Hundreds of Korean-speaking guides staged a strike and demonstration on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at the provincial Tourism Office in downtown Denpasar.
The strike was prompted by disputes over the fees paid to Korean-speaking tour guides, amounts the guides claim are less than that earned by construction workers in Bali.
As reported by Seputarbali.com, Ketut Sumadi, one of the Korean-speaking guides from an association representing 600 guides working at 31 travel agents said the guides were not prepared to return to work until an agreement was achieved on their future fees.
Sumadi said the past payment of fees to Korean speaking guides, many of whom are Balinese, has been very unfair. He claimed that travel agents promoting tourism to South Korea are under-selling Bali resulting in very low fees to tour guides.
He explained that the fee paid to handle South Korean tourists for a 4-5 day program is only Rp. 100,000 Ė Rp. 125,000 (US$10.40-US$13.00) while construction workers earn on the average Rp. 70,000 (US$7.30) per day. He claims that guides, who often work from 6:00 am until 11:00 pm should be paid twice the current fee.
The Korean-peaking guides are seeking Rp. 293,000 (US$30.50) per day for handling a group of 1-6 guests on a 3-day tour program.
The guides and their employers remain at a deadlock.
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