The practice of “Zero-dollar” tourism has been popular amongst Chinese tourist who seek a very cheap travel packages to some tourism destinations around the world, including Bali. But It also concerns many of 760.093 people or 31,69 percent Balinese people who makes their living out of Bali’s hospitality industry including the local travel agents and many tourism practitioners.
The reported case about the so called zero-dollar tourism was first came from the Chief of Bali Asita, Elsye Deliana. She reported about the insanely very cheap of IDR 200.000 Bali travel package are sold to two hundred Chinese tourists in China, but the Shenzhen government banned it since the cost makes no sense.
The tour packages by the Chinese mafia are sold in a very low price, lower than the standard price in the market, with all the discounts and the expenses such as flight ticket, meals, and the hotel stay are being covered in the package. The tourists are then taken to many tourism spots in Bali and to some shopping centres.
The low-cost travel packages have given a bad image to Bali’s tourism industry. Another issue also lies in the shopping activity done by the zero-dollar tourists. They are encouraged, and sometimes required, to buy overpriced products (that are entirely not made locally from Bali) at the shopping centre owned by Chinese; and the payment are made online through Chinese mobile payment platforms such as AliPay or WePay where the money will go directly to China without converted into local currency. Thus, it makes there are no chances for the local sellers to market their products.
To protect the tourism practitioners and to sustain a well-developed hospitality industry in Bali, the Bali government has issued the warrant dated on 8 November 2018. The Bali governor also instructed to close about sixteen Bali-based Chinese stores in Badung for practicing the illegal zero-dollar tourism shopping activity.
image source: Photo by Harry Kessell