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Bali Guides Seek a 100% Increase in Guide Fees.

Newly Elected Chairman of Guide Association Wants Current US$10.90 Daily Fee Increased to Improve Living Standards and Professionalism of Island's Guides.

(7/21/2007) Bali's corps of official guides are seeking a 100% increase in the current daily fee of Rp. 100,000 (approximately US$10.90) they earn for leading visitors across the island.

Quoted in the Indonesian language Nusa Bali, the Chairman of the Bali Guide Association (HPI-Bali), Made Sukadana, greeted his recent election to the chairmanship of the HPI-Bali by saying, "if we can, the guide fee should increase 100%."

According to NusaBali, the HPI-Bali will adopt a easygoing approach to obtaining higher fees, seeking initially to start a dialogue with the Bali Chapter of Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) . Higher fees for guide services, according to Sukadana, will improve the living standards of HPI's members and allow the cultivation of a more professional approach to the profession of assisting visitors to the Island.

Complaining of the growing phenomenon of illegal foreign guides in Bali, Sukadana called on the Government to spare no effort in curbing illegal guides. At the same time, he announced plans to establish language proficiency courses in Korean, Russian and Arabic to help create cadres of qualified HPI members able to meet the needs of visitors now being serviced by unlicensed guides.

At the recent general meeting of the HPI-Bali, Sukadana attacked the presence of unlicensed guides in Bali, who, he claims, know little of local culture and are only interested in obtaining commissions from local shops. These illegal guides, he maintains, are destroying Bali's image in the eyes of the world.