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Bali: Wired or Unplugged?

US$1.9 million System of Tourism Information "E-Kiosks" Fails in the Execution.

(4/9/2011) Electronic "E-Kiosk" installed at 275 locations by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to dispense information to visitors have largely come to naught.

As reported by the Bali Post, it is both ironic and sad that some of these machines that cost the government a total Rp. 17 billion (US1.9 million) are now found sitting at tourist gateways unplugged and inoperable.

According to the manager of the Sangeh Nature Area, Made Sumohon, the machine, which resembles an ATM, is not operating at a maximum level. What's more, the information presented by the "E-Kiosk" often brings complaints from island visitors because the information presented is out of date. "After being installed for only a week, the machine was already broken. When it was first installed, indeed, many tourists looked at the machine, but because the data was incomplete, no body wanted to bother with it anymore," explained Sumohon.

Sangeh - home to a monkey forest often visited by tourists, initially received two "E-Kiosk" machines. The condition of the two machines today is poor. "The machines have not been cared for, moreover, the sheltered area for the machine is almost falling down," said Sumohon.

A similar story is told by Wayan Selamet, the manager of the Ubud Monkey Forest. The machine installed there to support "Visit Indonesia Year 2008" no longer works. "From the time it was first installed, it never worked. The installer admitted the equipment supporting the machine was incomplete."

The government initially created shelters for the machines. However, one by one the machines are being cannibalized for spare parts to repair the dwindling number of "E-Kiosks."

One hotel in South Bali contacted by balidiscovery.com, said the brightly colored machine was dropped off without prior notice at the delivery dock where it was immediately sent to a storage area where it has remained unused and in its shipping case ever since.

A number of ranking officials from the provincial tourist office of Bali and the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) told the Bali Post they knew nothing of the care and upkeep of the "E-Kiosk" system, although this job should have been delegated to local tourism offices by the central government.

Representative from the provincial and Denpasar tourist offices both claim little knowledge of the machines and who exactly is entrusted with their continuing care and updating.