[Bali to Regulate the Pricing of Tourism Products?] our coverage of a suggestion by Bali legislators that the pricing of hotels and other tourism products should be regulates earned some spirited commentary from our readers:
• Roby Read wrote:
"If they do put the price of hotels up, you wont get the Aussie families coming over. We come to Bali because it's a cheap holiday for the whole family."
• Michael Lastra added:
"What idiocy! Price yourselves out of the market and KILL the market . . .Price fixing NEVER fixes anything, it only encourages bad operators to continue operating BADLY . .. Prices and competition are a result of market realities and value. The good hotels and villas have no problem demanding and receiving rates of $200 to $1000 per night."
• Bill from Colorado contributed:
"The idea of 'price fixing' lodging, food and tourist activities is another way to destroy the tourist industry on Bali. People come to enjoy a great holiday and not have to spend a fortune on it. This idea, together with the 'personal effects taxation' on arrival is a means to end tourism on Bali. If you raise the prices on everything, tourists will go to the other Asia destinations with better food, beaches and activities."
[Bali Airport Arrival Hall Expanding by 66%] reporting that the immigration hall at Bali's airport will grow by two-thirds with an expansion program to be completed in December 2010, prompted to the following emails to our mailbox :
• Geoff in Australia wrote:
"Great news, but, can they please increase the Immigration Lanes and Officers by 50% as well, space is fine, piped music is annoying, more (non corrupt) Officials is the answer!"
• Nicholas in Canada wrote to say:
"Your headline states that the new airport arrival hall will 'accommodate longer lines of visitors.' Does this mean the endless lineups will continue as before? The only answer is to abolish "visa on arrival." This will expedite transit and discourage officials whose corrupt practices are only too well known."
• Jeremy succinctly commented:
"Yes, the immigration bottleneck at the airport will still be a problem. Process visas in flight. That would be great."
• Joe Maechler sent the following:
"It's nice to hear about improvements at Bali's International Airport. Actually, the situation would not be so bad, if all the Immigration booths would be open when several planes arrive at once. It doesn't make sense to have longer lines when the Immigration counters are not open! In fact, all the Money Changer booth are absolutely not necessary. This also be space which could be used in a better way. . . The Airport is not too small, but not well managed."
[Customs to Tighten Control on Accompanying Luggage ] detailing plans by Custom's officials to strictly enforce the value of personal effects visitors can carry duty free is still stimulating a steady flow of mail.
• Andri from Australia wrote:
"My new luggage only is already worth $800! Unless what they meant is $250 of gifts? Many country impose limits on gifts tourist can bring to the country. But none of the countries every count piece by piece the items in tourist bags - unless the excess value is really over."
• Elaine Sullivan of Australia wrote:
"This is nothing but a wealth tax! I can travel without all the electronic extras, but the ones who will lose out on my next trip are my many Balinese friends for whom I usually take small gifts."
•Bruce Wyder said:
"This idea to tax duty free personal goods is a little strange. My computer is four years old and has no commercial value. My mobile phone is five years old and has no commercial value. My camera is three years old and, again, has no commercial value. On the other hand, I do have clothing that is new, so are they thinking of taxing clothing?? Obviously someone did not think this through. I spend a lot of money each year in Bali. I can go to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Taiwan, China, Hawaii or a multitude of other places and spend my money without hassle. Tourism is reliant on the goodwill of tourists, the harder you make it for people the more likely they are to go elsewhere."
• Bruce Little added:
"Unbelievable, just another opportunity for increased corruption and payoffs at customs. Nowadays most people visiting Bali will have cell phone, computer and camera and jewelry far exceeding allowances indicated. Repeal this stupid regulation before it hurts tourism and the Balinese economy. If it happens to me this year when I arrive it will be my last visit as a long staying/spending guest."
• Robert Thomas had this to say:
"This is a joke, surely? Just how can it be implemented? I know that every case is scanned for the extra bottle of booze etc with most of the "fines' going to the airport staff 'divi' pool . . . The regulation's enforcement means we will be delayed longer than ever while we negotiate our 'fine.' I have been visiting Bali 3 times a year since 1998 and just love the place. Should this not be a joke, it will be an end to my twelve year love affair with your beautiful island."
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