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When Less is More

Bali Government Freezes the Issuance of New Travel Agency Licenses. Licenses Held by Non-Operating Agencies to be Cancelled.

(4/26/2010) The provincial government of Bali has decided to stop issuing new licenses for travel agents in Bali. According to Beritabali.com and Kompas.com, the decision was prompted by the excessive number of licensed agents, now approaching 800 companies of which only around 300 are operationally active.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika, speaking at his monthly "open forum" on Saturday, April 24, 2010, said the temporary freeze on new travel agency licenses was due to the large number of non-functioning travel companies. The governor is also considering revoking licenses of dormant companies in order to avert precipitating the buying and selling of licenses.

'Those (travel companies) that are inactive, just revoke them. Why bother to make new licenses that are not being used," explained Pastika.

The governor also warned that he would revoke the licenses of companies discovered to be involved in the "buying and selling of heads." This is a practice in which visitors, usually from the Chinese market, are sold to the highest bidder who recoups their costs by compelling guests to only eat and shop at establishments paying high commissions. Such practices, warns Pastika, threaten to destroy the image of Bali tourism.

Concluding his comments, the governor said, "travel agents must be responsible for providing maximum levels of service in order that tourists are satisfied and wish to return to Bali in the future."