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Police to Help Curb Unscrupulous Tourism Practice

Heavy Fines for Those Convicted of 'Trading Tourists'.

(8/4/2003) The Balinese Police force have pledged their full support to efforts being undertaken to stop the illegal and unethical "trading of tourists," said to be rife in some sections of the Mandarin-speaking tourist market to Bali.

The buying and selling of Mandarin speaking tourist is a practice in which Taiwanese visitors to the island are sold off to the highest bidder who then recoups his investment through exorbitant commissions and overcharging.

Concerned that this practice will damage Bali's image, the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), Indonesian Guide Association (HPI), Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Bali Transportation Association (PAWIBA) and the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) have joined forces to abolish the unethical trade in tourist visitors.

Following a meeting between representatives of the coalition and Bali's Police Chief, Irjen. Made Mangku Pastika, the police have committed to lend their full assistance to stopping the practice.

Regulations in place stipulate fines of Rp. 100 million (approximately US$ 5,800) and revocation of operating licenses for registered travel agents convicted of "trading in tourists." Licensed guides involved in the practice are liable to Rp. 50 million fines (approximately US$ 2,900) and revocation of their guide license.