Indonesia's Komodo Island Open at $1000 Annual Fee for Tourists

Indonesia’s Komodo Island Will Remain Open – But Tourists Will Now Have to Pay $1000 Annual Fee to Visit

From Jan 2020, visitors to Komodo Island will have to pay a $1000 annual pass fee.

Earlier this year, Indonesia announced its plans to close Komodo Island (home to its prehistoric namesake, the Komodo dragon) for a year starting January 2020.

In March, police in Indonesia arrested five people for smuggling Komodo dragons and selling them for medicinal use. Subsequently, this led the government to consider putting up a ban in Komodo Island for a year, so that the exotic species would have time to recover in numbers. Locals were also asked to move out of the island

However, Indonesia’s environment and forestry minister has now revealed that plans to close the island have been scrapped. New studies have concluded that the population of the dragons, which can grow up to three meters long, are stable in numbers. 

Despite canceling the ban, plans to train rangers, improve tourist sites and open a research centre for Komodo dragons will continue. And starting next year, the island will be marketed as a premium tourist destination with up to a $1000 annual membership fee to visit. 

This membership allows for multiple revisits within the year. Non-premium members will be able to visit other islands where the dragons live such as Padar and Rinca islands within the Komodo National Park. 

The Komodo National Park attracted over 176, 000 tourists in 2018. According to data, there is an estimate of 5,700 Komodo dragons in the wild, with 1727 on the island. Previously, tourists were charged RP150,000 (SG$14.35) to enter the island.

Also Read: Komodo Island Travel Guide

Image credits: Pixabay 

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Alicia Chong
Alicia Chong

Besides dreaming of far-fetched locations, Alicia enjoys training herself and others on ice in figure skating.

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