The Jakarta Post
Bali's tourism industry is still not satisfied with the quality of services provided at the newly renovated Ngurah Rai International Airport.
In a discussion involving representatives from the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali, Ngurah Rai airport management and other tourist-related associations, it was found the airport still had to improve the quality of its services to bring them up to an international standard.
'The physical renovation of the airport's buildings and facilities must be followed by improvements to its passenger services,' said Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, chairman of GIPI.
An airport, Wijaya said, was the first impression of any destination. 'Passengers must feel comfortable and safe when they arrive at an airport. This will reflect the condition of any destination, especially for Bali as an international tourist destination,' Wijaya said.
I Ketut Ardana, chairman of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies Association (Asita) Bali, was very concerned over complaints filed by both domestic and foreign visitors.
Visitors often complain about dirty public toilets, a lack of trolleys, poor money changer outlets, taxi services and the attitude of airport employees.
Nyoman Sudiarta, chairman of the Tourism Transportation Association (Pawiba), added the airport management must provide a special drop off zone for tourist buses and minibuses.
'We have to pay parking fees although we only drop off and pick up our passengers. We should have different parking fees,' Sudiarta said.
Eddy Sunyoto, head of marketing for Asita, emphasized immigration services, which were still complicated and time consuming.
'Tourists still have to wait for quite a long time to get through immigration. They should not have to wait if the immigration officers worked more quickly and efficiently,' Sunyoto said.
In relation to security staff, Sunyoto complained that many of the security guards were unfriendly and impolite.
'They [the security staff] do not have to look 'tough' and be unfriendly toward visitors. This is very annoying,' Sunyoto added.
Co-general manager of PT Angkasa Pura (PAP) I, Gusti Ngurah Arditha, admitted there were still many problems that needed to be fixed. 'The airport renovation is not complete yet, we have to improve all facilities. The airport was designed to provide international-standard services but we have to wait until the domestic terminal is ready,' Arditha said.
He continued that the domestic terminal would be completed in June.
'Ngurah Rai is the smallest international airport in the world, covering only 285 hectares of land, but we should have international-standard services,' he added.
Saroha Manulang, head of communications with the Immigration Agency, explained it would only require one minute and four seconds for each visitor to pass through immigration. International-standard immigration procedures should take no longer than two minutes per person.
At the international terminal, there are 24 immigration counters to allow a fast and easy flow through immigration counters.