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Bali's Guiding Lights

Government Preparing Massive Sweeping Operations Against Illegal Guides Working in Bali.

(5/11/2009) The provincial tourism authority of Bali (Disparda) is pledging to get tough on unlicensed guides operating on the island and will soon dispatch enforcement teams to capture and prosecute illegal guides.

The Chief of Bali tourism, Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu, told Bisnis Bali that each enforcement team will be comprised of 14-15 persons drawn from his office, the Bali police, state prosecutors and related agencies.

Insisting that his office is committed to cracking down on illegal guides but is keeping tight lipped on the specific dates and locations for the planned sweeping operation to apprehend errant guides. Subhiksu has, however, commented separately that the initial operations against illegal guides would focus initially on two regencies and one municipality: Badung, Gianyar and Denpasar.

The head of the Badung regency tourism office, Drs. I Putu Budiasa, said he hoped the tourism offices of the respective regencies would be invited to join the enforcement teams in order to benefit from their local knowledge. Citing one example from his own jurisdiction, Budiasa said the sweeping teams need to move against unlicensed guides working at the Bali Museum in downtown Denpasar. His efforts to bring illegal guides in the past has been thwarted by the fact that only the provincial government has the legal authority to move again illegal guides operating within the regencies.

Those wishing to qualify as licensed guides in Bali must be local residents, meet minimum educational standards, and successfully complete a series of training course provide by the province of Bali.

There are currently an estimated 8,000 licensed guides living in Bali.