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Bali's Tourism E-Kiosks Ineffective?

Local Press Questions the Execution of US$1.8 million Computerized Information Terminals Intended to Assist Bali Visitors.

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BisnisBali has labeled the governmentís use and deployment of electronic e-kiosks - computerized tourism information centers distributed at high traffic areas across the Island Ė as ineffective.

Using local data bases and Internet technologies to link visitors with the latest information on Bali tourism, BisnisBali suggests the expensive computerized information terminals as being more attractive than they are useful.

Saying the cost of the units consumed Rp. 17 billion (US$ 1.8 million) of the tourism promotion budget but now stand little used in locations such as at the entrance to the Wangaya Hospital Ė a location well off the traditional beaten track of Bali tourist visitors.

In the words of a local visitor to the Hospital, Ketut Muliarta: "I donít know. What is this thing? But if this equipment is full of information about tourism, as people say it is, maybe it's here for tourist who have (suddenly) become sick. It looks like an ATM machine."

In other locations, such as the Badung market, these e-kiosks have, in the word of the newspaper, become expensive items that are little used, accumulating dust and, in many cases, are poorly installed.

The Chairman of the Bali Guide Association (HPI), I Made Sukadana, said the selection of locations for the e-kiosks such as hospitals and markets was badly targeted for tourist visitors. "Machines designated to assist visitors needing tourism information should be placed in strategic locations, those most visited by tourists," said Sukadana.

Sukadana said the touch-screen e-kiosks intended to support Visit Indonesia Year 2008 is not being fully utilized by tourists and is "not impacting Bali tourism."

According to one major hotel contracted by little was done to effectively socialize the initial launch of the tourism e-kiosks to local tourism stakeholders. In the case of the subject 5-star hotel, a unit was dropped off at the hotel, immediately consigned to a storage area, and has yet to be installed in one of the hotel's public areas months after its delivery.

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