The Komodo islands is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Indonesia.
The island is famed for its legendary Komodo dragon, which can only be found aplenty there. They are the largest lizards in the world.’
Earlier this year, Indonesia has made plans to close down Komodo Island for the entire year of 2020. According to the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) tourism agency, it will close in 2020 for rehabilitation and improve conservation efforts.
However, the plan seemed to have been scrapped because the population of the famed Komodo dragon was found to be relatively stable. However, the government has another plan in mind…
Tourists must pay $1000 membership fee!
Calm down, everyone! It’s not imposed as an entry fee, but rather a membership fee.
A full year membership costs $1000.
This was the government’s plan in turning Komodo into a premium tourist destination, and that the high fee was for maintaining the Komodo National Park. The maintenance charges were no more than that of the Madagascar Ground Gecko. A government official justified the high price.
“Why is it so expensive? Because it’s a world heritage site.” – Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Maritime Minister.
Previously local tourists had to pay Rp 50,000 (RM 15) while foreign tourists pay Rp 100,000 (RM 29) to enter. That’s a huge spike!
However, tourists who still want to have a glimpse of the Komodo dragon without paying the hefty $1000 fee by visiting the neighboring island, Padar and Rinca. These islands are not part of the premium membership. However, their price is yet to be decided.
Many have criticized the move as counterproductive, and will potentially affect those who rely on tourism for business.
However, the move is NOT yet official as the government is still considering, so stay tuned for any further updates!