When we spend, what an average
Balinese needs two years to earn, for enjoying two weeks of our
holidays, we like to think we are also spreading our wealth to those
not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. How we achieve the
maximum benefit for local population?
a) we buy a
flight ticket b) book accommodation through a booking
system c) choose only locally owned services d)
avoid using services provided by foreign owned businesses
Mission accomplished! Mission – our holidays, yes – our
altruistic goal not so much.
For getting to a faraway destination there is no way
around – we have to buy a ticket. How the money spend for the
ticket is distributed we know. Maybe an Euro or two trickles down
to baggage handler, cleaner, check in staff in Bali.
book your accommodation a nice commission will be diverted to the
booking system. As a Balinese owner with no tax number, no bank
account, no legal paper work can not cooperate directly with this
booking system, he uses a friendly help offered some time ago by a
clever guest. A tourist who knew how to profit from his stay in Bali
is doing this for him (and several others). And of course extracts a
fat friendly commission from the Balinese owner. As owner of the
Balinese accommodation is in the end getting way less than expected,
and his profit margin is sacred – the only solution is to cut a
little more on already meager salaries of local staff. Each
employed at the place you enjoy hospitality at gets maybe 20 to 30
cents of your money per day. Cents, not Euros.
owned businesses and help Balinese people by going straight to a
local business, paying in cash, and people employed there will enjoy
full benefits of your payment. And in many cases services come at
cheaper price, so it's a pure win-win situation. There is just a
minor catch here. Local owner pockets more profit than foreign
one. At lower prices for the services. Should we declare him a
spiritual guru of the new-age multidimensional economics? Or a
self-centered, egoistic guru leading a permanent “Working for
Some facts are not overly advertised. As
for instance much longer hours for staff when working for a local
owner. Much lower salary when working for a local owner. Much less
(or none) benefits for staff working for local businessman.
to anywhere else in the world. Try to estimate if people working at
an establishment seem happy – if so, good chances are, a decent
part of your money is coming to them as well.