Visitors to Komodo National Park (KNP) in 2018 should be aware that local authorities intend to raise entrance fees and cap the number of permits granted to tourists, in a bid to conserve the wildlife of the park.
The park, which is home to numerous dive sites and the world-famous Komodo dragon, has seen unprecedented numbers of tourist arrivals in recent years; in 2017 the region saw an 11 percent increase in admissions, with a total of 119,599 entering the park. Park officials are concerned that this increase in tourist numbers, if allowed to continue unabated, will have an adverse effect on the ecology of the park.
“The restrictions on the number of visitors will be applied to each destination object on the land and diving sites,” confirmed KNP Head Sudiyono in January. “Currently the tariffs are still too low. Visitors can enter KNP and reach all objects,” he continued.
Presently the entry ticket for public visitors at district III is set at IDR150,000 per person per day for foreign tourists and IDR5,000 for domestic tourists. Meanwhile, student concessions are set at IDR100,000 for foreigners, with domestic students able to access the park for just IDR3,000. The tariff for district II is set at IDR250,000 per person per day for foreign tourists and IDR20,000 for domestic tourists. The rates for district I are IDR200,000 per person per day for foreign and domestic tourists IDR10,000 each.
“The visit that is currently in district III we propose to become districts I or II,” said Sudiyono, as quoted by the Antara news agency. He confirmed the tariff increase for overseas tourists could reach 25 percent per district, while domestic tourists can expect to see a 50 percent increase to the current tariff. Sudiyono hopes that the planned tariff increase will keep non-tax revenues to the park high, whilst also regulating the number of admissions so that visitor impact on conservation areas is lessened.
Located in West Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Komodo National Park comprises around 30 islands, including Komodo and Rinca, where the Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) are found. The park also features several attractive diving sites such as Batu Samsia, Chrystal Rock and Castle Rock. The Indonesian government has identified Komodo National Park as an area suited to investment and development for tourism, as part of ambitious plans to create ’10 New Balis’ across the archipelago. In addition to Komodo, other sites set to benefit include Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Belitung (Babel), Tanjung Lesung (Banten), the Thousand Islands (DKI Jakarta), Borobudur (Central Java), Mount Bromo (East Java), Mandalika Lombok (NTB), Wakatobi National Park (Southeast Sulawesi), and Morotai (Maluku Utara).