Bali Police are investigating a claim by the Bali Villa Association that officials at Ngurah Rai International Airport are selling data on arriving tourists to timeshare operators. If they find this is the case, the officials must be fired and those paying them banned from doing business here.
This alleged nefarious preying on foreigners coming here for holidays appears to be sophisticated, indicating it has been in place for some time. Those behind it even go so far, we are told, as to organise same foreigner-to-foreigner contact. So if an arriving Dutchman’s data is sold, a Dutch salesperson will call his hotel to offer prizes in a setting in which a hard sell will be made for a property.
It is bad enough that tourists are hounded on the streets of Bali by touts who pretend to take surveys but in fact are collating data on foreigners, who will then be called up by timeshare agents. Tourists have the choice not to stop and talk to such people, and many do just that. It is entirely different – and possibly unlawful – for tourists’ personal data, which is meant to be confidentially stored in immigration computers, to be sold to businesses whose salespeople not only irritate but distress people who are here to relax and enjoy our island.
The last thing a tourist – or anyone, for that matter – wants is to be woken up by an early morning sales pitch by telephone. Yet this is precisely what is happing, at hotels around Bali every day. The callers are apparently able to get through to their lead because they have their names and full details; so the hotel operators are duped into thinking the caller is known to their guest.
This devious practice must end. The businesses behind it must be made to move on – or attract clients the old-fashioned way: by advertising or opening street-front sales offices.
If this sales tactic is allowed to continue, it will be further damaging word-of-mouth publicity for Bali.Filed under: Editorial