JAKARTA – A Bali lawmaker called on the administration in the resort island to standardize the prices of tourism services across the island in a bid to boost visitor satisfaction, local media reported Tuesday.
Made Arjaya, the Bali legislative speaker was quoted by the Jakarta globe as saying that the standardization was urgently needed to prevent long-term damage to Bali’s international image as a resort destination.
Arjaya said the current practice by travel agents to sell large tour packages at artificially low prices led to unhealthy competition. Super-discounted prices, he said, mean providers such as hotels and tour operators may give less-than-satisfactory service to customers who have no recourse.
“Travel agents sell tours based on volume, at the expense of the level of service they can actually provide. As a result, many tourists have complained about the services they receive while in Bali,” he said.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has previously cited loss of revenue from the lucrative hotel trade.
He said rooms at many of the upscale hotels in the Nusa Dua resort area were going for between 25 U.S. dollar and 40 U.S. dollar a night as a result of package deals between the hotels and travel agents.
“This practice has to stop, or else our tourism sector will be ruined,” he said. “It’s not right that rooms at a high-class hotel sell for rock-bottom prices.”
Pastika said that besides ruining the island’s reputation as an up market destination, this practice was leaving tourists open to poor service as a result of such low prices.