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Head Hunting Season Now Open

Chinese Government Asks Indonesian Government to Halt Destructive "Head Selling" Practice.

(6/15/2009) BisnisBali reports that the China National Tourism Authority (CNTA) has called on Indonesia to stop the practice of "selling heads" among Chinese tourists visiting the country. "Selling Heads" is the practice in which the right to guide visiting Chinese tourists is purchased by travel agents and guides who then recoup their investment through oftentimes exorbitant commissions received from restaurants and shops.

Eddy Sunyoto, the Chairman for Promotion and Marketing for the Indonesia Association of Travel Agents (ASITA), told the press that the CNTA has called on law enforcement officials and the government of Indonesia to end the practice seen as detrimental interests and the overall holiday experience of Chinese holidaymakers.

The government of China recently passed of consumer protection law. Part of that legislation seeks to curb the practice of "head selling" that sees Chinese tourists "pushed" to undertake numerous activities, such as shopping, spas, rafting and other transactions forced upon them by avaricious guides. These activities are often done at the expense of tourists' limited time to enjoy the natural wonder and culture of Bali, detracting from the overall destination experience.

Sunyoto admitted that a number of registered travel agents are actively engaged in "selling heads" when serving Chinese travelers.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Tourism for the province of Bali, Ida Bagus Kade Subhisku, threatened that he will show "no mercy" for companies engaging in "selling heads."

Subhisku has held meetings with the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI) and ASITA to curb the practices of illegal guides.