In order to make this system as convenient as possible to dive operators and dive tourists, there are several ways to purchase the tags.
1. Purchase on arrival at the Secretariat of Raja Ampat Tourism Management Team (Secretariat Office)
The Secretariat is located at Hotel JE Meridien, just opposite of the the Sorong Airport. At this time, payment must be in rupiah, though we will endeavor to expand this to at least US$ and Euro in the future. In this case, the guest buys the tag and the receipts are filled in with the following information: guest name, country of origin, tag number, passport number, and email address (optional if they would like to receive further information about Raja Ampat conservation efforts). To ensure accountability the guest receives their copy of the 2 receipts, the accompanying dive operator representative (if present) receives their copy, and the management team’s copy is directly entered into the guest database.
2. Pre-purchase of tags for a known guest list at Secretariat Office
If an operator knows they will have a group of X number of guests arriving in the near future and wishes to pre-purchase tags for convenience sake, this is also possible. The operator or their agent simply brings (or faxes ahead of time) the guest list with complete data (names, country of origin, passport number) to the Secretariat Office to receive the tags and the completed receipts. Payment can either be in cash or could be previously wire-transferred to the bank account set up by the management team – in this case, the operator or agent need only fax or bring proof of transfer to the airport office to receive the tags. The most hassle-free way of doing this would be to fax ahead the passenger list and proof of wire transfer and an agent can simply pick up the completed receipts and tags at the Secretariat Office.
3. Prepurchase of bulk tags from the Secretariat Office (guest names not yet specified)
Some operators might prefer to simply pre-purchase tags in bulk (eg, 50 or 100 tags) and then re-sell them to their guests and fill in the receipts themselves. This is also permissible under the system; the added complexity here is the need for the operator to fill out the receipts for the guest and ensure that the guest data is reported in a timely manner back to the management team for inclusion in the database. In this case, the operator can wire-transfer the specified amount to the entrance fee account or bring cash payment to the airport and pick up the bulk tags and their associated pre-numbered receipts (this purchase is recorded in the database to track the numbers of the tags that have been purchased in bulk). The operator then re-sells the tags to their guests and fills out the pre-numbered receipts. At this point, the operator needs to either arrange to physically return the pink copies of the receipts to the management team for recording in the database, or could fax/email the requisite data (tag number, guest name/country of origin/passport number) to the management team.
Why the tags are individually numbered and why we need your help to return associated guest data to the management team
Entrance tags are individually numbered as a means of preventing the re-use of tags by multiple guests. If an authorized patrol does a spot check of a dive boat in Raja Ampat, they may request guest names and their associated tag numbers – they can then radio this information back to the entrance fee office to check against the entries in the database. For this system to run smoothly, it requires that data on guests name and tag numbers is kept up-to-date in the database. When tags are purchased directly by guests or for a known guest list, the receipts are filled out in the entrance fee office and this data immediately entered into the database. However, if operators choose to pre-purchase tags in bulk without associated guest names, the operators must then fill in the guest information into the receipts when providing guests with tags. This data must then be sent to the management team promptly (either by sending pink receipt copies or faxing/emailing the guest name/tag number data). If you choose this option, we ask that you please cooperate to send the data to the management team as soon as possible.
Below is the contact information for purchase of tags in Sorong. Thank you again for your patience and cooperation with the launch of this new system, which we believe will be a significant improvement over the previous system and provide real benefits to Raja Ampat’s villagers and reefs.