Indonesian tourism operators and businesses have begun a one-month strike to protest the increased entry fee to Komodo Island, home of the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, which has risen to AUD$252 per year due to conservation initiatives.
Authorities in East Nusa Tenggara province began imposing an annual fee of 3.75 million rupiah ($252) to enter Komodo Island on 1 August where previously, domestic visitors were charged $5 per entry and tourists paid $10.
The only ticket now available is the full annual fee as the Indonesian government aims to restrict visitors as part of conservation efforts, initially proposing to limit access to Komodo Island in 2018.
It’s still significantly less than the USD$1,000 fee that was suggested in 2019 however, 24 local tourism associations and workers are demanding the old fee structure be restored and have agreed to strike for one month. This means all tourism businesses, including hotels and boats.
Government officials said tourists can still go to other islands within the Komodo National Park and see the giant lizards roam freely for just $3.50.
Listed by National Geographic as one of the world’s top 10 destinations, Komodo National Park is home to more than 5,000 rare giant lizards and attracts more than 10,000 visitors per month.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said last year that the Komodo dragon is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change.
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