Bali Discovery Tours
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 286 283
Bali Fax: ++62 361 286 284
U.S.A. Fax:(toll free) 1-800-506-8633
U.K. Fax: ++44-20-7000-1235
Australian Fax: ++61-2-94750419
24h: +62 812 3819724
BALI UPDATE #097 - 23 NOVEMBER 1998
IN THIS UPDATE
- Black Box Culinary Challenge Winners Announced
- Tax from Hotel Sector targeted at Rp 120 Billion
- "One Door" Tourist charge for Bali?
- Singing sensation Julio Iglesias relaxes in Bali
- Bali's singing GM
BLACK BOX CHALLENGE
On Friday evening, November 20, a gala dinner was
served to some 200 VIP guests at the Sheraton Nusa Indah Hotel. 10 teams
of talented young Indonesian chefs were squaring off to see which hotel,
working with the same basic ingredients, could produce the finest menu
for the evening.
Called the "Black Box Culinary Competition," each
team worked with the same basic materials of fresh Australian Salmon,
Lamb Rump and assorted Australian fruit. On Thursday, the cooks were presented
with the "secret" basic ingredients and then given only one hour to
compose a menu for the following evening before returning to their respective
properties to start cooking.
This year's 2nd Runner up was the team from the Bali
Cliff Hotel; 1st Runner Up was the Ritz Carlton who were last year's grand
prize winners; and the Grand Prize winner was the kitchen brigade from
Le Meridien Nirwana Resort. Trophies and cash awards were presented to
the winning teams.
The judges for the event had a tough task to determine
the evening's winner as all agreed that each team presented a world-class
Proof, once again, that Bali's Hotels not only provide
the finest level of accommodation, but also top-line food and beverage
services. Congratulation to the fine local chefs of the Le Meridien Nirwana
TAX FROM HOTEL SECTOR
TARGETED AT RP. 120 BILLION
The members of the Regional Parliament from the Badung
Regency of Bali have re-targeted Rp.120 Billion to be collected via the
10% development tax collected from the hotels located in the southern
part of the island for the fiscal year 1998/99.
Equivalent to roughly US $15.5 million, the amount
of the new tax target represents a 50% increase in Rupiah terms from the
original budget assumption of Rp. 80 billion.
While the legislators seem very pleased with this
increase in tax revenues, a closer examination offers genuine cause for
concern. Bearing in mind that hotel rates, which form the basis of the
tax, are generally charged in U.S. Dollars, and factoring in also the
dramatic change in the exchange rate, one can extrapolate a nearly 50%
drop in the budgeted hotel turnover in U.S. dollar terms.
In other words, although Rupiah tax revenues may
have increased substantially, hotels are producing far less foreign exchange
than expected and may, in fact, be having problems meeting their foreign
currency loan obligations and other dollar-tied costs. The Regional
Legislators would do well to consider this development as a "warning light"
and seriously consider investing some of the above tax revenues in the
promotion of Bali via BALI PROMO.
Money well spent on tourism promotion is not an expenditure,
it's an investment.
"ONE DOOR" TOURIST CHARGE
FOR BALI ?
The Provincial Government of Bali is seriously considering
the introduction of a "one door" tourist charge to be levied at the Ngurah
Rai International Airport and Benoa Harbour.
The proposed charge of Rp. 30,000 (US$ 4) for foreign
tourists and Rp. 10,000 (US$ 1.35) for domestic tourists, would supposedly
eliminate charges currently being levied at the entry point of the various
government managed tourist objects on the island. Tourists, both domestic
and foreign, would only be required to show their receipt issued at the
point of entry to obtain admission without further charge.
Based on current international and domestic arrivals
figures to Bali, some Rp. 75 Billion (US$ 10 million) would be collected
under the new scheme which would be distributed on a 65/35 basis between
local district and the Island's provincial governments. Opposition to
this plan has been voice by local officials who question the island's
ability to administer such a program and ensure a fair share of the revenues
make it back to the local communities.
The debate continues.
SINGING SENSATION JULIO
IGLESIAS RELAXES IN BALI
When the civil unrest in Jakarta erupted on November
13th, Spanish musical heartthrob Julio Iglesias was forced to cancel the
Jakarta portion of his Asian Tour.
Julio decided to put the unexpected free days to
good use and travelled to Bali where he relaxed for 5 days before going
on to Shanghai, China, the next stop in his Asian Tour. While visiting
Bali, the Spanish singing sensation, with one of the highest totals of
life-long recordings sold, worked on a music video with Indonesian singer
And I thought the two guys walking on the beach and
singing together were just two more happy and safe tourists, enjoying
our tropical island.
In fact, they were.
BALI'S SINGING GM
Move over Julio: Darma Setiawan's got the microphone.
"Perceptions," a popular local television program
from the Denpasar National TV station was televised on Sunday evening.
This is a program of free debate on issues of the day interspersed with
light musical entertainment.
Last night's show was broadcast from the Grand Bali
Beach Hotel on Sanur Beach with the music provided by the staff choir
of the Hotel. Their musical selection for the evening - a north Sumatran
traditional ballad entitled "Sing Sing So" which demands a commanding
tenor solo. Lo and behold, that solo was provided by the Hotel's General
manager, IGN Darma Setiawan.
Now we know why Julio had no stage performances during
his visit to Bali; the local competition was just too tough.
BALI UPDATE now officially proclaims Darma Setiawan
- "The Singing GM."
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