Bali Spa Rejects Tax Increase and Pledges to Take Spa Out from the Entertainment Category

MANGUPURA, Bali (BPN) – The new tax status imposed on the spa business under State Law Number 1 of 2022 continues to attract massive refusal and criticism from spa and tourism actors.

In Bali, spa business actors who are members of the Bali Spa Bersatu community show a strong reaction against the new tax of 40 to 75 percent and questioned the inclusion of Spa in the entertainment category.

I Gusti Ketut Jayeng Saputra, Chair of the Bali Bersatu, stated that spas belong in the health and fitness category rather than the entertainment category.

He continued, that Article 58 (2) of Law Number 1 of 2022 stipulates a tax of 40 – 75 percent will have impacts on the Spa and tourism industry as a whole because Spas in Bali have become an icon of health tourism.

“Moreover, in 2009 Bali was named the world’s best spa destination and this needs to be maintained, but do not include it in the entertainment category,” he said in a press conference at The 101 Bali Fontana hotel, Friday (January 12).

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Meanwhile, Debra Maria, General Manager of Taman Air Spa, said that she was shocked by the regulation, especially since it had not been socialized beforehand.

Debra criticized the government’s decision to increase the spa tax at a time when Bali tourism is just recovering due to the pandemic that resulted in significant losses for spa businesses.

“How could the government do this? We have just recovered from the pandemic when at that time we were closed and suffered huge losses,” she said.

Debra explained the spa businesses in Bali are facing several issues, one of which is a therapist crisis. Therefore, this tax increase will only worsen the situation and one of the worst possibilities is that there will be no more spa businesses in Bali.

“Should this be put into effect, our spa will close. In the future, Balinese therapists and spas will only be found abroad,” she explained.

I Ketut Sudata Yasa from Ubud Wellness also strongly rejected this tax increase and requested the government to revoke the regulation.

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“We ask the government to remove spas out of the entertainment category. Because spas should be in the health category, not entertainment,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, legal representatives for the Bali Spa Bersatu community, Mohammad Ahmadi and Mohammad Hidayat, said that they have taken legal action by requesting a judicial review from the Indonesian Constitutional Court (MK).

Ahmadi said that Law Number 1 of 2022 does not pay attention to the actual definition of Spa business activities.

At the end of the press conference, the Spa business actors signed a petition to cancel the regulation and eliminate the definition of Spa in the entertainment category.

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