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Bali Discovery Tours
Komplek Pertokoan
Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Tel: ++62 361 286 283
Fax: ++62 361 286 284
24h: ++62 812 3819724



PATAASITAICCA
Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #381 - 29 December 2003

Scant Funds Available for Tourism Promotion
Hopes for Aggressive Tourism Promotion Effort Dashed as Meager Budget Announced.

Proposals from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for a promotional budget of Rp. 356 billion (approximately US$ 41.8 million) received less than serious support from legislators who approved a final promotional budget of only 31.8% of the amount requested or Rp. 113.5 billion (approximately US$ 13.35 million).

For 2004, a total budget of Rp. 310.3 billion (approximately US$ 36.5 million) has been allocated to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Of this amount some Rp. 300 billion is from State revenues with the remaining Rp. 10.33 billion in foreign loans for infrastructure improvement programs.

From the total funds available to the Ministry - Rp. 113.5 billion or 35.6% of the total available will be used for promotional activities; Rp. 82.33 billion (approximately US$ 9.69 million) will be used for tourism product development; Rp. 101.5 billion (approximately US$ 11.94 billion) is allocated for cultural preservation activities; Rp. 7 billion (approximately US$ 823,000) for data collection and planning; and Rp. 6 billion (approximately US$ 705,000) for auditing and control.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism used the opportunity to remind the legislators that the targets for increased foreign visitor flows and foreign exchange from tourism will not be met unless an intensive promotional campaign is continually carried out on behalf of Indonesian tourism.


Bali Discovery Takes the Day Off
We are Family: Bali Discovery Staff and Family Gather for 'Fun Day' at Kelanting Beach.

On Sunday, August 28, 2003, the entire staff and family of Bali Discovery Tours and balidiscovery.com gathered on picturesque Kelanting Beach on Bali's West Coast.

The setting for the gathering was a palatial private villa estate owned by a client who offered its use for a day as their way of saying "thank you" for the care and attention of the Bali Discovery Tours' team over the past few years.

In something of a role reversal, the team became tourists for a day and boarded busses and vans which delivered the staff to the estate. Copious quantities of food and drinks were provided as contests were held to compete for prizes among the younger set.

Instant hits among the kids were the newly arrived pair of Labrador puppies - Samantha and Bella - who, despite their tender age of only two months – insisted on demonstrating their swimming skills in the Villa's pools.

Bali Discovery Tours' founders, J.M. Daniels and Arie Sukirno, took the opportunity to thank the staff for their dedication and hard work over the past year which, despite the problems that have befallen the island, has seen the Company make important progress in a number of areas.


2004 Tourism Targets Set
Government Predicts 5 Million Visitors in 2004.

The Government has set itself a target of 5 million foreign visitors for 2004 expected to leave US$ 5 billion in much-needed foreign exchange in their wake. While official figures for 2003 are not yet available, it is widely expected that totals will fall short of the downwardly revised target of 4.6 million visitors, totaling in the end at around only 4.4 million visitors.

Speaking at a year-end conference, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. I Gede Ardika, announced the tourism targets for the coming year calling on all components of the government and industry to work together in achieving these goals. The Minister underlined that there were three variables of performance for measuring national tourism in the year ahead, namely total foreign visitors, average expenditure levels by those visitors, and the average length of stay while in the Country.

The Challenges Ahead

Minister Ardika said that tourism plays a significant role in the Indonesian economy, supplying 30% of development funds. While tourism was badly hurt by the terrorist bombing attack of October 2002 in Bali, the Minister suggested that the resulting sudden drop in business managed to remind everyone of the fundamental role played by tourism in producing foreign exchange and employment in both the formal and non-formal sectors of the economy.

The Minister said that he felt the first direct Presidential elections set for 2004 should not have a significant negative impact on tourism. Mr. Ardika said he was optimistic that the Country continues to improve in its ability to handle the democratic process.

Speaking on the controversial issue of the removal of the visa-free facility currently enjoyed by the nationals of 48 countries, Minister Ardika said that, if handled properly, this should not reduce the desire of foreigners to visit Indonesia. The Minister added that on the visa issue what was sorely needed was a degree of certainty on the number of countries to be affected by any change in the visa policy, the actual amount to be charged, and how the payment would be handled.

Mr. Ardika's Ministry has submitted a list of 21 tourism producing countries that he feels should be added to the 11 nations currently proposed to retain the visa-free facility. If that recommendation is accepted, a total of 32 countries would be eligible for stays without any charge being levied at the Nation's gateways.


A Celebration of Coffee
'Kopi Bali House' Opens in Sanur.

To call the newly opened Kopi Bali House on Sanur's Jalan Ngurah Rai Bypass just another coffee shop would be a disservice and be descriptive of what is a monument to that rich nectar produced from the humble coffee bean.

Opened by the Tjahjadi family of Bali coffee dealers who have been in the business of buying, roasting and brewing coffee for over 70 years, the Kopi Bali House occupies more than 3 floors of a totally renovated shop front. The interior décor like the shops facade is bright and modern, offering an attractive setting for a trendy yet inexpensive dining venue, an art gallery, a museum of coffee memorabilia and exotica, a point of sale for an almost endless variety of choice coffees and teas, and a classroom where the history and secrets of how to prepare the perfect brew are shared.

Innovative in their approach to coffee, Kopi Bali House's motto is "more than a cup of coffee."Reflecting this view, they even offer a coffee on wheels program bringing all the equipments and support for the ultimate coffee break to any location on Bali.

Kopi Bali House is located on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 405E in Sanur. Telephone ++62-361-270990.


Traditional Villages Say 'No' to Politics
'Desa Adat' Issue Statement and Agree to Avoid Political Tension in the Periods Leading Up to the National Elections.

Village leaders and Island intellectuals recently met to discuss ways in which Bali's desa adat or traditional villages might be used to avoid unrest in the period leading up to the national elections in 2004.

The gathering, held in mid-December at the Wantilan Pura Samuan Tiga in Gianyar, featured two main speakers: the Chief of Police for Bali, Inspector General I Made Mangku Pastika, who spoke on the evaluation of security and strategies to secure Bali's future; and Mr. Wayan P. Windia who provided an historical overview of traditional conflict in Bali.

The discussions as reported in the Indonesian-language daily Kompas, included some 50 leading figures of Bali drawn from the island's 9 regencies and the Capital City of Denpasar.

The Need for Neutrality

The Editor of the local cultural magazine Sarad, Mr. Ketut Sumarta, commented that everyone was aware of the need for the traditional villages or desa adat to remain neutral during the coming election period in order to avoid inter-village and intra-village conflicts. On that basis, all agreed that not only should the desa adat remain neutral but should introduce the additional step of forbidding the display of campaign flags/banners and other attributes from all political parties.

According to the participants, there exists an historical basis for such a dramatic step in order to avoid local political conflict. For example, when villages realized that the traditional mass ogoh-ogoh processions held on the eve of each Balinese New Year were a source of conflict among local youths, many traditional villages outlawed the processions as a necessary step to preserving public peace.

The Role of Pecalang

Also discussed at the meeting was the role of the traditional village security forces or pecalang. Those in attendance agreed that in the future pecalang should only be deployed on traditional village business and forbidden from undertaking other roles such as acting as security forces at political rallies or as guards at public non-religious events.

The Need for an Adat Council

The local leaders attending the meeting suggested there exists a need for a provincial adat council to rule on cases concerning traditional village issues. Many expressed the view that such a council would encourage peaceful resolution of community conflicts while helping unite the people of Bali.

The meeting adjourned with those in attendance endorsing a statement entitled the Temu Wirasa Mulat Sarina summarizing the participants' views on the function and future role of the desa adat.



President Gives a Rescue Boat to Bali
President Megawati Donates a Search & Rescue Boat to Bali Lifesavers.

Indonesia's Minister of Communications, Mr. Agum Gumelar, recently advised the Bali Search and Rescue (SAR) team that a new rescue boat would soon arrive on the island, a donation from President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The fully-equipped 22-meter rescue boat will soon be delivered to Mr. I Ketut Parwa, the Chairman of the Bali SAR unit.

Currently the SAR unit has no dedicated rescue craft, relying on boats "borrowed" from the local population when an emergency arises. The Bali SAR's team distinguished itself in managing to rescue one of two participants who went missing off Bali's coast during the Bali International Jet Ski Competition held in January 2003.


FHT Bali 2004
Major Food, Hotel & Tourism Show in Bali, February 5-7, 2004.

FHT Bali 2004 – Food, Hotel & Tourism Bali, the 4th International Exhibition for equipment, food, beverages and services to support Indonesia's tourism and hospitality industry will be held February 5-7, 2004, at the Bali International Convention Center in Nusa Dua.

Organized by P.T. Pamerindo Buana Abadi the show is expected to showcase some 500 exhibitors representing 30 countries to an anticipated attendance of over 5,000 visitors.

As in past years, the FHR Bali 2004 will be held simultaneously with the Salon Culinaire - a competition among some 170 local chefs vying for honors and the opportunity to compete internationally.

More information: FHT Bali 2004 Website


Land of Java
An Exhibition by Didik Nurhadi at the Darga Gallery Through January 17, 2004.

Born in Central Java in 1972, Didik Nurhadi attended the Faculty of Art at the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Yogyakarta, graduating in 1992.

This young man embarked on his artistic career as Indonesia slid into a tumultuous decade of political and social change. Accordingly, his work reflects a biting commentary on the tragedies that have befallen his country and the very human failings of those whose job it is to safeguard the nation. However, social criticism lacking introspection and a modicum of self-deprecation becomes a tiresome harangue, faults absent in the work of Didik Nurhadi who captures the irony of the Indonesian situation by satirically depicting his subjects as hugely rotund characters with prominent lips who reside in surrealistic landscapes.

Even the poor and disenfranchised are presented as obese in Didik's paintings, perhaps suggesting the poverty of spirit of a people living in a country blessed with so many natural gifts.

Land of Java

The current one-man exhibition at the Darga Gallery in Sanur, Bali, sees Didik Nurhadi returning to underlying themes from his native Java depicting recent man-made disasters in Aceh, Maluku, Papua, Timor, and Bali. He has remained faithful to his use of comical corpulent caricatures to depict the human condition.

The exhibition, which runs until January 27, 2004, is open daily from 11:00 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Darga Gallery at Kompleks Sanur Raya No. 20-23 on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai.

For more information contact the Gallery at telephone ++62-(0)361-285249.


Enter the Westin Brand
Cocktail Party Marks Launch of First Westin Property in Bali.

On Monday, December 22, 2003, a cocktail party for 150 members of the local travel industry was held in the recently refurbished lobby of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua in Bali to celebrate the launch of the Westin brand on the Island.

The former Sheraton Nusa Indah Resort has been not only renamed but totally reinvigorated following an extensive US$ 5 million refurbishment program. The 355-room resort is located within the Nusa Dua Complex and is physically linked to the nearby Bali International Convention Center, Bali's only dedicated facility for conferences and exhibitions.

A brief speech by the Resort's General Manager, Michel Cottray, was followed by the unveiling of the new name at the lobby entrance. A lavish buffet was served in the lobby, redesigned by Hirsch Bedner Associates, accompanied by a fashion parade by award winning Avant Garde designer Kiata Kwanda.

"In spite of the trying events of the past 12 - 15 months, the island of Bali remains a very enticing destination and the favorite holiday spot to international travelers as voted by TIME Asia readers for the third consecutive year. Westin Hotels and Resorts is proud to have chosen Bali to be home to the one and only Westin in Indonesia, becoming at the same time the 122nd Westin property worldwide," said Cottray.



Travel Industry Offer at Nirwana Golf & Spa
Special Rate of US$ 55 to Lure Travel Industry Colleagues to Try Premier Tanah Lot Resort.

Le Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort is kicking off the New Year with a special rate of just US$ 55 available exclusively to those working full-time in the travel industry. The rate is inclusive of government tax and service and includes breakfast for two each day.

Qualified travel professionals taking advantage of this special offer will be welcomed with a cool drink, floral lei and cool towels as they arrive in the Resort's lobby. Luxurious accommodation is provided in a Deluxe Golf/Garden View Room with an upgrade to Deluxe Ocean View Room, if available.

Not a Travel Industry Member?

If you're not a travel industry worker, don't lose faith. Take advantage of savings available starting from just US$ 88 per night via the link below.



A Most Orthodox Visit
Bali Receives Historic First Visit from Ranking Official of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Amidst the busy preparation for Christmas, Melia Bali Villas & Spa Resort were paid a visit by a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church led by the Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kalingrad.

Metropolitan Kirill serves as the Chairman of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, serving a role of maintaining relations with overseas Orthodox Christians and other religious groups. During his Indonesian trip, the Metropolitan Kirill stopped in Jakarta to consecrate the Country's first Christian Orthodox Church in Jakarta with a congregation of some 100 followers.

During his Bali visit the Metropolitan Kirill held meetings with the local Bali Government to discuss means by which the Christian Orthodox Ministry can be extended to the growing number of Russian Tourist visiting Bali.


Bussiere Fiji Bound
Senior Starwood – Sheraton Manager Leaves Bali Assignment for Top Post in Fiji.

Mr. Richard Bussiere, Vice-President and Managing Director for Starwood in Indonesia and Managing Director for the Sheraton Laguna Resort has wrapped up a 2.5 year assignment in Bali to assume a new position within the same corporation.

In January 2004, after a brief holiday "back home" in his native Vermont (U.S.A.), Richard will start a new assignment as the Vice-President, Managing Director of Sheraton Resorts, Fiji. His new posting will encompass responsibility for 730 rooms at the Sheraton Royal Denarau Resort, Sheraton Fiji Resort and the Sheraton Denarau Villas. The hotels are operated in conjunction with the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club and an 18-hole championship golf course managed by Trune Golf.

Assuming the reigns of all the Starwood Properties in Indonesia during a most difficult period in the local tourism industry's history, Mr. Bussiere managed to spearhead a number of product improvements and the shift of the Sheraton Nusa Indah Resort to a Westin branding with the official re-launch celebrated only on the eve of his departure from Bali (December 22).

Committed to helping Indonesia recover from the setback of the October 2002 Bali bombing, Mr. Bussiere was a moving force behind the very successful Hotel Asia-Pacific Security Workshops held in Bali and Jakarta in 2002 and 2003.

Prior to his Bali assignment, Mr. Bussiere served as the General Manager of the St. Regis Hotel in Beijing.



 
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