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Ban on Boondoggles

Buleleng Lawmakers Say Money Expended on Overseas Tourism Promotion Trips Better Spent on Repairing North Bali Tourism Attractions

(11/17/2013) As reported by Bali Post, Legislators in the regency of Buleleng in North Bali are protesting the use of public funds for overseas promotion trips, saying these funds would best be used for the repair and maintenance of tourism objects.

Commission B of the Buleleng House of Representatives (DPRD-Buleleng) has told a number of regional officials, including the head of Buleleng Culture and Tourism Office, that it would be better if they stayed at home and avoided spending large amounts on tourism promotion trip to London and elsewhere.

At a meeting held at DPRD-Buleleng on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the chairman of Commission B, Putu Mangku Budiasa, declared overseas promotion trips were ineffective. Instead, he suggested that the monies spent on travel should be used to repair and upgrade Buleleng tourism objects; a move Budiasa think a program of repairs would bring a better return on investment to local taxpayers.

Among the tourism objects and area Budiasa feels are in need of funding for repairs and maintenance are:

Budiasa called for a freeze on spending for overseas promotion in 2014 by Buleleng officials.

The head of the Culture and Tourism office for Buleleng, Ketut Warkadea discounted the DPRD’s criticism, saying funds allocated for promotional trips comes from pre-set allocations in the Hotel and Restaurant Tax that cannot be unilaterally reallocated to new areas.

Saying Budiasa’s recommendation was “extremely naïve,” Warkadea said his office would continue to undertake both domestic and international promotional trips funded by Hotel and Restaurant Tax.