Minister of Energy Calls for Better Stewardship of Baliís UNESCO Batur Geopark
The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Ignasius Jonan, has called on the regional government in Bali to preserve and protect the Batur Volcanic Geopark that has received official recognition from UNESCO.
Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, Jonan said on an official visit to the Batur Geopark on Sunday, December 4, 2016, “I ask the regional government and the local population the protect the Geopark in order that it remains natural.”
The Minister of Energy said the regional government plays a key role in protection the Batur Geopark in halting open excavation of surface soil (galian C) within the Park.
“If the galian C excavation activities are allowed to continue in areas close to the Batur Geopark, this will certainly threaten the conservation of the park,” warned Jonan.
The Regent of Bangli, Made Gianyar, assured the Minister that open excavation at the Park had ceased and large trucka no longer traveled to and from the inner park with the large outer crater of the unique park that is essentially a "volcano within a volcano."
A Case of Misadventure
English Runner Dies Weeks after Being Injured in Fall on Bali Nature Trail
An Englishman, Andrew Rowson (49) originally from Manchester, England, died on Sunday, December 4, 2016, at the Wisma Kaliyuda in Legian.
As reported by Metrobali.com, Rowson was found on the floor of his bathroom with traces of blood flowing from his mouth and nose.
More than two weeks prior to his death, Rowson has fallen some five meters when he was walking near Bongkasa, Abiansemal, while making a survey for a running route for the Bali Hash House Harriers.
Following the fall, Rowson was hospitalized for 12-days at the Siloam Hospital before being released on November 30,2016, with prescribed medications and instructions to report every few days to the hospital in order that his recovery could be monitored. The man reportedly suffered four broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder as a result of his fall.
According to Hospital sources, the Englishman did not keep his follow-up appointments with the Hospital.
Reducing Holiday Traffic Jams
Transportation Ministry to Restrict Travel by Goods Trucks Over Christmas Holiday Period
In anticipation of heavy traffic over the 2016-2017 Christmas and New Years period, the Ministry of Transportation, in cooperation with the police and other agencies, are planning to limit access by goods trucks to the Nation’s roads over the holidays.
Quoted by Balipost.com, the Director General of Transportation, Pudji Hartanto, said on Monday, December 5, 2016, the restrictions to be imposed on truck traffic over the holidays would apply only on specific roads and specific dates.
Goods truck will be banned from major roadways starting from one minute past midnight on December 23 until midnight on December 26, 2016.
The restriction will apply on only five traffic routes:
Merak-Kembangan Jakarta (Merak-Cikupa-Kembangan-JORR W2)
Cawang Jakarta-Brebes Timur (Cawang-Cikarang Utama-Cikopo-Palimanan-Pejagan-Brebes Timur)
The prohibition of truck traffic on the above routes will apply to truck with more than 2 axels, but will not apply to trucks carrying fuel and gas supplies.
Pilot in Command
Indonesian Government to Increase Employment Opportunities for Local Pilots
The Jakarta Globe says Indonesian officials are considering cutting back on the number of foreign pilots working on Indonesian airlines in order to create more employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed homegrown pilots.
Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi estimates that 900 Indonesian pilots remain jobless because of a lack of certification to fly wide-bodied aircraft and job competition from foreign pilots.
Said Sumadi, "Our pilots are getting fewer and fewer opportunities."
Current Indonesian law does not allow national airlines to employ foreign pilots with less than 250 hours of flight time. This rule was introduced in 2013 when some 600 foreign pilots were still employed by Indonesian Airlines.
There were around 600 foreign pilots being employed by local airlines at the time thT restriction was put in place.
As part of the government’s plans to create more employment opportunities for Indonesian pilots, the Government will enhance training available for pilots to ensure they meet the standards sought by commercial airline operations.
Indonesia currently graduates around 65 new commercial pilots each year. These new pilots still require additional training and flight time in order to compete with foreign pilots for jobs with national airlines.
7,150 pilots are seeking employment in Indonesia with only 770 vacancies currently open.
Some aviation industry observers claim Indonesian airlines are hiring co-pilots from the Balkans who are ready to accept pay rates below that sought by local pilots in order to accumulated flying hours.
Curtains at the Theater?
Local Watchdog Group Wants New Cinema XXI in Denpasar, Bali Closed for Zoning and Building Code Violations
In the ongoing controversy surrounding the new Cinema XXI complex in Bali's capital of Denpasar,the chairman of the Independent Body for the Supervision of Development and the Environment (BIPPLH), Komang Subudi, is urging the Mayor or Denpasar to revoke the operating permits issued to the new theater on November 4, 2016.
Subudi said that because the Mayoral Decree Number 31 of 2016 prohibiting the operation of a movie theater within a radius of 5 km of an existing theater operated by the Municipality had been violated, the new permit for Cinema XXI should be suspended. Quoted by RadarBali.com, Subudi said the legal bearing of the Municipality was at threat if the permit for the new theater was allowed to continue operations in direct opposition of a Mayoral Decree.
Subudi also called for a review of the Building Permit (IMB) issued for the Level 21 Mall to certify that the resulting building matches the actual building. The BIPPLH chairman said that the IMB for the building had been modified on a number of occasions and if it is found that the actual building does not conform with the approved drawings then part or all of the building should be demolished in order to bring the building into compliance.
The head of the licensing authority (BPPTSP & PM), Made Kusuma Diputra, has defended the operation of a movie theatre at Level 21, insisting the theater’s permit was contained in the building permit granted 9 years ago to Denpasar Junction and therefore predates the Mayoral Decree prohibiting theaters within 5 km of a City-owned theater.
Baliís Capital of Denpasar launches Ď112' as the Number to Dial in the Event of an Emergency
On Monday, December 5, 2016, trial operations of the “Dial 112” system were undertaken involving the Ministry of Communications and Information and various emergency response agencies.
The head of the Coordinated Emergency Response Team for Denpasar (BPBD), IGN Gede Buditham, told Metrobali.com that Denpasar was chosen as a pilot location for the “Dial 112” program together with 9 other locations nationwide that include Tangerang, Depok, Bogor, Batam, Balikpapan, Makasar, Mataram, Surakarta and Bandung.
In launching the “Dial 112” program, Denpasar is being given three years of support from the Central Government in the form of hardware, software, and training.
The “112” number can now be used by the public in time of natural disaster.
The public formerly dialed 0361-223333 in the event of natural disaster. That number will remain in operation during a transition period to the new “112” system.
More Shipping Capacity to Nusa Penida
RoRo Shipping Schedule Between Bali and Nusa Penida Doubled
Effective Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the RoRo vessel sailing from Padangbai to Nusa Penida will sail twice each day, following a decision taken by the Communications and Information Bureau (Dishubkominfo) of Klungkung in cooperation with the State Ferry Service (ASDP).
As reported by NusaBali, the RoRo vessel will sail the one-hour voyage from Nusa Penida to Padangbai 6:30-7:30 am and return 8:30-9:30 am. The second voyage leaves Nusa Penida 3:30-4:30 pm returning from Padangbai 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
The new schedule is an increase from the previous schedule of one trip per day.
Officials Shut Down Maha Ungasan Villa in South Kuta, Bali for License and Building Violations
The Maha Ungasan Villa in South Kuta was closed and placed under seal by Badung Regency enforcement officials on Monday, December 5, 2016.
RadarBali.com reports Regency officials closed the villa complex because Maha Ungasan Villa held no building permit (IMB) required to be in hand before a permanent building is erected in Bali.
The Villa also holds no operating license issued by the Badung Regency.
Enforcement officials descended on the Villa at 10:00 am on December 5, 2016, and posted an announcement on the property’s gate announcing its closure under seal by official order issued by the Regent.
Regency officials told the Villa’s owners to respect the legal process and no longer accepts guests.
Legal representatives of the owner were reportedly angered by the attendance of the media at the closure of the property.
From Sea to Shining Sea
World Ocean Summit Comes to Bali February 22-24, 2017
The 4th World Ocean Summit, supported by The Economist Magazine, will take place in Bali February 22-24, 2017.
The stated goals of the Summit are to “bring a critical eye to the vital issue on how to finance a sustainable ocean economy.” Participants will discuss how to mobilize capital to drive scalable, sustainable investment in the oceans.
Organizers foretell that the conventional economy of the past is moving to a “blue” or sustainable economy that opens new economic and investment opportunities.
This transition must be undertaken with great care because the world’s oceans are under great environment pressure. While much is being made of environmentally sustainable enterprises involving the oceans, critical efforts are needed to ensure word and deeds match the stated goals of creating a “green” or, in this case, a “blue” world.
The conference will exchange ideas, publicize best “blue” economy practice and identify sources of capital for worthy businesses.
Bali Officials Working Overtime to Remove Seasonal Wash Up of Trash on Kuta Beach
In the midst of Bali’s current rainy season, the estimated 210 tons of rubbish and trash washes ashore each day during the westerlies has now increased by a further 50 tons to 260 tons.
As reported by RadarBali.com, I Putu Eka Merthawan of the Badung Regency's Parks Department assured the public on Thursday, December 12, 2016, that procedures are in place to remove the continual inflow of trash and minimize the inconvenience experienced by Island visitors.
Merthawan said: “While tourists see the trash on the shore, they also see us working to remove that trash. At least, we are not disappointing our guests.” He also affirmed that procedures are in place to handle the trash that is expected to reach its peak during the months of January and February.
He also called on hotel and restaurant operators in Kuta to anticipate the coming onslaught and assure guests that measures are in place and do all possible to minimize panic in the tourism sector.
On Friday, December 2, 2016, the deputy-regent of Badung, Ketut Suisa, visited the beachfront accompanied by other regency officials to monitor that all was being done to removed the trash that washes ashore annually in Bali at this time of year.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency in Bali (BKMG-Bali), Gede Wirya Jaya, said wave heights on Bali’s north shore will be between 0.25-1.0 meters and in the south between 0.5-2.5 meters.
Bali Customs Officials Burn Hundreds of Confiscated Items
The Customs office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport put to flame a wide range of confiscated and unclaimed items on Thursday, December 8, 2016
The items incinerated by Custom’s officials included bottles of alcoholic beverages, electronic appliances, handphones, airsoft guns, cosmetics, items of imported clothing, marital aids and sex toys.
RadarBali.com said the confiscated items were first cut into pieces and then burnt. The items destroyed had been held by customs for more than 90 days with no coming forward to claim, process their importation and pay applicable duties. In some cases, such as cosmetics and airsoft guns, the items destroyed were destined from the start for destruction, as their import requires special licenses.
In all, 601 items were burnt - all confiscated by customs over the past 12 months. Customs officials say many of some 400 bottles of alcohol destroyed were items ordered by duty-free shops that had been held by Customs past their “use-by” date.
A Fatal Ending in Bali
Brazilian Expat Operating Martial Arts Studio Dies in Late Night Motorcycle Accident in Bali
A Brazilian expatriate working in Bali as a martial arts instructor died in a late night motorcycle accident on Jalan Raya Pantai Brawa on Monday, December 5, 2016.
As reported by RadarBali.com, Silvio Romero da Silva, an MLA fighter and proprietor of a martial arts studio in Bali was driving a Kawasaki Ninja 250 cc motorcycle and was not wearing a helmet when he ran into the back of a goods truck at 2:30 am.
Police believe da Silva may have been intoxicated at the time of the accident. His motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck the back of the truck hit the truck with sufficient force to break the motorbikes steering column.
Da Silva died at the scene of the accident and remained unidentified for nearly 10 hours at the morgue because the Brazilian was carrying no identification at the time of the accident.
When Only the Best Will Do
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali ĎCelebrates the Bestí at its Annual Appreciation Gathering
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali hosted its gala annual Appreciation Gathering on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Over 300 invited guests, including key business partners and media representatives, filled the Nusantara Room for an evening of good food and entertainment.
Guests were greeted by the Resort’s senior associates on arrival and enjoyed cocktails in a foyer area. A DJ provided music as guests were invited to have their photo taken at a dedicated photo booth.
The theme for the evening was “Celebrate The Best” and showcased a number of Westin’s Signature Initiatives. A “Feel Well” corner by the award-winning Heavenly Spa provided short head and shoulder relaxation massages. There was also a dedicated “Play Well” area highlighting Westin Family activities and a “Move Well” section featuring the Resort’s innovative Gear Lending program.
The party moved to the Nusantara Room where a live band performed. A short video presentation highlighting the resort’s many attributes was followed by a short speech by The Westin’s managing director, Bipan Kapur, who introduced the sales and marketing team. The top ten supporters of the Resort were recognized for their patronage.
The evening continued with music, lots of lucky draws and prizes for the best-dressed guest. An live auction of a Heavenly Bed raised Rp. 60 million for UNICEF’s Check Out For Children charity program.
“Our annual Appreciation Gathering has become one of the high points on our social calendar and it goes without saying that we really do know how to throw a great party. It was heartening to see such a good turnout and meet up with those who continue to support our property. My appreciation goes out to my entire team for the passion hand hard work that went into making the event a success,” commented Bipan Kapur, managing director of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali.
Among the lucky draw items were from Thai Airways who generously provided roundtrip flights to Paris and India, while Smailing Tours DMC gave trips to Bangkok and Singapore.
Enjoy video coverage on YouTube of The Westin Nusa Dua, Bali 2016 Appreciation Party.
We Need a Little Christmas
Those in need of a little Christmas Cheer should head for The Bridges in Ubud on Sunday, December 18, 2016, for an Enjoyable Evening of Yuletide Music and Festive Fare.
Back by popular demand for a second year, the Bali Community Choir will sing in the Christmas Holiday at The Bridges in Ubud on Sunday, December 18, 2016.
Starting from 7:00 pm a three-course holiday season menu accompanied by "Songs of the Season" will be on offer for only Rp. 350,000 plus tax and service.
Bookings must be made before December 17th.
The Bali Community Choir is under the direction of former “Sing Australia” conductor Brendan O’Donnell
Bali House of Representatives Determines Sales of Provinceís Interest in Sanur Bali Hyatt Done without Official Approval
Details continue to emerge on the complicated saga of the status of a 2.5 hectare plot of land owned by the Province of Bali that now forms part of the former Bali Hyatt in Sanur.
As reported by Beritabali.com, lots DN 71 and D 72, measuring around 2.5 hectares andowned by the Province, were given by then governor Sukarmen to PT Sanur Bali Resort Development in exchange for shares in the property to be owned by the Province.
In return, the Province of Bali reportedly received a 10.9% share in PT Sanur Bali Resort Development who, in turn, held a 5% share in the Hotel Bali Hyatt Sanur.
Apparently, the Province was never issued stock certificates demonstrating their ownership share nor has the province ever been paid a dividend during its 40-year ownership participation in the successful resort. And, perhaps worst of all, the land was apparently sold by PT Sanur Bali Resort Development without the approval of the Province or the payment of any funds to the Island's administration.
On a number of occasions, the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) have tried with no success to clarify the status of the Province’s shareholding in the Resort.
On Friday, December 9, 2016, Commission I of the DPRD-Bali convened the latest meeting on the missing shares, summoning key players in the transaction and operation of the Sanur hotel property. The latest hearing heard from Provincial Administrators, the Denpasar Land Agency and representatives of the PT Wynncor – the owners of the Resort.
Legislators expressed surprise to learn that the Province’s shares in the Hotel had been unilaterally sold to PT Wynncor by PT Sanur Bali Resort without consulting or obtaining the approval of the Province. A PT Wynncor representative told the DPRD-Bali that the hotel made the purchase unaware that the Province still had a shareholding in PT Sanur Bali Resort.
In 1988, PT Wynncor Bali purchased all the shares in the Bali Hyatt held by PT Sanur Bali Resort.
A lead administrator for the Province of Bali told the DPRD-Bali that, based on the explanation provided by PT Wynncor,PT Sanur Bali Resort was sold to PT Wynncor without the knowledge or agreement of the Province. Those authorizing the sale on behalf or PT Sanur Bali Resort in 1988 were Laksana R Subyak Subiyakto, Yayasan Hudaya Bina Sejahtera (BPN) and Widodo Sukarno.
The chairman of Commission I of the DPRD-Bali, Ketut Tama Tenaya, said, based on the findings of his Commission, he recommends that all activities at the Bali Hyatt Sanur site be stopped and that steps be undertaken to reclaim the Province’s rightful share.
The former Bali Hyatt Sanur Site has been closed and is undergoing redevelopment as a new hotel under a Hyatt brand for PT Wynncor.
Garuda Indonesia Commences Thrice Weekly Service Between Jakarta and Mumbai
With little advance warning, Garuda Indonesia commenced flight service between Jakarta and Mumbai, Indonesia on Monday, December 12, 2016, when GA 862 departed from Soekarno-Hatta Airport at a scheduled 12:55 pm.
The flight used a Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft with an intermediate stop in Bangkok on its way to India before landing in India at 8:30 pm. The service between Jakarta and Mumbai will initially operate thrice weekly.
Garuda Indonesia, president director Arif Wibowo describe the new flight to Tempo.co as a trial operation, adding: “We will see how it goes in two or three months; if the results are good, we will make it direct flights.”
Members of Bali’s travel industry question if the new Garuda service will make a measurable impact on Indian visitor numbers to Bali. Indian travelers destined for Bali from Mumbai will need to transit both Bangkok and Jakarta on their way to Bali, resulting in a longer travel time than those using foreign carriers with only one intermediate stop.
The Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft flying the route is configured for two classes of travel.
Indonesia Mulling Subsidizing New International Flight Routes to Help Grow Tourism Numbers
The Jakarta Post reports that the Indonesian Tourism Ministry is promising to provide financial subsidies to national airlines flying to new overseas destinations to cover loss-making operations during the initial period of a new flight service.
The Tourism Ministry will allocate US$15 million as an incentive for Indonesia airlines to open new markets.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said: “This year, about 9.6 million of 12 million foreign tourists arrived via air transportation. The target for next year is 15 million with 12 million expected to fly here. So, there is a gap of about 2.5 million that we need to address.”
The plan from the Ministry is still under study with officials trying to determine what airlines will be eligible for the subsidies and whether the scheme will apply to just new destination or also include existing destinations.
The maximum incentive being discussed is said to be US$15 per person.
Indonesia is actively pursuing plans to double foreign tourism arrivals to 20 million tourists by 2019.
Reclaiming Civil Liberties
National Commission on Human Rights Calls on Bali Chief of Police to Respect the Constitutional Rights of those Protesting the Reclamation of Benoa Bay
Metrobali.com reports that the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM RI) has formally responded to a complaint filed by the Forum Rejecting the Reclamation of Benoa Bay (ForBALI) and issued a letter to the Chief of Bali’s Provincial Police dated November 28, 2016, asking for an end to the criminalization and suspicion of ForBALI,Indonesian Police Watch and the Traditional Communities of Bali (Masyarakat Adat Bali) in connection with these groups’ opposition to the reclamation of Bali’s Benoa Bay.
ForBALI reported to Komnas HAM RI that their leadership and members were subjected to attacks and beatings at the opening of the Bali Arts Festival on June 11, 2016, witnessed by the police. ForBALI also alleged that the public’s freedom of expression in opposing the controversial reclamation of Benoa Bay, including the removal of banners and billboards over the past three years, has been violated by members of the police and armed forces.
The complaint filed with Komnas HAM-RI also contained details of the arrest of a ForBALI activist, I Gusti Putu Dharma Dharmawijaya, on September 7, 2016, without the required formal arrest order.
The letter from Komnas HAM-RI sent to Bali’s Chief of Police contained three main points:
Komnas HAM-RI urged the Bali Police Chief to end the criminalization and curtailment of free expression against members of the public opposed to the reclamation of Benoa Bay, insisting such protests are the constitutional right of every Indonesian citizen.
Komnas HAM-RI urged the police in Bali to end the criminal process initiated against the ForBALI activist I Gusti Putu Dharmawijaya, stating his arrest was carried out in opposition to the proper procedures set forth under the law.
Komnas HAM-RI called on the Chief of Police in Bali to investigate members of the Bali Police accused of beating ForBALI activists attending the opening of the Bali Arts Festival on June 11, 2016.
In closing, Komnas HAM-RI urged the Bali Chief of police to respond to their letter, taking the necessary steps outlined for urgent follow up.
Collier International Property Report Says Bali on the Way to Becoming Home to 74,946 Starred Hotel Rooms
The latest Hotel Property Report issued in October 2016 by Colliers International reports that the “upcoming supply (of hotel rooms) in Bali will be dominated by 4-star hotels. The current supply of hotel rooms and those anticipated to be added before year’s end:
5 Star Hotels stood at 17,891 rooms with 1,583 new 5-star rooms expected to be added by year-end 2016.
4 Star Hotels stood at 21,406 with 2,197 new 4-star rooms expected by year-end 2016.
3 Star Hotels stood at 15,729 with 742 new 3-star hotels expected by year-end 2016.
According to the Collier International reports 5,213 new 4-star hotel rooms are “in the pipeline” - meaning under construction are holding permits needed to commence construction.
Similarly, Collier says a further 9,267 5-star hotel rooms are in the pipeline at this time.
Collier International counts 3,258 budget hotel rooms (3 star) in operation in Bali with a further 855 budget hotels in the pipeline.
Assuming hotels in the pipeline actually materialize, Bali will soon be home to:
28,741 5-star hotel rooms
28,816 4 star hotel rooms
17,389 3 star or “budget” hotel rooms.
Total 74,946 starred hotel rooms open or “in the pipeline” for Bali.
Despite calls for a moratorium on new hotel rooms in Bali to allow both customer demand and the Island’s supporting infrastructure to catch up, regency officials continue to encourage new investment in Bali’s hotel sector.
Bali to End 2016 with 4.85 Mn Tourist Visitors
Bali by the Numbers: Annual Arrivals Growth in Bali Foreign Tourist Arrivals Over Past 8 Years Averaged 12%
Foreign tourist arrivals to Bali remained strong in October 2016 with monthly arrivals reached 432,215 – 17.1% more than the total visitors for the same month in 2015.
For the period January – October 2016 foreign tourist arrivals passed the four million mark achieving 4,071,905 - a number 21.18% more than the total achieved during the first ten months of 2015.
y two months left to count in 2016 it is possible to extrapolate that Bali will end 2016 with total arrivals of some 4.85 million.
year for the first ten months of 2016, the star-performers were Australia (+16.34%), China (+36.42%), U.K. (+33.51%), France (+27.86%), India (+58.69%), USA (+27.9%), Germany (+29.26%), Russia (+22.49%), Philippines (+35.18%), Italy (+28.92%) and Spain (+36.43%).
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.