Plans by the local government to hike entry prices to Komodo National Park – home of the dragons – have hit turbulence after 700 workers on the island went on strike until the end of August in protest at the huge increases in ticket prices.
Workers say the price hike – up from 200,0000 rupiah (US$13) to 3,750,000 rupiah (US$250) – threatens their livelihoods by reducing the number of tourists visiting the Komodo National Park.
Ironically, that’s what the government wants in order to protect the endangered dragons from overexposure to humans.
Indonesia is home to around 3,300 rare Komodo dragons, which can grow to a length of three metres.
Latest figures show that in 2019 Komodo National Park attracted 220,000 visitors.
Visitors are warned not to get too close to the dragons, who have venomous bites, yet several incidents over the years have seen tourists being attacked by the world’s largest lizard.