Foreign Tourists in Thailand Required to Carry Cash of Rp 6.5 Million, Will Indonesia Follow Suit?


The discussion surrounding the amount of cash required by foreign tourists when they visit Thailand has gained traction. It’s suggested that tourists should have at least 15,000-20,000 Thai Baht, equivalent to around Rp 6 million per person. These stringent regulations concerning cash entry into Thailand have prompted questions about whether Indonesia might adopt similar measures in the future.

Cash checks at Thai immigration are conducted randomly. However, failure to meet the requirements could result in tourists being denied entry into Thailand.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, addressed the issue, stating that unlike Thailand’s rules, foreign tourists visiting Indonesia don’t need to carry millions of rupiah in cash.

“We don’t have plans to implement such measures. Despite having high-quality tourism, our approach aims to be inclusive,” Sandiaga mentioned during the Weekly Brief with Sandiuno event on Monday (26/2/2024).

He emphasized that Indonesian tourism should cater not only to the affluent but also to those seeking to make a positive environmental impact.

“For instance, tourists engaging in activities to reduce carbon emissions or participating in beach or river clean-up efforts,” Sandiaga explained.

While such activities may not yield financial gains, they contribute positively to the environment and provide valuable experiences. Sandiaga further argued against the notion that requiring tourists to carry large sums of cash would encourage spending.

“I disagree with this approach as tourism should not solely be viewed through the lens of financial capacity,” he added.

Sandiaga also encouraged Indonesians accustomed to traveling to Thailand, who now face the Rp 6.5 million requirement, to consider exploring destinations within Indonesia instead.

Bali Introduces Levy for Foreign Tourists

Meanwhile, the implementation of the foreign tourist levy in Bali has commenced, marking a significant step in the region’s tourism management. The Bali Tourism Office (Dispar) reported a notable collection of Rp9,120,000,000 within a week since February 14, reflecting the initial impact of the new regulation.

Tjok Bagus Pemayun, the Head of Dispar Bali, shared insights into the revenue generated, stating that approximately 60,800 foreign tourists have contributed to this amount. The funds collected are channeled into the regional treasury and managed in accordance with the regional budget mechanism overseen by the Bali Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda). Notably, the allocation of these funds prioritizes addressing environmental concerns and preserving Bali’s rich cultural heritage.

Reflecting on the early success of the levy, the Bali Provincial Government expressed gratitude for the immediate financial contributions from tourists. Tjok emphasized the ongoing commitment to ensure a seamless experience for visitors, with a focus on safety and comfort upon their arrival in Bali.

While acknowledging the revenue generated, officials are keen on continuous improvement. Feedback regarding the inspection locations and overall implementation process is being carefully considered to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the levy system. Plans for regular evaluations every three months aim to optimize the program’s performance and address any operational challenges.