BALI UPDATE #380 - 22
Another Domestic Air Connection for Bali
Adam Air to Fly B737-500 Twice Each Day to Bali.
Indonesia's sky-lanes are becoming increasingly crowded and competitive as new air carriers launch their services and attractive fare offers.
One of the latest entrants is start-up airline Adam Air who are operating a Boeing 737-500 twice daily between Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali).
Jakarta to Bali
The Jakarta to Denpasar service departs the Capital twice each aay at 16:20 and 20:30 hours. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Bali to Jakarta
The Denpasar to Jakarta services depart each day at 19:25 and 23:35 hours.
For more information contact the Adam Air Bali Sales Office at telephone ++62-(0)361-227999.
Kamandalu Striking Employees Face Dismissal
As Strike Enters Second Week Owners Threaten to Terminate Workers.
A strike staged by some 155 employees of the Kamandalu Resort and Spa, north of Ubud, entered its second week on Friday, December 19, 2003. As a result, the Owners of the Hotel announced that their next step would be to formally terminate the striking employees, paying termination and severance pay in accordance with the rules set forth by the Department of Manpower.
Like many other hotels in Bali, the Resort was already suffering significant financial hardships prior to the strike. Unable to service existing equity loans, the Hotel is under the supervision of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency.
The striking employees of the Resort have resisted calls from the local Gianyar Government, the Bali Manpower Office, and the Hotel's owners that they return to work pending the mediation of their various demands.
Italy Lifts Travel Advisory
Rome Cites Improving Security Situation in Giving Green Light to Their Tourists Return to Indonesia.
The Italian Government has removed its negative travel advice for Indonesia, acknowledging the continually improving security situation in Indonesia.
The Italian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Francesco M. Greco, has written to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy confirming that the travel advisory has been lifted as the result of the significant progress made by the Indonesian Government in improving the security situation in the Country.
The lifting of the official warning will signal the way for a return of Italian tourists to Bali and other Indonesian tourism destinations. The Italian market segment has decreased by more than 50% since the introduction of the travel advisory discouraging all but essential visits to Indonesia.
The Italian Government has replaced its Indonesian travel advisory with a more general caution which advises its citizens to exercise caution travel to all worldwide destinations.
Christmas is for Children
Discovery Kartika Plaza Plays Hosts to Bali Orphans at Christmas Party.
While most hotels in Bali are celebrating the Christmas and New Year's holidays with festive decorations of the season and special traditional food offerings, the generous folks at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel
in South Kuta have taken the additional step of sharing the spirit of the season with children from local orphanages.
On Saturday, December 13, 2003, the Hotel played Santa Claus
to a group of 60 children from the Bala Keselamatan (Salvation Army)
, and Dharma Jati
orphanages. The kids enjoyed great copious quantities of food and drink, participated in drawing contests on the beach, won prizes, and spent a memorable day in the warm family embrace of the hotel's staff.Seen in the picture on balidiscovery.com are the children from the orphanages posing with the Hotel's General Manager, Mr. Urs Klee (back right), and Resident Manager, Mr. Nyoman Astama (front right).
'Termogram' at Neka Museum Thru January 21, 2004
80 Artists from Sanggar Dewata Indonesia in Joint Exhibition in Ubud.
80 Balinese comprising the Sanggar Dewata Indonesia group of artists will exhibit some 90 works in a show entitled 'Termogram' at the Neka Museum in Ubud. The artists represent current students and alumni of the Yogyakarta Institute of Indonesian Art (ISI) hailing from Bali who have been involved attended the school over the past 10 years.
The Curator of the exhibition, Mikke Susanto, believes the works on display will help identify new trends as well as the ongoing struggles by the individual artists to establish their own artistic visions.
Some of the artists participating in the 'Termogram' exhibition include Wayan Sudarma Putra, Wayan Danu, Wayan Wirawan, Gn Udiantara, Nyoman Adiana and Made Makti Wiyasa.
The exhibition was opened on Sunday, December 21, 2003, by the Police Chief of Bali, Inspector General I Made Mangku Pastika. The exhibition will run for one month until January 21, 2003 and will include workshops and discussions held at the Neka Museum in Ubud during the course of the exhibition.
For more information contact the Museum Neka at ++62-(0)361-975074.
Culture Diplomacy Mission Headed to the U.S.A.
Indonesian Team to Try Cultural Approach in Communicating to the American People.
An 11-member team comprised of representatives of the Indonesia Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Association of Indonesian Students in the U.S. (PERMIAS) will soon launch a cultural diplomacy offensive on three cities in the United States. In an effort to try to persuade American tourists to recommence their visits to Indonesia, the group will hold a series of dialog sessions with American academics, religious leaders, journalists, students and the public in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Included in the Indonesian delegation will be a leading Indonesian religious and human rights figure, Professor Dr. Ismail Sunny. Joining Dr. Sunny will be alumni from PERMIAS, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
In announcing the mission, Mr. Thamrin B. Bachri, the Deputy Chief for Increasing Capacity and International Cooperation from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said a cultural approach was being used in communicating with the American public because of the shared belief, expressed in the universal declaration of the UN, that cultural understanding builds bridges between peoples.
A main goal of the road show delegation will be to try to provide a fuller understanding of Indonesian society to the people of America and to try to persuade the U.S. Government to remove negative travel advisories in place for travel by American to Indonesia.
Volunteers Need to Register
Manpower Minister Reminds Volunteers – Both Local and Foreign, Must Register Their Activities with His Department.
The Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, Mr. Jacob Nua Wea, has asked that all volunteer workers in Indonesia, both Indonesian nationals and foreigners, register with his office so he, in turn, can lend support and protection to volunteer workers in carrying out their duties.
The Manpower Minister said that in particular international volunteer organizations wishing to assign people to Indonesia need to report to the Department of Manpower and Transmigration where he promised the necessary permits would be processed without any charge.
The Minister's comments were made during a press conference held in Jakarta in conjunction with the celebration of World Volunteer Day.
Minister Nuwa Wea said that his Department had processed permits for 51 foreign volunteers in 2003, a number that he expects will grow to as many as 5,000 volunteers in 2004.
According to the Minister, The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration is charged with coordinating and developing volunteer organizations operating in Indonesia. The Manpower Ministry works together with the State intelligence agencies, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the State Secretariat, Immigration, Police and local community leaders in handling volunteer agencies' activities in Indonesia.
Rain Disrupts Bali Flight Schedules
Heavy Rains Disrupts Flights at Bali's Airport.
Heavy rains on Thursday, December 18, 2003, were so severe as to temporarily disrupt flight schedules operating in and out of Bali's sole airstrip.
Nearly 20 flights operating between the morning hours 08:00 – 12:00 on Thursday were delayed by unusually severe rain fall that reduced visibility on the ground to below acceptable minimums.
Pilots on the ground and control tower staff reported visibility of only 1,000 meters, half of the minimum 2,000 meters for safe taxi and take off procedures. According to airport authorities, planes inbound to Bali were diverted because of visibility issues and concerns that the torrential rain would affect safe operation of jet engines.
The flights delayed from taking off were largely those operated by Garuda Indonesia and Star Air. On the inbound side, a number of flights were diverted to alternate airports with better weather conditions with at least 4 flights suspended for a period in holding patterns above the airport hoping for the rains to ease.
Pitana Says Guides Must Know Balinese Culture
Chief of Bali Tourism Issues Ultimatum to Culturally Ignorant Tour Guides: Shape Up or Ship Out!
Bali Tourism Authority (BTA), the Government Body charged with safeguarding the island's culture and tourism, has recently cracked down on guides without proper licenses or whose guiding permits have expired. In past weeks some 400 illegal guides have been rounded up during sweeping inspections carried out by police and tourism officials. Of that total, 195 cases have been forwarded to the Courts, 14 cases are still in legal process, and the remainder were given guidance to prevent future infringement on the guide rules.
Speaking at a guide training course held in Denpasar on December 12, 2003, the Chief of the BTA, Dr. Professor I Gde Pitana, called for the quality of Bali guides to be continually enhanced, both in terms of the number of foreign languages spoken and in terms of their understanding of Balinese culture. "Guides working in Bali must know Bali's Culture," cautioned Dr. Pitana, adding "those who don't know (Bali's culture), should get out of Bali!"
Dr. Pitana quickly explained that his statement in this regard should not be misinterpreted as cultural hegemony by the Balinese, but rather as a matter intrinsically tied to maintaining the quality of the Bali tourism product.
Bali is Their Kind of Place
McDonald's Lead Kuta Beach Clean-up Campaign.
On Sunday, December 14, 2002, the golden-arched McDonald's operating in Bali joined forces to conduct a "clean-up Kuta" campaign.
Supported by the Kuta Executive Club and the beachfront security association – the McDonald's staffers spent the afternoon cleaning up the beachfront that stretches north and south in front of their Kuta Beach location. Quoted in the local press, Mr. Gilig Prakosa, the Bali Operations Manager for the fast food chain said, "We wish for the beach to remain clean and this represents our commitment to help clean up the environment."
The beach clean up was welcomed by the traditional chief of the Kuta village, Mr. IGK Sudira, who said he hoped the clean up campaign for Kuta's beach would be an ongoing project and increase the public's awareness and concern for the local environment.
ASITA Calls for Reopening of Tourist Info Centers
Agung Prana Cites Need to Support Tourism's Revitalization.
The Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Association (ASITA), Mr. Agung Prana, has called on the Government to re-establish the overseas Tourism Development Centers (PPPI) in order to disseminate information regarding Indonesian tourism to the world.
Mr. Prana told the Indonesian-language daily newspaper Bisnis Indonesia that now was the time to re-open Tourism Information offices in Tokyo, Frankfurt, Canberra and Los Angeles in order to assist national efforts to return vitality to the tourism sector of the economy. The four Indonesian Tourism Information offices have been closed by the Government dating from the economic crisis of several years ago, citing their "lack of effectiveness" in promoting national tourism.
"We ask that the PPPI offices that once operated under the tourism industry be re-opened because many tour operators in Europe, the U.S.A., and Australia are encountering difficulties in obtaining information on Bali.
Facing Uncertain Skies
Garuda's Commercial VP, Bachrul Hakim, Interviewed on Metro TV.
Interviewed on the English-language program Metro This Morning broadcasted on Metro TV on Friday, December 19, 2003, Garuda Indonesia's (GA) Vice-President of Commercial Affairs, Mr. Bachrul Hakim shared his thoughts on the national airline's operations in uncertain skies over the coming 12 months:
• Describing the airline industry as a whole, Mr. Hakim suggested that airlines that will survive are those that can apply efficiency to their operations. To this end, GA has cut back all its marginal and unprofitable routes over the past twelve months focusing its efforts on regional routes in the Asia Pacific.
• Commenting on the threatened change in the visa policy, he suggested that despite any pro and con arguments circulating regarding the effects of the policy, the Government needs to be aware of competitive practice in the region. He also said that if the visa-fee at the airport is introduced that change must be not represent an inconvenience to the flying public, calling for any visa fee process to be "easy and uncomplicated."
• When asked about Indonesia's first direct election of a President scheduled for 2004, Mr. Hakim said that this was not an issue for Indonesia's domestic passengers who will largely take the election process in stride. While the subject of elections is a somewhat sensitive issue on the international front, the effect of the elections on travel to Indonesia will depend much on how the media portrays the democratic election process in Indonesia.
• Discussing market shifts in the Asia-Pacific, Mr. Hakim pointed to the dynamic growth in Chinese and Vietnamese tourism, emphasizing the world-wide perception that these destinations are safe for international visitors. He also pointed out how the success of the economies of these two countries is also creating an unexpectedly buoyant outbound market from these countries.
• Mr. Hakim cautioned that the current trend to rush to "low-cost" and "no frill" airlines has to be weighed against whether or not the airlines labeling themselves as such are truly "low cost" or, instead, commercial opportunists "dumping" cheap and non-sustainable fares on the local marketplace. He said that he felt that GA was in a good position to compete with the new airlines because of the Company's improved efficiency and its existing strong domestic network to support its international sectors.