Friday, January 18, 2008

Visit Indonesia 2008

Clowns to the left of me..Jokers to the 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


GJ said...

Crazy shit!!

You would think that with practices like you outlined, and the tourist campaign for this year, the place is over run with holiday happy snappers disrupting everyday life. This could be the only reason the "boofheads" would do this crap. No they actually want more people to come here, and rightly so. It's a beautiful place with so much to offer. But I'm afraid this is Indonesia Logic at its illogical best.

oigal said...

It's Bizarre, you know I can understand that tourists are not the be all and end all that is sometimes claimed, they can do a lot of damage and really ruin some cultures, places..but cruising sailors..nearly always older "empty nesters" wandering around the outer regions doing nothing but dropping a few bucks here and for jam..

As the say TII

Indradi said...

Indonesia is really backward!

While Malaysia and Thailand are opening up and making it easy for cruising boats to come visit their wonderful secluded bays, Indonesia, on the other hand, is still operating with "preman"-like attitude.

Preman - the Indonesian word preman was derived from the Dutch word free-man (lit. gangster).

oigal said...

I dunno about backward..but this is really really stupid..cruising sailors are 'money for jam" tourists..

pjbali said...

You are a prophet it seems. From Mr. Dilligafs recent posting the customs folks have just confiscated some 107 boats. Its truly spectacular!