Dozens of guides from the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Guide Association (HPI) marched to the Immigration office in Jimbaran on Monday to demand stricter monitoring for foreign guides operating illegally in the country.
The little demo was prompted by an incident—which is now under Kuta Police investigation—in the island’s touristic area of Tuban that went down on Thursday last week. A “discussion” between an Indonesian driver E, 36, and two unlicensed guides—one Indonesian, MY, 33, and A, from China—escalated and resulted in E getting beat up by MY.
Head of HPI Bali I Nyoman Nuarta, says that last week’s incident gives reason for Immigration to crack down on foreigners, especially Chinese and Russians, who come to Bali on tourist visas and work on the island as guides without the proper required licensing.
HPI Bali is organized in partnership with Bali Province’s Department of Tourism.
“We want the case to be an entry point for related parties, especially Immigration to conduct supervision on foreigners in Bali, especially those working as guides,” Nuarta said on Monday, as quoted by Berita Dewata.
While HPI has an army of guides who can speak 11 different languages, the problem is that there are still very few who can speak Russian and Mandarin, which opens up opportunities for foreigners from Russia and China to come in and work illegally as guides, says Nuarta.
Under Regulation no. 5 of Pramuwisata Bali, foreigners are allowed to work as guides in Bali, but must get special training and a certificate in the arts and culture of Bali, explained Nuarta.