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Illegal Levies Destroying Tourism's Image

Head of Guide Association Call on Tours Companies and the Public to Report Illegal Guide Fees Being Charged at Pura Besakih.

(5/21/2006) Illegal levies charged by tour guides on duty at Bali's famous Mother Temple of Besakih are ruining the image of Bali tourism. That's the opinion of the Chairman of the Bali Guide Association (HPI), Drs. I Made Sukadana, as reported in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Bali.

According to Sukadana, the coercion by "special guides" currently being practiced at Pura Besakih must be stopped by educating the perpetrators, formal reprimands, and even revoking their guide licenses.

Labelling extortion by guides as unethical and a violation of the tour guide's code of practice, the HPI Chairman said guides should receive only the payment of fees established by the tour company contracting their services and by the tourism attraction. The payment of additional tips or gratuities by visitors must be completely voluntary and given for excellent service during the course of a tour

Acknowledging the presence of illegal levies at Pura Besakih, Sukadana called on travel agents and tourists to make formal complaints whenever they encounter illegal levies during visits to Pura Besakih.

Fees charged at Bali tourist objects, including Pura Besakih, are based on fees agreed by HPI, the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), and the Government Tourism Service.