Aussies being caught out with ‘damaged’ passports

Bali-bound travellers beware

If you have a damaged passport, or even if it’s just well used, it might be time to order a new one. 

 One of Australians’ most popular overseas destinations is cracking down on passports that are in bad condition, with the region’s tourism authority warning Aussies that their documents must be in good condition or face rejection.

 According to the West Australian, the Bali Tourism Board has warned Australian travellers that the Indonesian National Law Ministry was getting tough on damaged passports in an attempt to deter illegal visitors.  

 “This national law is not targeted at Australians specifically,” Bali Tourism Board head of secretariat Gilda Lim Sagrado told the paper.

 “We can feel the anxiety of Australian families and we are also feeling anxious.

 “Australians remain our favourite visitors due to a long-standing warm relationship over many years.

 “Australia contributes 20 per cent of Bali’s economy and definitely 100 per cent on the Balinese heart.”

 Speaking to PerthNow, one traveller said her husband had not been able to board a Batik Air flight at Perth Airport because his passport was “slightly damaged”. 

 According to the passenger, airline staff had told her that “Denpasar is enforcing a policy whereby if a passenger has the slightest imperfection with their passport, they will fine the airline $5000 and send the passenger home”. 

 “They told me that in response that they had stopped 20 passengers with damaged passports from flying to Bali in the past month,” she remarked.

 Indonesia Institute chief Ross Taylor said the crackdown could ultimately aid Australia, with foreigners seeking to gain illegal entry into Indonesia potentially also looking to cross into Australia.

 Have you ever experienced difficulties due to a ‘damaged’ passport?

The Travel Industry Has Changed, Why Booking Your Trip Through An Agent Makes Sense

Save money and book online! I know you’ve heard it and sadly, a lot of people believe it too. However, when it comes to booking your bucket list trip; it’s not true and booking online can end up costing you a lot of money if you don’t get the experience that you want. Here’s the lowdown on this:

It used to be cheaper. It would be daft to pretend that the internet business model didn’t change the way things worked in the travel industry. When popular flight booking, hotel booking, etc. sites first emerged they were a brilliant new idea.
They bridged the gap between the customer and the supplier. They took a cut and they helped to fill rooms at the last minute. Everyone was a winner. Customers got a discount. The middle man got a percentage. The supplier filled an empty seat or an empty bed.

Too much of a good thing often becomes a bad thing. A single cream cake a week is a delicious treat. A dozen cream cakes for breakfast, a dozen more for lunch and another dozen for dinner? Not so much. Do it for long enough and your “delicious treat” has become a monster, in fact.

The internet middleman model has achieved the same kind of results. It worked so well in the first instance that everybody went “all in” on it. Hotels and airlines put all their rooms with these brokers. Customers started to see illusory discounts (it’s not a discount if everybody always gets 20% off, is it?). Brokers leveraged higher and higher commissions without providing much in return.
Airlines and hotels got no loyalty from this deal. They made very little money. Customers were no longer getting bargains just the illusion of it. The brokers were winning but nobody else was.

The quality suppliers want a change why build a brand on quality if you end up being sold in the same way as the bargain basement product down the road? The top providers are withdrawing from working with brokers. They’re leaving them to sell their hard to fill rooms in less desirable locations.

They don’t want people to stay because they think they got it “cheap.” They want you to build a relationship with them and they with you. They’re moving back to the agent model because that’s where the relationship begins;  with someone who doesn’t try to sell every product on earth but rather curates the best for their clients.

This doesn’t cost you any more money. The price tags are the same (and in fact, many now come with more perks than booking online offers). The travel agent gets a similar commission to the online broker. Everyone wins again.

You get the experience of a lifetime at the best possible price. The hotel and airline get a chance to build a better relationship with you because they’re not a commodity, they’re part of your bucket list experience. The travel agent gets to show you what 30 years of experience provides in terms of knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Book your bucket list through a travel agent so, what are you waiting for?