Bali Discovery Tours
Jln. By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra,
Jln. Pucuk 1 No. 70X
24h: +62 (0)812 3819724
Tel: +62 (0)361 464 032, +62 (0)361 471 0242
BALI UPDATE # 082 - 06 October 1998
BELIEVE HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR AND A THIRD OF WHAT
Edition #079 of this update mentioned the Indonesian
Democratic Party/Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (PDI) mass congress planned
for 8 - 10 October in Bali.
Thousands of Indonesians are expected to flock to
the island to support the Presidential bid of the very popular Megawati
Soekarnoputri who will be on hand with the 1200 or so official delegates
attending the Congress. Roads throughout the island are already awash
with giant red flags proclaiming support for "Ibu Mega" and everywhere
convoys of young men hanging from motorbikes and cars can be seen pledging
their undying support for their candidate.
The zenith will be October 8-10 when the actual Congress
takes place and mass rallies and parades are scheduled. While all this
is very exciting, my guess is that the Balinese will take all this activity
in stride. After all, the people of Bali love a parade or a public procession
and include one in every wedding, burial, or temple ceremony. In Bali,
when it comes to parades: The bigger the better.
Security forces working closely with the Congress
organizers are taking every step to ensure the Congress goes smoothly
without major incident. Tour operators and attractions are planning "business
as usual" on these dates with minor changes in departure times and tour
routes to avoid any traffic jams and delays that might be caused by political
Undoubtedly the international media will also be
on hand for the coming PDI Congress, video cams at ready trying to encapsulate
the entire story of Indonesia's new-found democratic freedom in a 30
second sound bite. TV news crews will be sent to the very centre of all
the Congress activities with cameras to be shoved into the faces of
vociferous campaigners who will reciprocate the camera's attention with
suitably wild antics in hopes of making the 6 o'clock news.
Within minutes of these stories being aired, telephone
switch boards at Bali hotels will begin lighting up as worried tour operators,
families, and friends of people visiting the island enquire frantically
if loved ones have escaped serious injury. Disgruntled guests will be
pulled from relaxing massage sessions in the hotel's spa or rudely woken
from their tropical stupor near the hotel's pool to answer these calls
and assure the distant callers that "all is well in paradise."
A few holiday makers will, of course, choose to dramatize
the situation on the island, eager to fabricate a "war story" of their
near-miss with danger and death while visiting Bali. Such stories, like
the instant analysis appearing on your TV, will sacrifice truth for the
sake of embellishment. The reality, however, based on experience to date,
will likely be that the Congress will take place with the Indonesians
celebrating their new-found political freedom while largely ignoring foreign
visitors. After all, it's their party, not ours.
Speaking of "war stories," did I ever tell you about
my visit to Chicago in 1968? Boy, talk about democracy being dangerous
in the hands of the uninitiated . . . .
Given the choice of Chicago or Bali politics; I'll
take Bali anyday.
Over the coming days stay tuned to your local television
station but believe only half of what you hear and a third of what you
NEW BOOK DETAILS INDONESIAN
SUPPORTED by the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association,
Casa Grande and the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board, "Great Hotels
and Resorts of Indonesia (GHRI) 98/99" is a source book containing up-to-date,
comprehensive information on many of the best hotels, resorts and destinations
in Indonesia, and what they have to offer travel industry professionals
and up-market travellers.
A Web site includes all
the GHRI participating hotels with e-mail addresses and other links to
respective hotels. The book begins with an introduction to Indonesia,
followed by informative hotel features in photographs and text, essential
facts and directory of hotels.
Published by Buku Antar Bangsa (Jakarta) and Editions
Didier Millet - (Singapore) GHRI 98/99 promotes the wealth of tourist
destinations and high standard accommodation in Indonesia. It is distributed
to both travel-trade circles and book shops for the general public throughout
NUSA DUA FESTIVAL SET
Properties in the Nusa Dua tourism enclave in South
Bali will host the Nusa Dua Festival 1998, Nov. 25-Dec. 1. Events and
activities, centred at hotels, the Bali Golf & Country Club, and the Amphitheater,
include: exhibitions and bazaars, traditional dance including Barong,
Ramayana Ballet, Kecak Ramayana, Janger, Frog and Legong; arts and craft
displays; contests; bartender shows, and more. Contact: Andisuari Dewi
Nehen, PR manager at Grand Hyatt Bali, Tel: (62-361) 771234, Fax: 772038,
NEW ZEALANDERS SUCCEED
WITH BALI NATURE RESORT
NEW Zealanders Aprile and Hugh Collett have succeeded
in carving a resort out of natural surroundings in the depths of Bali.
Alam Sari, an hour from the international airport, offers airport transfers,
a Rajalayan banquet--a multi-course Balinese meal served by a group of
traditionally dressed Balinese waitresses and accompanied by live Balinese
music and optional dance performance. Tours to an ordinary, traditional
Balinese family home to observe and learn about the architectural, cultural,
social and religious aspects of daily life in a Balinese village. Participants
see and have explained the various buildings in the compound, see temple
offerings made and then enter the family temple to see them presented.
Tour members observe and try their hand at palm leaf decorations and
see coffee growing and tasting a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
"We feel strongly that such visits allow small groups
of guests a personalised and meaningful experience of aspects of Bali
that larger groups visiting the more developed and popular sites never
see," say owners. Other opportunities include learning dance, cooking,
art, language, architecture and religion. Using the numerous walking
paths and tracks around the village of Keliki, guests can hire mountain
bike trek in the vicinity where the natural beauty and cultural richness
of Bali is present around every corner. Visits to many of the cultural
and historic centres of the island are well within an hours drive from
Alam Sari. White water rafting, bird watching, elephant treks are nearby.
Rates from US$55 single/double. Phone/fax (62-361) 240 308, Email: <email@example.com>,
Website : <http://www.alamsari.com>
BAT MAKES FAMILY, COMBO
BALI Adventure Tours (BAT) recently launched "extra
value" and "family" packages combining a variety of products with economical
rates. "A Day With the Animals", for example, combines visits to BAT's
own elephant park, the Tasman Burung Bali Bird Park and Rimba Bali Reptile
Park for US$49 per adult. BAT Rafting, bird park and reptile park are
in a $65 package. Cycling, rafting and an elephant safari combine for
a day-long experience for $125. Other combinations are available for
$75-$89. Child and family prices apply to jungle treks, elephant park
tours, rice paddy trekking, tandem paragliding, elephant safaris, at
various prices from $10 for infant to $175 per family of two adults and
up to four children.
MELIA Bali Villas & Spa Resort won the Bali & Beyond
Food Festival, Sept. 25-27. The event, held among numerous Bali hotels
and restaurants, was sponsored by Bali Promo, the regional Tourism, Art
& Culture office, Indonesia Tour Association and Indonesian Hotel and
Restaurant Association. It exposed food from Indonesia's 27 provinces.
INCCA LAUNCHES MICE
THE Indonesian Congress & Convention Association
(INCCA) formed late in August, launching "Convene in Indonesia 2000, the
organisation's first major industry promotion. "It's definitely going
to be an uphill battle," said Royalindo Convention International executive
director Chandra Riupassa. Royalindo is among major MICE players in the
"INCCA's birth marks a commitment to work hand-in-hand
with all sectors of society to hasten recovery of Indonesia as the convention
and exhibition destination of choice," said INCCA board of directors chairman
Iqbal Alan Abdullah.
The organisation forecasts US$ 3 billion foreign exchange
earnings for conventions in Indonesia in 2000 and 15 to 20 per cent growth
thereafter. Focus for convention cities is on Jakarta, Denpasar, Yogyakarta,
Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Batam, Ujung Pandang Manado and Bukittinggi.
INCAA's goals include: lobbying for lifting of travel
bans on Indonesia; lobbying the Indonesian government to increase the
list of countries for preferential visa treatment; to increase open air
policy; to disseminate information to the world that Indonesia is back
to normal and to improve security and safety in the country.
MZ LAUNCHES TRAVEL CARD
MERPATI Nusantara (MZ) recently launched a Merpati
Travel Club International card, giving holders a 10 per cent discount
on MZ and Garuda Indonesia flights.
GARUDA REDUCES FLIGHTS
IN WINTER SCHEDULE
When Garuda Indonesia (GA) launches its winter schedule
Oct. 25, it will temporarily close some routes and frequencies to cut
costs. It will close its twice-weekly Paris and thrice-weekly Fukuoka
service. It will reduce Amsterdam service from six to four times weekly,
Sydney from seven to five, Melbourne from seven to five and Perth from
14 to 10. European flights will only use B747-400s, Australia only B737-400s,
DC10-30s and A330-300s, the Middle East DC 10-30s and Japan A330-300s,
in an effort to consolidate gauge of aircraft. Other Asia flights will
use A330-300s, B737-400s and B737-300s.
"GA will close unprofitable routes and only serve
them by charter flights," said airline vice president for alliance and
marketing development Robert D. Waloni.