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Mentawai tax plan aims to tap charter boat industry

Mentawais © Hannah Fletcher



Surf Travel

Plan calls for tax collection on boat charters berthing

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 April, 2015 - Mentawai regency and legislative council are preparing three new bylaws aimed at tapping revenue from its world famous surfing and tourism players, which the administration claims has created zero income for the regency. Mentawai is considered one of the best surfing locations in the world and has been visited by about 5,000 foreign surfers annually since the 1990s.

Last year, more than 7,000 surfers visited the islands. Last month, Mentawai Islands regency submitted three draft bylaws on tourism, management and promotion of surfing attractions and sports, and recreation tax collection, for approval by the regency council.

Once approved, the bylaws, Rijel said, would regulate tax collection on cruise ships berthing in Mentawai, surfers, restaurants and home stays. They were adopted from the bylaws implemented in marine tourism paradise Raja Ampat regency in West Papua. “Based on estimates, we can earn at least Rp 35 billion [US$2.7 million] annually from taxes regulated by the ordinances,” said Rijel.

The ordinances are expected to be effective as of 2016. The implementation of the bylaws would be followed by the construction of supporting facilities at a number of surfing locations, such as jetties, moors, health facilities and roads, as well as transportation modes and security. Mentawai Islands have pristine beaches with sunbaked sands and has consistently been a popular surf destination.

There are about 400 surf spots in Mentawai, with 13 of them offering international competition-scale waves as high as 6 meters, such as around Nyang Nyang, Karang Majat, Karoni, Mainuk and Katiet islands. Read the full article at 

Syofiardi Bach

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