Indonesian authorities have decided to keep Komodo Island (the home of those incredible oversized lizards known as Komodo Dragons) open, but they’re looking to introduce a hefty fee to limit tourists & protect the wildlife.
The proposed new fee could be up to US$1000 per person, with the money going towards the conservation efforts to protect the dragons.
This is a big jump from the current fees which see locals pay less than a dollar while visitors pay US$10.50 to enter.
Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said the cost to visit the island of the Komodo dragons has been set “intentionally high” to control the number of tourists that enter.
Indonesian media outlet Antara News reported that there will be two membership levels for entering the island.
Premium members would be allowed to visit Komodo island itself, while non-premium members will be able to visit other islands in the Komodo national park, where dragons also live.
Komodo Island is part of the UNESCO-listed Komodo National Park, a cluster of islands in East Nusa Tenggara that includes Rinca Island, Padar Island, and other smaller islands.
Although there will be no ban on tourists the environment ministry is still planning some sustainable changes for Komodo island.
This includes a Komodo dragon research centre a revamp of other tourist spots. The Komodo Dragons are the largest living lizard species on earth.
This giant reptile averages up to 3 metres and 70 kilograms. Komodo Dragons are endangered animals and are currently on the vulnerable list.
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