The Mentawai regency and legislative council have announced that they will be introducing a surfing tax in 2016. “We only get the name, garbage, and environmental damage,” said the Metawai Islands Deputy Regent Rijel Samaloisa. “There is no regulation that allows us to collect tax.” The bylaws being drafted also impose a tax on scuba divers, cruise ships, and restaurants and home stays. If passed, these new taxes will help the country construct supporting facilities at a number of surf spots such as jetties, moors, health facilities, roads, transportation, and security. It is hoped that the new taxes will generate over Rp 35 billion [US $2.7 million] annually.
Located in the Indian Ocean just off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, the Mentawai Islands are known for being home to some of the best waves on the planet. In an average year, the region sees over 5,000 foreign surf tourists each year, but last year, according to the Jakarta Post, over that number reached over 7,000. For visitors, the tax is expected to be US $76 for 15-day access. Boat tours will also be charged US $380 for 15-day access. Permission to shoot a documentary or surf film will run filmmakers US $1520.