The government plans to cut docking fees by 50 percent for cruise ships docking at the new Benoa cruise terminal in Bali.
Benoa cruise terminal’s docking fees – between US$40,000 and $50,000 – had twice been compared with the fees at Indonesia’s marine tourism competitors Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Tuesday. So far, fees collected at Indonesian ports are on average 15% more expansive than at neighbours.
“We have to adjust it to $20,000 so we can compete with neighbouring countries,” he said after meeting with Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Pandjaitan in Jakarta. The benchmark for fees will from now be the level of taxes collected in Singapore.
He explained that last year, tourist arrivals by cruise ship reached only 260,000 people – less than 10 percent of the total potential of 3 million arrivals. However, this number is sharply up from the 200,000 people recorded in 2015 while the number of cruise ships decreased from 400 to 350 port of calls last year.
“The government aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals by cruise ship to 400,000, next year,” he said.
The development of the Benoa cruise terminal, set to be fully completed by 2018, is expected to boost the number of tourist arrivals by cruise ships.
Arief explained that each tourist that arrived by cruise ship spent an average of $1,200 per visit, generating $480 million in tourism revenue.
In addition to Benoa Port, the government is also planning to upgrade four other ports to cruise ship terminals – Belawan Port in North Sumatera, Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta, Tanjung Perak Port in East Java and Soekarno Hatta Port in South Sulawesi.
(Source: Jakarta Post-dis/bbn)