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Guess Who Came to Dinner and Stayed?

Local Businesses Complaining About Growing Number of Bali Restaurants Operated by Foreigners on Tourist Visas

(6/30/2013) Bisnis Bali reports that many restaurants in South Kuta operated illegally by foreigners are destroying competing businesses run by indigenous people.

Bisnis Bali focused their investigation on South Kuta – particularly in the Ungasan and Pecatu areas. They discovered a number of dining venues managed and owned by foreign nationals. I Made Sumerta, a community leader in Pecatu, said there were many restaurants threatening the livelihoods of Indonesians and operated by foreign nationals who have no working papers and run their businesses while holding only tourist visas.
 
In some instances, according to Sumerta, the restaurant owners are married to local women or use a pliant local "partner" to register their business.
 
“Whether these people have a work visa or a holiday visa has to be clarified,” demanded Sumerta.
 
To enforce visa rules, however, village and traditional leaders lack the proper legal authority. Because of this, Sumerta is calling for the relevant officials to conduct "sweeping" operations to check on the status of the foreign nationals running the local eateries.
 
Continuing, Sumerta warned: “I am worried that the increasing prevalence of these unclear businesses will destroy locally-owned businesses. There are more and more of these dubious  sorts of ‘warungs,’ restaurants and simple food stands.”
 
According to Ketut Mudita, the owner of Sakana Resto, Bali as a tourism destination has its own special appeal for those wanting to open a culinary business. He said, however, that he never expected foreign visitors coming to Bali would become involved in the operations of simple restaurants.
 
Foreign visitors opening restaurants in Bali while only holding a tourist visa are clearly illegal and results in lost tax revenues to the regency.