Friday, January 18, 2008
Visit Indonesia 2008
Clowns to the left of me..Jokers to the right..here I am stuck in the middle with you
Its just not fair, the Stump gets bad press for being always critial of Indonesia but they make it so hard not too!
The powers that be (and the smarts that ain't) have decided that 2008 will be ‘Visit Indonesia Year 2008’ (huh?) and the brainstormers came up with the slogan "Celebrating 100 years of national awakening" (double huh?) which is marginally better english than the first effort “Celebrating 100 years of nation's awakening”. Although to be fair both slogans would not look out of place on the local airline fleet that sports the “Fly is cheap” slogan
However, I digress. Despite the inept slogans, you would think that as it has been declared Visit Indonesia Year 2008’ then perhaps some coordinated efforts would be made to encourage tourism… ha ha tricked ya!
Some background: Of all the variations of "tread lightly" tourists a nation could want to visit, Cruising Sailors are perhaps the best of all. Generally older couples, they tend to visit isolated communtities, visit local markets and villages with their money going straight into the local community. No drunken group assaults on the senses, nor an on-going mass of overwhelming yobbo groups that in time challenge even the strongest culture.
So Indonesia’s answer to the greying goldmines of tourist dollars:
The Jan 08 Issue of Cruising Helmsman magazine reports (sorry no direct link):
Indonesia-bound cruisers slugged with import duty
“Cruisers heading for Indonesia have been warned that Customs Officials in some ports are demanding that foreign yachts must pay and import duty on arrival based on a percentage value of the yacht. This can amount to several thousand dollars.”
The article goes on to say that technically the duty is refundable upon departure but will obviously cause financial hardship in the short term. (Technically refundable? That’s a hoot in its own right. When a friend alerted me to the article, he asked if I thought he would get his money back..To which the answer was not even if the Customs Wallah handed over his first born son as security).
Just to further complicate things, the article states that not all ports are doing this. This bit cracked me up
“In Kupang, for instance they are trying to enforce it but they don’t have the correct forms”
To the Tourism Minister and Customs ..Thanks Guys..You really are tourist attractions in your own right…
Of course, with the stories of piracy and this monumental piece of stupid being printed for the whole world to see, I would not be factoring in any yachties to increase tourism numbers this year.
Filed under: inept, greed, stupid