Fri, 30 May 2003

Pay tourist to come here

Whilst there may be some merit in introducing a stricter visa policy, one cannot help feel that now is not the best time to do it. Especially with respect to Bali, it's a bit like the Americans introducing a visa fee to visit America one week after Sept. 11.

I have a much better idea, which I would like to share with your readers. Instead of asking each tourist to "cough up" another 50 bucks, why not pay them US$50 to come here. I'm sure this would result in a stampede of families rushing to get here thanks to the magnanimosity of the government in Bali's hour of need.

Alright, this may be asking too much. But, seriously what about a voucher for the equivalent of $50 worth of services such as spa and dinner vouchers to be included with each visa. I'm sure many of the hotels and restaurants here would be more than happy to oblige. Even now, what with SARS etc, the average occupancy rate in high-end hotels is only 20 percent to 25 percent.

IAN GREGORY Denpasar, Bali