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Tourism Stars Shine Bright

Two Bali Shop Girls Recognized for Honesty: They Insist 'We Were Just Being Balinese.'

(12/20/2001) During the first week of December 2001, Singapore Airlines hosted a group of journalists from 6 countries to come to Bali and witness first-hand the absolute calm and peace that prevails on the island. During the course of their visit the members of the international press visited hotels, met with government officials, top police officers, and even managed to partake in some of Bali's legendary shopping.

It was, in fact, the shopping that most impressed one journalist, Ms. Wrinsey Tan of TTG Asia and thoroughly convinced her that Bali is indeed a very safe place to visit.

Squeezing in a bit of shopping during the press trip, Wrisney visited one of Bali's casual fashion shops - Kaiia located in the Kuta Square shopping complex. In the course of paying for her purchase, she left a sum of money equivalent to a shop girl's wages for an entire week. Unaware of her oversight, she left the store to continue shopping in the area. Meanhwhile, two female clerks from Kaiia, Ni Luh Gede Warsani and Rahayu Sektiowati, scoured the shopping center seeking the Singapore journalist in order to return her money.

The girls were eventually successful in their search and Wrisney was so impressed with their honesty that she wrote of her experience to the local Singapore Airlines Manager, Mr. Ang Beng Siong. In the words of Wrisney, "being from the region, I never had doubts about Bali's safety, however this incident has reinforced my belief further because if the island really is unsafe and the people so fearsome as so many from afar have feared, you would never be able to find anyone who would bother to do what they did. So here are my two votes for Bali."

Equally impressed with the young ladies' honesty, the Bali Tourism Board and the Provincial Government of Bali presented the two shopkeepers with awards of appreciation and gift certificates from local retailers. The awards were presented at a lunch and press conference sponsored by the Hard Rock Hotel Bali on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 and was presented by Dr. Pitana on behalf of the Government and Mr. A.A. Gede Rai and Mr. Made Suryawan for the Bali Tourism Board.