Announcing the 2007 Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee System
The Raja Ampat Regency Government is proud to announce the introduction of a tourism entrance fee system effective August 12th 2007. In accordance with Regency Law Number 63 and 64, the 2007 entrance fee for foreign visitors is Rp 500,000 (approximately US$55) for which they will receive a waterproof plastic entrance tag. The annual tag will normally be valid from January 1st until January 31st of the following year. The 2007 tags will be valid from 12 August 2007 until 31 January 2008. All Indonesian visitors from outside Raja Ampat are required to pay Rp 250,000. For 2007 Indonesian tourists will get a tag, but in future years they will receive an entry card. Visitors are required to carry their tags or cards at all times and they can be easily fixed to guests’ snorkeling or diving gear or to their kit bag. The entrance fee system has been adapted from the very successful Bonaire and Bunaken Marine Park systems. The 2007 tag features the endemic epaulette shark Hemiscyllium freycineti, one of over 1200 fish species found in Raja Ampat, THE most biodiverse marine region in the world recorded to date.
Tags will be available for purchase at the Sorong, Indonesia airport, the main point of entry for Raja Ampat. Additionally, tags can be purchased in advance from the Conservation International (CI) office in Bali, Indonesia. Tags should be purchased in advance by boats entering Raja Ampat from ports other than Sorong. Each tag purchase will result in two receipts, one for Rp150,000 for the Raja Ampat government tourism management fee and another one for Rp 350,000 for the Raja Ampat conservation and community development fee. Enforcement of the entrance fee system will be by spot checks by official patrols. The revenues from the entrance fee are managed by a multi-stakeholder “Raja Ampat Tourism Entrance Fee Management Team” which includes representatives from the fisheries department, tourism department, conservation organizations, tourism stakeholders and community representatives. According to the law, 100% of the tourism management fee will fund tourism department programs, whereas the conservation and community development fee is split as follows: 40% for conservation and enforcement programs, 40% for community development programs and 20% to administer the fee system.
We greatly appreciate your support and cooperation with this fee system. Conservation of Raja Ampat’s spectacular marine habitats and biodiversity requires long term funding. In addition, the local communities who own these reefs need to see direct benefits of tourism through community programs that will improve their quality of life. For more information about Raja Ampat and the user fee system please visit our web site at www.diverajaampat.org.
Continue for an article on the announcement of the tag system and its ties to the network of seven marine protected areas declared earlier this year in Raja Ampat…