Visa on Board which was initiated by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, received a positive and enthusiastic reception by the Balinese tourism practitioners. The Immigration inspection conducted after the tourists have come out of the plane, is considered ineffective as well as causing boredom and annoyance for tourists who have to queue in a relatively long time. Seeing this condition from the tourists input and complaints, Jero Wacik seek solutions and found a shortcut to impose Visa on Board (VOB). As the pilot project, the VOB was first tested on flights leaving from Tokyo to Bali.
The result was quite encouraging as tourists felt safer and enjoyed more comfort. Undoubtedly, tourism practitioners are wishing to apply VOB to all other flight routes. Such efforts are in line with efforts to achieve 2.3 million tourists visit target. Apart from this, Jero Wacik also requested various measurements from all components of tourism in order to improve tourism related performance, especially to the official lines which are directly related to guests such as immigration, customs and security forces.
Security is the most decisive factor for a tourist destination area as it is impossible for tourists to visit the area with high security risk. This was stated by I Made Suwijaya, a tourism practitioner met at Ngurah Rai Airport. The communities are also expected to be ready to accept the arrival of tourists because they are the mirroring image of the island. In other words, the public should project cooperative, friendly, respectful and courteous attitude toward tourists, as well as maintaining cleanliness and overall environmental sustainability.
Moreover, Bali Tourism expert, Ketut Ardana said tour guides who deal directly with the tourists must have an adequate standard, a broad perspective, and excellent knowledge related to the world of tourism, especially about Balinese culture and its philosophies. The knowledge should also be supported by good foreign language skills, and friendly manners. As fluency in foreign language would be helpful, the tour guides must be certified by the authorities to anticipate the emergence of the wild guides who could damage the image of tourism. –ws-