The governor of an Indonesian province plans to make tourists pay a hefty fee of US$500 to see the famous Komodo Dragons.
East Nusa Tenggara governor Victor Laidkodat plans to charge visitors US$500 per person to enter Komodo National Park, where the Komodo Dragons reside, news.com.au reported.
He claimed the high prices were to boost the prestige and reputation of the conservation area. Laiskodat told kompas.com that the park was a rare and special place and added that the park was for “extraordinary people” and said those without enough money should not enter.
The governor also pointed out that in the future tourist ships may have to pay US$50,000 to enter Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After a fire broke out at the park in August, the Indonesian government proposed limiting entry to only 5,000 guests every month as a way of beefing up security. The fire was caused by a guest’s discarded cigarette.
A mandatory online pre-entry registration was also included in the government’s proposal. At present, 10,000 visitors are allowed entry every month.
The Komodo Dragon is the largest monitor lizard in the world, with a maximum length of 10 feet and a maximum weight of 150 pounds. The lizard is said to be very aggressive and uses venom to weaken its prey before consuming it.