be that top. 

Komodo Island and Padar Island are the 2 largest islands of Komodo Nationwide Park. One other island well-known for its dragons within the park is Rinca Island. The park additionally consists of 26 smaller islands.

Discussions on the dangerous impression of heavy tourism exercise at Komodo Nationwide Park have been happening for years. The thought of implementing an annual price for a go to to Komodo Nationwide Park was truly incepted in 2019.

After having been made official, the worth hike prompted protests from native tourism companies, which reportedly led to unrest and arrests. Indonesia’s Coordinating Financial Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto later said that he would consider the worth hike. 

The protests even unfold to Bali, with a Nusa Tenggara youth neighborhood residing on the Island of Gods expressing their considerations that the worth hike would threaten their neighborhood’s revenue from tourism.

“We’re frightened that [the ticket prices] are simply an excuse for investments in Komodo island,” Rian Ngari, the coordinator of the protests, stated. One other Komodo island scholar, Firmansyah, added that “[they] don’t need to be sacrificed for the sake of conservation and funding.”

An op-ed featured on The Dialog strongly criticized Komodo Nationwide Park’s administration, highlighting the park’s business-oriented tourism, minimal conservation measures, and neglect of locals who rely upon community-based tourism, after their earlier primary sources of revenue, agriculture, was put aside in favor of the rising tourism business. 

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