Made in China, Sold in Bali
Deputy Governor of Bali Raids Shops Selling Overpriced, Imported Goods to Chinese Tourists and Employing Illegal Chinese Workers
In a series of surprise visits to shops serving Chinese tourists in Bali, the Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace) was surprised to learn that the stores in question sold no Bali-made products and employed overseas Chinese as sales assistants. Some of the shops are believed to operate as “fronts” for Mainland Chinese businesses using the “borrowed” names of Indonesian citizens.
Angered at these discoveries and accompanied on his visit by representatives of the Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) and the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI), Cok Ace promised he would take immediate steps to remedy the problem.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the flash inspection visits were prompted by reports in the mass media in Bali alleging that 5 day packages including hotel and flights between China and Bali were being sold for as little as $400 per person. These very inexpensive packages were being subsidized by “no breathing room” tour packages that compels Chinese traveler to shop in Bali for highly overpriced items. The over-priced items sold to what is essentially a captive Chinese clientile are commissioned at rates of 60% or more to recover the "front-end" discount given in the very low sales price of the air-hotel package.
During the surprise visits the Deputy-Governor also saw indications of off-island payment procedures using Chinese banks that result in off-shore transactions that are free of tax for purchases made by Chinese travelers whilst in Bali.
Cok Ace is now in contact with immigration authorities to check the status of Chinese sales staff working in the shops serving the Chinese market while inventories are being takeb to determine what percentage of the items on sale actually originate from Bali.
The Deputy Governor says Bali needs to be more selective in bringing tourists to Bali, focusing on quality before quantity.