West Australians looking to travel to Bali are set for a new year bonus, with Indonesian officials looking to scrap a $50 tourist tax, saving families hundreds of dollars. In what an expert has called a “pre-emptive strike” from Indonesia, officials are understood to be days away from announcing the abolition of the $50 entry visa for tourists from several countries, including Australia. The decision will reverse a post-pandemic policy to hit tourists with the arrival fee and see a return to visa-free travel between Indonesia and Australia. An Australian family of four travelling to Bali would save $200, which officials hope will be spent at local stores and restaurants. Indonesia Institute founder Ross Taylor said he understood Indonesian authorities had already signed off on the measures, to start in the new year for visitors. “The Australian market suits the Balinese and is even more important than other markets, because when Aussies get up to Bali . . . we actually get out into the community,” Mr Taylor said. “When we get up there, we go down and sit on beanbags and sip Bintang, we go to little stores. “The Australian tourism dollar in Bali really gets spread around the Balinese economy and that’s very, very important to them.” The decision comes amid a sluggish global economy, moves by other neighbouring South-east Asian nations to scrap entry fees, and the growth in popularity of other tourist markets, such as Japan. “Places like Japan are becoming increasingly a bigger competitor and Thailand has reduced arrival fees or taken them to nothing as well,” Mr Taylor said. “This is like a pre-emptive strike for Indonesia saying, ‘look, Bali is doing really well at the moment, but we want to make sure it does well into the future’.” In 2016, the last time Indonesia scrapped the tax, visitation from Australia increased by 16 per cent, Mr Taylor said. But the visa fee has previously been hailed as a success in Indonesia with Bali Tourism Board chairman Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana earlier this year saying the tax “improved the quality of tourists”. “Income from the tourism tax would help fund a range of measures and prevent Bali from becoming known only as a cheap destination,” he said. “Cheap destinations bring in cheap tourists who tend to cause a lot of problems.” While the savings were set to take effect from January, Mr Taylor said the decision was likely made after Balinese provincial authorities revealed tourists would be hit with a $15 fee to protect and improve the island’s environment and infrastructure.