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Exporting Smiles and Good Service to Australia

Western Australian Hotels Exploring Steps to Employ Balinese Hospitality Workers.

(1/6/2007) The recent downturn in the number of Australian visitors to Bali may not mean that Indonesia's near neighbors will have to go without the charm, grace and good service they come to regularly enjoy on an annual holiday to Bali.

Australian press reports tell of efforts underway to obtain short-term working permits for as many as 2000 skilled Balinese hospitality workers to address a critical shortfall in Western Australian hotels. In urgent need, according to Bradley Woods, an executive of the Australian Hotel Association (AHA), are waiters, chefs, kitchen and housekeeping staff to fill positions that are going begging and considered too-hard and too-low-paying for Australian workers.

Woods was quoted as complimenting Bali as an excellent source for hospitality workers. "There are many Balinese companies that can't give enough work to their staff at the moment because of the downturn in the tourism industry over there," Mr Woods said.

Woods is said to be in discussion with Indonesian labor suppliers, the Bali Hotel Association, major hotels in Bali and Australia's Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in steps to allow six and twelve-month working contracts in Australia for Balinese workers.