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Crackdown on Illegal Guides Planned

Bali Guide Association Promises Tough Action on Unlicensed Guides.

(9/24/2001) The Indonesian Guide Association - (HPI) is planning to undertake an island sweeping to catch unlicensed tour guides. The action - coordinated with Bali's law enforcement authorities, is designed to stop unlicensed guides who are viewed by the HPI, as damaging the image of Bali tourism.

Licensed tour guides in Bali are required to undergo a course of study covering the subjects of culture and history and take a written examination before being licensed to serve tourists.

A spokesman for the Bali HPI, Mr. Ketut Wijaya Manik, complained that unlicensed guides had become so numerous, particularly those speaking Mandarin, that Bali tourism was suffering adverse affects. The guide association is urging local authorities to introduce a program of continual sweeping and have invited the Regional Tourism Service, police, prosecutor's office and the judiciary to control and eliminate unlicensed guides operating in Bali.

According to Mr. Manik, "we've seen the places where unlicensed guides congregate. A crackdown will probably commence after the coming Galungan celebrations (September 26)."

Mr. Manik explained that the unlicensed guides "generally do not master the subjects of culture, tradition and history. Moreover, they are often guilty of visiting temples without the required ceremonial dress, creating a negative example for the tourists they lead."

Bali Discovery Tours only utilizes licensed senior guides in it's regular tour programs.