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Jln. By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra,
Jln. Pucuk 1 No. 70X
Denpasar, Bali

+62 (0)812 3819724
+62 (0)361 464 032, +62 (0)361 471 0242

Bali Discovery

Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #1016 - 22 February 2016


Remaining Vigilant Against Terror
Raid on Terror Cell in Bima, Sumbawa Prompts Heightened Security Measures at Padang Bai Ferry Crossing in Bali

Following a raid by Indonesia’s elite anti-terrorist detachment Densus 88 on a private residence in the city of Bima, West Nusa Tenggara on Monday, February 15, 2016, security at the eastern sea crossing point of Pandang Bai has been put at its highest alert status.

As reported by Bali Post, the spokesman for the Bali Provincial Police Command, Hery Wijyanto, said security was tightened at Padang Bai immediately following the raid on the island of Sumbawa that saw one police officer evacuated to the main hospital of Bali for the treatment of gunshot wounds.

In the early morning raid a man named Fajar, also known as Muhammad Fuad,believed to be a member of the Santoso Terror Group, was killed in the exchange of gunfire with police. Another local resident in Bima is now being held by police in connection with the raid.

The Monday morning raid got underway at 8:00 am when heavily-armed and well-equipped Densus 88 officer surrounded a home in the Mpunda district of the City of Bima. A 30-minute gun battle ensued after which police were seen removing a body from the home at around 8:30 am and placing under arrest a 29-year-old man in the house who was involved in the gun battle with police.

Bali Police are also coordinating with Densus 88 in trying to determine if any members of the terrorist cell in Sumbawa have managed to infiltrate themselves into Bali.

To supplement strict controls in place at ports and seaports, Bali police are also visiting apartment and boarding houses. Roadblocks are in operation at selected locations to seek out illegally owned weapons and explosive caches.

Police have called for the public in Bali to be on guard, reporting any suspicious activities or individuals to their nearest police precinct. Meanwhile, community watch forces (pacalang) have been asked by police to ensure security on the neighborhood level.

Take a Spin Over Bali
Uber Taxi Offer Uber Chopper Joy-ride Helicopter Services Every Friday in Bali reports that the online transportation application Uber Taxi is expanding its offering in Bali to include online ordering and confirmation of helicopter rides.

“Uber Chopper” was launched on Friday, February 19, 2016.

In announcing the new service, Uber spokesperson Karun Arya, said: "We plan to bring a whole new experience on viewing Bali from the sky."

The new “Uber Chopper” joy-ride service will be available only on Friday’s between 12:00 until 2:00 pm.

Want to know more? Load the application.

Rendang and So Much More
A Celebration of West Sumatran Cuisine at The Laguna Bali Banyubiru Restaurant February 25-27, 2016

Banyubiru Restaurant at The Laguna Bali provides guests and visitors the chance to experience the delectable culinary traditions of West Sumatra during a three-day festival February 25-27, 2016.

Easily Indonesia’s most well–known form of cooking, many will be familiar with the Padang, West Sumatra signature dishes of “rendang” and “nasi Padang." And, while these outstanding dishes willcertainly be on offer during the event, it will also provide  the chance to experience a much wider range of Minangkabau cookery.

The Ranah Minang Food Festival will be presented by Chef Andam Suri, working alongside the culinary team at Banyubiru.

Reno started her culinary career via the creation of her “Rendang Uni Farah” that gained wide acclaim among the Indonesian Diaspora who found her cooking filled a nostalgic need for original Indonesian home-cooking.

In addition to receiving many awards, Reno wrote “Rendang, Minang Legacy to The World” and became a culinary advisor for the Indonesian movie “Tabula Rasa” that had a culinary theme.

Banyubiru Restaurant will present a special buffet dinner for three days during the festival from 25 to 27 February 2016 starting at 6:00 pm. Both affordable and delectable, the sumptuous buffet will cost only Rp. 450,000 per person.

For reservations call +62-(0)361300 5626 or Emai

The Cities by the Bay
Protests Against Benoa Bay Reclamation Greet President Widodo on Arrival in USA

Bali Post reports that that when Indonesian President Joko Widodo landed in the United States on his current visit to that Country he was greeted by protestors identifying themselves as “Californians Against the Reclamation of Benoa Bay – Bali”.

The protest was timed to take place as President Widodo arrived at the Palace of Fine Art Theatre in San Francisco on Tuesday evening, February 16, 2016 to address the Indonesian Diaspora.

The most recent protest against PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWBI) plans to reclaim and develop a 700-hectare area of Benoa Harbor was not the first U.S.-based demonstration opposing the project.

President Widodo who was in the U.S.A. to attend a U.S.-ASEAN Summit meeting held in Palm Springs, California. While in the U.S., Widodo will also meet with key executives in Silicon Valley in California.

The U.S. demonstrators urged President Jokowi to reject the plans to reclaim Benoa Harbor, insisting the project will ruin the local environment and change the entire ecosystem surrounding the Bay. They also warned that the reclamation of Benoa would increase beach erosion in Bali’s south.

One protestor, Gde Putra, who hails from Bali said: “This action is part of the international solidarity against the developing problem in Bali. This project is causing unrest both for the people of Bali and for the Indonesian people who are living in America. Bali is an Island loved by the people of the world and anyone who wants to destroy Bali must confront the people of the world. The reclamation of Benoa Bar is an effort to destroy Bali’s natural environment."

Related Article

They Shall Not Be Moved!

Whirlwinds to the West
Rare Waterspouts Spotted Over Bali Straits Between East Java and Bali

The resident of Banyuwangi, East Java at the crossing point to Bali’s West Coast, witnessed a rare waterspout – resembling a tornado – on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 twirling over the Bali Straits.

As reported by, the waterspout was plainly visible from Boom Beach at Banyuwangi for a 10-minute period.

The unusual phenomenon was capturedon hand phones and cameras by people on Boom Beach who reported strong off shore winds in connection with the sighting.

Anjar Triono Hadi, a weather forecaster from the Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) confirmed the weather phenomenon as having occurred at 4:00 pm. Hadi explained that when clear conditions prevail in the morning and mid-day hours, the public should be on the lookout for the possibility of the rapid build up of cumulonimbus clouds in the late afternoon, confirmed the waterspout. 

“Like today, it was very clear from morning until mid-day. The cumulonimbus clouds appeared bringing with them heavy rains, strong winds and lightening,” said Hadi.

Following the appearance of the waterspout, the Banyuwangi regency experienced heavy rains and intense lightening storms for 3 hours.

Doís and Doníts on Nyepi
Religious Leaders in Bali Issue Guidelines for Nyepi Observance on March 9, 2016

Hindu religious council members in Bali have issued directives in connection with the celebration of the Bali-Hindu New Year and the official 24-hour period of Silence on Nyepi on March 9, 2016.

As reported by NusaBali, the directive was issued in a joint communiqué from the Provincial Ministry of Religion office in Bali on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

The directives were issued in order to safeguard inter-faith toleration because the date when the Hindu celebration of Nyepi coincides with Muslim prayers for a total eclipse.

Instructions were also issued forbidding hotels advertising “Nyepi Accommodation Packages” to create programs designed for entertainment purposes.

The head of the Religious Tolerance Council for the Province of Bali (FKUB), Ida I Dewa Gede Ngurah Swastha, said that with the arrival of Nyepi each year there is an underlying fear of intolerants acts between various religious factions. The convocation of religious leaders from all faiths sitting down together permits peaceful solutions to be worked out to ensure the peace, said Swastha.

Swastha continued: “The celebration of Nyepi does not reduce the freedom of those embracing other religions to undertake worship, providing they are done in such a way to safeguard the sacredness of Nyepi. The goals remain the same to preserve religious toleration and fellowship.”

The head of the Ministry of Religion office for Bali, AA Gede Muliawan, added that even though Bali will have no activities outside the home on the official day of silence – “Nyepi’ – his office continues to ask all citizens to protect the peace in Bali, remembering the ongoing threat of terrorist acts.

In order to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the true meaning of Nyepi, Muliawan said religious teachers working in grade schools to university level are being invited to deliver talks to the public on the meaning and history of Nyepi and the day of silence.

Among the directives issued in connection with Nyepi and the total eclipse on March 9th is a prohibition on cable and national broadcasts in Bali during the 24-hour period of silence. The people have also been ordered not to ignite fireworks, use public broadcast systems or noisemaker, or commit acts that will otherwise disturb the silence.

Hotels offering Nyepi packages are asked to refrain from promoting entertainment activities during the day of silence. This means hotels should not play music, present dances or serve drinks in party atmospheres – all of which would detract from the solemnity and silence of Nyepi day.

Those determined to be acting in violation of the directives issued in connection with Nyepi observances will be subject to sanctions and punishments. General managers of a hotel or villa is found to be violating the law they could face deportation. Balinese who disregard the directives could be punished and made an example for the community. Muliawan added, “When there is noise, this represents a stain on the sanctity of Nyepi and in turn a stain on the Hindu faith.”

Accommodations have been made for Moslems living in Bali wishing to pray in connection with the total eclipse of sun. In coordination with the Islamic Council (MUI), Moslems are permitted to attend morning prayers that end at 7:15 am providing this is done at the nearest mosque within walking distance of their home or hotel. These prayers will be consolidated with traditional pre-dawn prayers and the use of loudspeakers on the exteriors of mosques will not be allowed.

Pioldolan or anniversary of community temples that fall on Nyepi will be allowed to mark the occasion until 6:00 am on March 9, 2016 and can only be celebrated without the use of gongs and noise-making regalia, the burning of incense or the invitation of fellow worshippers from distant locales.

Ideally, odalans on Nyepi could be postponed for six months for the timewhen the anniversary next falls on the Balinese calendar.

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Mum's the Word

A Run on the Bank
Maybank Bali Marathon 2016 Sunday, August 28, 2016

The next running of the Maybank Bali Marathon 2016 is on Sunday, August 28, 2016 and targeted to attract 7,000 participants – an increase of 30% over last year’s totals.

At a press conference in Jakarta to announce the 2016 full and half-marathon event, Taswin Zakaria, the president director of Maybank Indonesia said a change would take place in the starting point for this year’s race in order to enhance the overall operation of the race.

The Maybank Bali Marathon 2016 will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2016 in the regency of Gianyar, Bali comprised of a full marathon, half-marathon, 10-kilomter run and a kid’s race.

While the pricing for the 2016 event is still under review, registration will open on line April 15, 2016.

The 2016 running of the Maybank Bali Marathon 2016 will be the fifth running of the race first held in 2012.

Maybank Bali Marathon Website

Bali and Beyond and Back Again
Air Asia Flight Flying from Kuala Lumpur to Australia Forced to Divert Twice to Bali

Air Asia D7206 flying from Kuala Lumpur destined to the Gold Coast of Queensland made two emergency diversions to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 when passengers on board the flight fell suddenly ill.

As reported by, the general manager of the Bali airport Authority, Trikora Harjo, stated the plane made an unscheduled landing at 1:15 am on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. An ailing passenger was disembarked and sent to the BIMC Medical Center, after which the flight departed again at 2:40 am.

However, one hour after departing Bali the Air Asia flight contacted Bali Air Traffic Control (ATC) requesting permission to return to Ngurah Rai Airport to disembark another passenger also complaining of severe gastro-intestinal pain.

The plane made its second landing in Bali at 5:06 am where the second passenger was rushed to the BIMC Medical Center.

Because the pilots would have exceeded their maximum flying time if the flight had resumed to Australia, the aircraft had to be grounded until a new flight crew could be brought in from Kuala Lumpur.

Social media and the Australian press carried feedback from disgruntled passengers complaining of neglect, being compelled to sleep on the floor while waiting hours for information on the flight and having to personally pay an AU$57 immigration fees against the promise of future reimbursement by Air Asia.

Air Asia, however, reports that passengers were given food and drink, before departing with a new crew at 3:05 pm later on Wednesday.

The Catís Meow
Bali Safari and Marine Park Premieres New Big Cat Show

As part of a continuing commitment to educate, propagate and conserve endangered members of the animal kingdom, Bali Safari and Marine Park has dedicated months of careful preparation in bringing it latest animal show - “Harimau - From Predator to Prey” to the public.

Presented daily in front of the Ranthambore Fort - the Park’s rare White Tiger Exhibit, “Harimau – From Predator to Prey” presents the compelling story of the world’s vanishing tiger population. Opening with a grand pageant relating the role of the tiger in Balinese history and mythology, the show reveals the native skills of these big cats at play, hunting, climbing and swimming.

While the Safari Park’s show will emphasize the wide range of instinctual and natural abilities of these “kings of the jungle” without resorting to contrived circus behavior, visitors will also witness the positive bond that can develops between these cats and the people who care for captive populations of tigers. Trust, affection and the Park’s continuing desire to enrich the daily experience of all its animals have created playful interactions between keepers and tigers that allow hand feeding, bottle feeding and ready compliance to keepers’ commands.

Admired and feared, tigers have been ruthlessly destroyed in by man in order that their golden pelts could be displayed as trophies and their body part harvested as sham elixirs and medicines. The last Bali tiger was shot in 1937, forever eliminating another subspecies of an animal that has seen its numbers diminish by 93% over the past century.

William Santoso, general manager of the Bali Safari and Marine Park, commenting on the latest addition to the Park’s range of shows and attractions, said: “We hope that visitors attending the ‘Harimau – From Predator to Prey’ will be both entertained and emotionally moved by the very real threat of extinction faced by the word’s tiger population. The message is clear: if all elements of society do not unite to protect tigers and their shrinking habitat the spectacular big cat show now available on a daily basis at the Park could become over time quite literally a vanishing act.”

Click Image to Enlarge

“Harimau – From Predator to Prey” is presented daily at 11:30 am at the Bali Safari and Marine Park without additional charge to Park visitors.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Macallan Single Malts, Cuban Cigars and a Gourmet Five-Course Dinner at the St. Regis Bali on March 18, 2016

Single Malt and cigar aficionados in Bali are certain to welcome the news that The St. Regis Bali Resort will host its first Single Malt Pairing Dinner at its award-winning Kayuputi Restaurant on Friday, March 18, 2016, starting from 7:00 PM.

Sharing the spotlight at that evening event are the distinguished Macallan Single Malt Whiskys and Cohiba Cuban Cigars.

Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, The Macallan was one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malts. From its founding, through a series of owners spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, The Macallan has been recognized for its outstanding quality.

Cohiba, said to be Fidel Castro’s preferred brand of cigar, was created in 1966 as Havana’s premier brand for diplomatic purposes. Meticulously handcrafted in Cuba, Cohiba boasts a Cameroon wrapper, a Jember binder, and a blend featuring three varieties of Cuban seed tobaccos. Full in flavor, yet medium in strength, true cigar connoisseurs value Cohiba as one of the world’s finest cigars.

St. Regis Bali Resort Executive Chef Agung Gede has devised a superb degustation menu including, among others, Kiwami Wagyu Beef Strip Loin and Valrhona bitter chocolate-raisin soufflé. The five-course menu has been thoughtfully paired to match five distinctive Macallan Single Malts:
  • The Macallan 12-year-old Sherry Oak
  • The Macallan 15-year-old Fine Oak
  • The Macallan Whisky Makers Edition
  • The Macallan Rare Cask
  • The Macallan Reflexion
On hand to guide diners through the evening of single malts will be Keith Nair, brand trainer of the Edrington Group for South East Asia, representing the Scotch  company that owns The Macallan.

After dinner, the exclusive evening continues at the King Cole Bar with every guest receiving a Cohiba Cigar and a glass of Macallan to savor while enjoying a live jazz band performance featuring the multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Rougerie.

This bespoke event will begin with a cocktail hour from 7:00 PM at the Kayuputi Bar. There will be a cigarillo break in between the 3rd and 4th courses at the outdoor area of Kayuputi.

Limited seats are available for this exclusive event and reservations are therefore a must. The five-course degustation menu with Macallan pairing and after-dinner cigars and single malt sipping is priced at Rp. 2,600,000 net per person.

Reservations can be made by calling Kayuputi Restaurant at +62-(0)361 300 6786 or Emailing.

Reservations are a must and a night's stay at The St. Regis Bali Resort after dinner a most prudent idea.

The Backlash of Trash
Pesanggaran Residents Threaten Blockade of Baliís Largest Rubbish Dump to End Menacing Air and Water Pollution

The local resident of the Pesanggaran district in South Denpasar bordering TPA Suwung – the largest rubbish tip in Bali, are apparently at the end of their patience in waiting for the municipal authorities in Bali to improve waste management measures at the dump.

Evidence that tensions are building in the area is a mass meeting held by local residents on February 7, 2016, when local residents issued an ultimatum of sorts to Denpasar officials.

Quoted in DenPost, the village chef (Kelian) of Pasanggaran, Wayan Widiada, said of February 15, 2016: “The residents of Pesanggaran have been long tolerant of the problems created by the rubbish dump. But do not misinterpret our silence as acceptance; patience has its limits. The problem is the citizens of Pensanggaran feel the negative daily impact of the TPA with air and water pollution levels exceeding every known acceptable monitoring standard. The people hope that the garbage at the TPA will soon be properly processed.”

Widiada went on to emphasize that endless discussions have been held on how to process the rubbish and many unfulfilled promises have been made to the people. The village chief warned that if the Government is unable to process the rubbish in accordance with the law, then the local populace will no longer be prepared to compromise and will blockade the entrances to the TPA.

“The decision to close the Sarbagita (Suwung) TPA by private citizens will be the practical result of the Provincial and Municipal Governments' inability to manage the waste. Denpasar continues to wave its banners proclaiming itself as the ‘Clean City’ and ‘Denpasar is my Home’ but with so much unprocessed trash, such slogans become ironic,” he added.

Angry with the current situation, Widiada scolded municipal leaders who post signs on roadsides forbidding people to discard trash and threatening large fines and penalties to violators, while at the same time the government itself is the biggest contributor to roadside trash. He also expressed disappointment with members of Denpasar House of Representatives (DPR-Denpasar) who undertake study tours on waste disposals but without any tangible improvements resulting from these trips.

The head of the Pesanggaran Community, Putu Gede Sucipta, said the people living near the rubbish dump are questioning the synergy of the government in managing Bali’s largest rubbish dump. “The TPA now covers 43 hectares and if it were managed correctly it would not require such a large area. The dump could be reduced to only five hectares and public health and the surrounding community environment would be prioritized.

The rubbish dump at Pesanggaran now towers between 15-18 meters in height and can be smelled, depending on wind directions, from the heavily traveled main road across South Bali - Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai.

Port Out, Starboard Home
PT Pelni Seeks Funding to Embark on Cruise Passenger Operation

NusaBali reports that the State-owned shipping line PT Pelni is seeking a US$20 million loan in order to accompany US$5 million in company capital to permit the acquisition of a used passenger cruise vessel or the modification of an existing ship operated by the Company for use in the commercial cruise market.

Plans to expand its interest into cruise shipping focused on the tourism market were revealed by the CEO of PT Pelni, Elfien Goentoro, at an investment seminar in Jakarta on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Goentoro told the press that PT Pelni is seeking terms for the loan that would include a five-year grace period over a 10-year term for the borrowing.

The venture into cruise tourism contemplated by Pelni would cruise to seven Indonesian destinations: Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, Banda Naira, Labuan Bajo, Karimunjawa, Derawan and Anambas.

PT Pelni currently operates a fleet of inter-island passenger ships in mixed deck class and passenger cabin configurations. The new vessel envisioned by Pelni would operate as a dedicated cruise vessel with the facilities and services similar to those found on cruise vessels operating worldwide.

Business at a Low Tide
Bali Water Sports Operators Claim Business is Down 30%

Bali water sports operators are complaining that business during the normally busy Chinese New Year period declined around 30% when compared to the same period in 2015.

The vice-chairman of the Bali Water Sports Association (Gahawisri-Bali), Ketut Artanayasa, told Bisnis Bali that among the various component parts of his organization, rafting operators were among the hardest hit.

The cause for the downturn, according to Artanayasa, is due to a range of factors including a global economic slowdown and fears of terrorism.

Artanayasa also blamed erratic weather conditions for disrupting water sports activities and the resulting need to carefully monitor water height and current strength on Bali’s rivers that can change quickly and dramatically during the rainy season.

For seaside water sports operators the rainy season brings strong winds and larger waves that complicate the work of those offering off shore sporting activities.

Room Boom Threatens Bali on Several Fronts
Indonesian Chamber of Commerce Writes to Baliís Governor Calling for an Urgent Moratorium on New Accommodation in Baliís South reports that the board of governors of the Bali Chapter of Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (Kadin-Bali) has written to the Governor of Bali asking him to quickly implement a moratorium on new tourism accommodation in South Bali. In that letter dated February 18, 2016, Kadin sets forth the arguments and facts against permitting more accommodation to being built in the crowded southern part of the Island.

Kadin-Bali sets our four main reasons for the Governor to accept their position and implement a moratorium. First, the current infrastructure of roads and other supporting services is insufficient to support more tourist rooms. Second, South Bali is running out of water. The high demand for fresh water has resulted in an overuse of ground water allowing salt-water intrusion into the Island’s water table. Third, Kadin said the large amount of legal and illegal accommodation development is producing untreated sewage in large amounts that is poorly managed and threatens Bali’s environment. Fourth, the over-supply of hotel rooms has resulted in unhealthy price competition among hotel operators that is not economically sustainable over the long term.

The chairman of Kadin-Bali, A.A. Ngurah Alit Wiraputra, on Thursday, February 18, 2016, said: “Based on our review of the situation, we hope the Governor of Bali stop and forbid the building of new tourist accommodation in South Bali. We consider that the development of hotels in Bali is already overloaded.”

Wiraputra described the letter from Kadin to the Governor as proof of the business group’s concern for Bali’s future. Kadin, he said, continues to take strategic steps to protect Bali’s ecosystem, protect the balance of nature, and keep Bali internationally competitive. Adding: “This letter is our commitment to protect Bali. Thus far, Bali has only become a place for investment. While, in the meantime, sewage is allowed to destroy the local environment resulting in a marginalization of the Balinese people.”

The Kadin chairman said he hoped the Governor of Bali would take the necessary steps to come into line with the desire of the Balinese to control and manage investment in Bali.

Alit Wiraputra said that in addition to writing to the Governor urging a moratorium on new hotels in the Island’s south, Kadin is also calling on the Government to take concrete steps towards a more equitable distribution of economic development to include Bali’s impoverished East and West.

Organic Creativity
Styrofoam and Non-Sustainable Materials Barred from This Yearís Ogoh-Ogoh Parade on Nyepi-Eve March 8, 2016

A total of 129 papier mâché ogoh-ogoh statues and floats will compete for honors in Denpasar on Nyepi Eve in the run-up to the official day of silence the following day and the dawning of 1 Saka 1938.

A team of expert judges will survey the teams constructing the ogoh-ogoh across four sub-districts of Denpasar from Tuesday, February 23rd until February 26, 2016. On March 8, 2016, a night filled with wild street parades of ogoh-ogoh papier mâché, statues built by local banjars battle each other on main roads and intersections. As the sun rises on the New Year, blurry-eyed revelers set their ogoh-ogoh afire and then head home for a day of silent contemplation and hangover recovery.

A member of the jury designated to pick the best ogoh-ogoh, Wayan Meganada, said the judging system and the weighting of competing elements are much the same as last year. In reviewing each exhibit, the jury will consider materials used, composition, creativity and expression in selecting the winners.

Guidelines for this year’s competition have been sent to participating banjars. Among the criteria is a requirement that the base materials and coverings of the floats must be made from environmentally sustainable materials, such as bamboo, wood, paper and rotan. The use of styrofoam, cork and sponge is forbidden.

The official winner will be announced on February 29, 2016.

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Mum’s, the Word

All Road Lead to and From Bali
Bali and Beyond Travel Fair to Attract Australian Tour Operators June 22-26, 2016

Among the many nationalities expected to participate in the Bali and Beyond Tourism Fair (BBTF-2016) June 22-26, 2016, is a sizeable contingent of Australian travel professionals.

Quoted in Bisnis Bali, Ketut Ardana, the chairman of the BBTF-2016 organizing committee, said: “We will continue to improve and enhance the Australian market, even though this is a long-standing source of visitors.”

Ardana said many Australian travel agents remain among the “platinum group” of the top-producing companies bringing tourist visitors to Indonesia. Explaining further, Ardana said that a “platinum agent” is a company bringing 10,000 or more tourists a year to Bali.

Ian Garrit, a tourism operator from Australia, said he looked forward to participating in the BBTF-2016 as the timing was ideal for the Australian marketplace. Garrit said he would use the event to renew contract with existing partners while also looking for new travel products to promote in Australia.

Garrit said the BBTF-2016 offered a single-door approach to the many destinations and tourism products offered by Indonesia.

The Bali and Beyond Travel Fair 2016 will be held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC) June 22-26, 2016

Bali and Beyond Travel Fair Website

Showcasing Balinese Culture on the Village Level
Bali to Add 11 New Tourism Villages in 2016

The Bali Tourism Service has announce plans to develop 11 new tourism villages (desa wisata) spread across 9 regencies and municipalities in 2016 in an effort to achieve a more equitable distribution of the economic benefits of tourism.

As reported by Bisnis Bali, there are currently 42 tourism villages operating in Bali.

Announcing the expansion in the system of traditional villages to attract visitors as a means of sharing Balinese life and culture was the head of the Bali Tourism Service, A.A. Gede Yuniartha Putra.

Yuniartha said the tourism villages would act as a magnet for international visitors. “This is being done in order that tourists do not become bored visiting Bali and we are therefore targeting to have 100 tourism villages in operation by 2018,” he said.

Plans are also underway to help the regencies and municipalities in Bali promote the existence of tourism villages to potential visitors. At the same time, Yuniartha said the Provincial Government will continue to improve the supporting infrastructure in Bali in order to facilitate access to the tourism villages.

Sadly, Up to Scratch
Dengue Fever Rates Increase Dramatically in South Bali

The cases of Dengue Fever (DBD) have been increasing sharply since the start of 2016 in Bali's southern regency of Badung.

For 2016 through February 9, 2016, a total of 92 new cases of DBD were reported. This is a dramatic increase form the last three months of 2015 that saw October with 38 cases, November with 36 cases and December with 36 cases.

The Badung district reporting the most number of DBD cases is South Kuta, followed by Mengwi, Abian Semal, North Kuta, Petang and Kuta.

The district chief (Camat) of South Kuta, Wayan Wirya, blames the large increase of DBD cases in his district on the large number of housing estates found there who do not have a regular programs of trash collection. The South Kuta District is working to educate all elements in the community of the need to maintain a clean environment in the battle to prevent all forms of malaria.

With the rainy season in Bali still underway Health officials are predicting that the number of new cases of DBD may escalate in February and March.

They Shall Not be Moved!
Balinese Communities Unite in their Opposition to Benoa Bay Project

Grass-root opposition to the controversial plan to reclaim Benoa Bay continues to mount with a total of 19 traditional communities in South Bali now formally registering their rejection to the plan to reclaim and develop 700-hectares of what was once declared as a protected mangrove sanctuary.

The 19 communities that have rejected the Benoa Bay Project as detrimental to Bali’s environment are: Desa Adat Buduk, Desa Adat Tanjung Benoa, Bualu, Jimbaran, Kedonganan, Kelan, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Canggu, Berawa, Desa Adat Pemogan, Kepaon, Pedungan, Sesetan, Serangan and Desa Adat Sanur.

Also joining in solidarity against the reclamation project is the Badung Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Badung).

Those opposed to the project have made a joint call on President Joko Widodo to revoke the permit granted to the project by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2014 and reject the environmental impact study prepared by the developer of the project PT TWBI.

In addition to concerns over the environmental damage that will be done by the project, opponents claim the project will only add to overcrowding of the Island’s South and accentuate the inequality in the distribution of the economic benefits of tourism that remain overly-focused Badung and Denpasar.

In independent review of the Benoa Bay reclamation carried out by Bali’s prestigious Udayana University determined the project as non-viable.

Meanwhile, Hindu religious leaders have declared to area to be redeveloped as a sacred region and its development would violate the principles of Tri Hita Karana dictating balance must be maintained between man, God and nature.

Among those numbered as the more vocal opponents to the project have threatened the Government and developers with a Puputan – a traditional Balinese fight to the death – if efforts to develop the site go ahead.

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The Cities by the Bay

Runaway Lions
Flights Diverted to Bali and Lombok After Lion Air Flight Runs Off the End of the Runway at Surabaya Airport

A number of domestic and international flights destined for Surabaya’s Juanda Airport were diverted to Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport on Saturday, February 20, 2016, when Lion Air JT-263 flying from Balikpapan to Surabaya ran off the end of the runway while landing in the capital of East Java.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, a spokesperson for Juanda Airport confirmed that 9 flights were diverted to airports in Bali and Lombok due to the mishap.

Lion Air JT-263 carrying 208 passengers and 7 crew landing at Surabaya at 11:04 am on Saturday ran off the end of the eastern end of runway upon landing. No injuries were reported in connection with the accident.

Lion Air 
reports that the airplane suffered no significant damage during the bad landing.

After evacuating the passengers and inspecting the runway, the airport re-opened the airport at 3:30 pm.

Plow Over Parking Lots, Turn Them into Public Parks
Badung Regent Wants to Makes Kuta Central Parking Area into a Public Park

The Regency of Badung is considering turning the Central Kuta Parking Lot into a public park. Bali Post reports that regency officials are actively pursuing the idea of converting the ill kept and badly managed parking area into a public garden spot.

Badung’s Regent, I Nyoman Giri Prasta, sees the redevelopment of the unsightly parking area into a park as fundamental to improving the overall appearance of the Kuta.

Prasta said: “One of the programs we are considering is the regulation of the Central Kuta Parking Lot. We will soon discuss how to do this. The plan is to create a public park that will help beautify and conserve the environment.”

The Regent said the park would become a public place for sports and recreation, established for family activities.

The Regent said satellite parking lots would also be established at locations in Kuta to end the need for street side parking.

Bali: The Blind Leading the Blind
Editorial: Why Bali Urgently Needs Accurate Data on Visitor Satisfaction Levels

Tourism is the business of expectations.

The promise of adventure, new experiences, exotic surroundings and encounters with enchanting cultures are among the reasons travelers are drawn to spend both the time and money to leave home and journey to distant climes. The curiosity that fuels the desire to travel emanates from a variety of sources: brochures, films, documentaries, literature, tales shared by friends and acquaintances, and, increasingly in these time of online browsing, information provided on the Internet.

International hotel chains invest heavily in communicating their unique selling proposition to the public so their dedicated teams of professional hoteliers can make sure the product meets and exceeds customer’s expectations once check in occurs. In the end, the successful hotel brands are those that consistently meet and exceed the expectations of their guests.

Fail to so this and a hotel brand is in deep trouble.

This immutable rule applies to all sectors of the travel industry, not only hotels and villas, but also to attractions and, on the most fundamental level, the destinations that host these hotels and attractions.

A recent trip through the region prompted reflections on how Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok and Hong Kong have managed to make tremendous strides over the preceding decades in improving the visitor experience in terms of public transport, enhanced cleanliness, and the quality of hotels and attractions.

And while Bali has also made significant improvements during the same period, there exists a genuine concern that those efforts have fallen short on many levels with many current visitors disappointed with their holiday in paradise, left with little or no desire for a return visit.

To a great and regrettable extent, Bali tourism continues to operate on "autopilot" without the necessary instrumentation to determine how the destination is faring in the eyes of domestic and international visitors.

The means to remedy this shortcoming and determine how Bali is doing in the opinion of its customers is relatively inexpensive and readily available.

Bali needs to commission on an ongoing basis a short, scientific and professionally prepared survey that can be administered to domestic and international air travelers as they depart Ngurah Rai Airport.

In terms of implementing such a survey, students from Bali’s tourism colleges, as part of their practical work experience requirement, could be attractively uniformed and trained to administer the surveys to passengers waiting to board their flights departing Bali.

The data from such surveys would prove invaluable to the Bali tourism industry and tourism officials. Beyond the most basic question as to whether or not Bali is “keeping the customer satisfied,” insights would also be gained on specific areas of success and those areas of potential vulnerability that must be improved to safeguard the Island’s massive tourism industry. In the hands of skilled tourism experts, the data obtained could also broken down refecting the viewpoints of specific source markets and whether or not scores are improving or declining over time.

The results of these surveys would also help Bali set its priorities and better plan its future. If such surveys showed widespread disappointment and disaffection, then plans for new hotels in Bali would necessarily be put on urgent hold until such a time as Bali gets its destination product back in order.

This is not rocket science. And, in our opinion, it is not an option that can be ignored or delayed further in the developing history of Bali tourism.

Without such concrete data in hand on whether or not Bali’s visitors are having their expectations adequately met, our tourism leaders are little more than the proverbial “blind leading the blind” on an Island precariously operating on "autopilot."

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Bali Update #640
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #639
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Bali Update #638
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Bali Update #637
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Bali Update #636
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Bali Update #635
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Bali Update #634
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Bali Update #633
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Bali Update #632
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Bali Update #631
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Bali Update #630
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Bali Update #629
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Bali Update #628
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Bali Update #627
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Bali Update #626
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Bali Update #625
September 01, 2008

Bali Update #624
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #622
August 11, 2008

Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #620
July 28, 2008

Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #618
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Bali Update #617
July 07, 2008

Bali Update #616
June 30, 2008

Bali Update #615
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Bali Update #614
June 16, 2008

Bali Update #613
June 09, 2008

Bali Update #612
June 02, 2008

Bali Update #611
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Bali Update #610
May 19, 2008

Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
April 28, 2008

Bali Update #606
April 21, 2008

Bali Update #605
April 14, 2008

Bali Update #604
April 07, 2008

Bali Update #603
March 31, 2008

Bali Update #602
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Bali Update #601
March 10, 2008

Bali Update #600
March 10, 2008

Bali Update #599
March 03, 2008

Bali Update #598
February 25, 2008

Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
February 11, 2008

Bali Update #595
February 04, 2008

Bali Update #594
January 28, 2008

Bali Update #593
January 21, 2008

Bali Update #592
January 14, 2008

Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
December 31, 2007

Bali Update #589
December 24, 2007

Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
December 10, 2007

Bali Update #586
December 03, 2007

Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #583
November 12, 2007

Bali Update #582
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Bali Update #581
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Bali Update #580
October 22, 2007

Bali Update #579
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Bali Update #578
October 08, 2007

Bali Update #577
October 01, 2007

Bali Update #576
September 24, 2007

Bali Update #575
September 17, 2007

Bali Update #574
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Bali Update #573
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Bali Update #572
August 27, 2007

Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #570
August 13, 2007

Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
July 30, 2007

Bali Update #567
July 23, 2007

Bali Update #566
July 16, 2007

Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
July 02, 2007

Bali Update #563
June 25, 2007

Bali Update #562
June 18, 2007

Bali Update #561
June 11, 2007

Bali Update #560
June 04, 2007

Bali Update #559
May 28, 2007

Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
May 07, 2007

Bali Update #555
April 30, 2007

Bali Update #554
April 23, 2007

Bali Update #553
April 16, 2007

Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
March 26, 2007

Bali Update #549
March 19, 2007

Bali Update #548
March 12, 2007

Bali Update #547
March 05, 2007

Bali Update #546
February 26, 2007

Bali Update #545
February 19, 2007

Bali Update #544
February 12, 2007

Bali Update #543
February 05, 2007

Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
January 22, 2007

Bali Update #540
January 15, 2007

Bali Update #539
January 08, 2007

Bali Update #538
January 01, 2007

Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
December 18, 2006

Bali Update #535
December 11, 2006

Bali Update #534
December 04, 2006

Bali Update #533
November 27, 2006

Bali Update #532
November 20, 2006

Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
November 06, 2006

Bali Update #529
October 30, 2006

Bali Update #528
October 23, 2006

Bali Update #527
October 16, 2006

Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
October 2, 2006

Bali Update #524
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
August 28, 2006

Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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Bali Update #516
July 31, 2006

Bali Update #515
July 24, 2006

Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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