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Misguided in Paradise

Unlicensed Guides Charged with Damaging Baliís Image by Failing to Understand Balinese Culture

(9/21/2012) Illegal and unlicensed guides operating in Bali are being cited as the cause of poor service to visitors coming to the island that results in damage to the destination’s reputation.

Unlicensed guides are mentioned by Drs I Putu Anom, Dean of the Tourism Faculty at Bali’s Udayana University, as the fault of poor enforcement by Bali officials. Moreover, Anom estimated that as many as 50% of the guides now operating in Bali are unlicensed.

Quoted in Radar Bali, Anom called on the provincial tourism authorities to take the necessary action to end operations by illegal guides as provided for under the Provincial Tourism Law of 2008. In order to ensure better quality guiding services in the future, he said the recruitment standards for new guides must be tightened.

Anom said that preference should be given to the recruitment of Hindu guides who, by virtue of their faith, will posses an intrinsic understanding of Bali’s cultural heritage. Moreover, Anom said that tourists would be more impressed with guides who have  a firm cultural and religious connection to the Island.

In terms of enforcement, Anom said that fining illegal guides was insufficient to deter such practice; claiming illegal guides captured by the authorities must also be subjected to a period of imprisonment.