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(3/11/2002) Bouquets from Ibu Meity
On the occasion of Bali Update's fourth birthday, Meity Robot, the President of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA) firstname.lastname@example.org, sent the following e-mail bouquet to the Bali Update team:
Happy 4th Anniversary and congratulations for creating and maintaining a fantastic communications tool for the tourism industry. I'm sure that you've done and are still doing a great job. You're the only person I can think of who is so creative and innovative.
Once again my sincere congratulations and keep up the good work!
Golden Eggs Under Threat
Commenting on Garuda Orient Holiday's Nick Deacock's Editorial in Edition #285 of Bali Update, Hetty Verolme, email@example.com, of Australia commented:
I fully agree with Nick Deacock of Garuda Orient Holidays. Australian tourists are now going more to Thailand as they say it is cheaper.
For a long time now the government in Bali is killing the goose which lays the golden eggs.
Not only for this proposed US$50.00 fee but also for allowing that more and more hotels to be built every day in Bali. The competition is great for the occupation of so many rooms in Bali and the events of 11 September show what will happen to the tourist-flow ... Wake up - the goose may not have many eggs left.
This Cow Won't Give Milk
Dale Morris, a reader from Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org, writes:
For what it is worth, the increased Airport service charge is (already) enough to change destinations. Little by Little more Australians are changing destinations from Indonesia to other places kinder to the tourist dollar. AUS$100 for our family will go a long way in Phuket. The tourist cow will only yield so much milk.
Fight Corruption Instead
An Australian reader, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote:
I'm a self-funded retiree and an additional A$100 will curtail my travels to the Isle of Smiles. If the Indonesian government wants to restrict the influx of 'drunken yobbos' - the impost will not mean anything to the wilder young on football tours, but the mature and quieter side of the market will dwindle.
If they really need the money, can I suggest that they expend their energies reducing official corruption instead?
Beyond Our Budget
Raeleene Ryan, AGRFRYAN@bigpond.com, from Australia wrote to say:
Thank you for the information that I have located of your web site on Bali.
As a family and extended family looking to travel to your country this year we will certainly be looking closely at the extra cost the visa fee will add to our travel. As we have never been there, we were looking forward to going but if the fee goes ahead then that an extra AUD$400 we will be looking (again) as I don't know if we could afford it.
It's About the Customer
Rod Wilkinson email@example.com, of Cairns, Australia wrote:
With regard to the visa debate, an old business rule comes to mind "if we don't look after the customer, someone else will."
Not Clever, At All
Graham Hornel CEO of the Questbay Group, firstname.lastname@example.org, sent the following comments:
Since September 11, 2001, an already very competitive industry has faced incredible challenges. Even "sister destinations" are openly willing to take full advantage of a competitor's turmoil or problems. Such tactics are hard to argue against - or to combat.
If Indonesia was benefiting from a cohesive, well-managed and well-funded destination marketing effort coordinated at national level with realistic support from the provinces, then knee-jerk proposals like visa fees might have some validity.
Since there has been and still is no such effort by comparison to even the smallest ASEAN destinations, introduction of any further barriers to selling Indonesia as a worthwhile travel destination have no such validity or rationale.
Better - much better - those who come up with such ill-thought proposals (should) alternatively invest their creativity in determining how all involved in Indonesian Tourism can truly lift their collective game and can begin to work productively together towards winning a fair market share for their destination.
This will not happen by accident - and imposing barriers like visa fees and the likes clearly is not the clever way to go in 2002.
A Dissenting Voice
And finally, an American reader, David Bennet, PetaluPost@aol.com, wrote, suggesting the proposed $50 visa fee is not worthy of all this debate:
I don't understand all the bad vibes about the $50 surcharge at the airport. I was in Bali last year for 3 weeks from Sonoma County, California. I spent more than $50 at the airport in San Francisco and the airport in Japan before even arriving in Bali 20 hours later.
If Bali needs $50, so be it. I spent nearly $200 in extra costs during my round trip airline flights which is money I'd rather see in the hands of the Bali government.
All those Australians who have Bali in their backyard, shame on you for dickering.
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