BALI UPDATE #384 - 19
Yacht Tourism - A
Victim of the New Visa Policy?
Yacht Tourism Likely
to Be Hard Hit by New Visa Policy.
The change in national visa policy set to occur
on February 1, 2004, has few friends in Indonesia's
tourism industry where it is seen as a step-backward
in efforts to re-invigorate the Nation's tourism
Joining the chorus of those who see a 30 day visa
purchased at the airport upon arrival as "bad
for business" is Bali's fledgling yacht tourism
sector who fear the new immigration policy will
make Indonesia even more inaccessible to yachtsmen
Representative of the concerns felt for yacht
tourism, Mr. Dick McCune, the Founder of the Royal
Bali Yacht Club (RBYC) and General Manager
of the Bali Marina told balidiscovery.com
that he "doubts that anyone in the country has
considered the impact of the 30 day visa on visiting
yachts. After all it's a small tourism market
and destined to stay that way with all the barriers
provided by the Government."
The new policy is a seeming contradiction to official
pronouncements supporting sea-tourism and, according
to McCune, likely to discourage any seminal moves
to invest in marine tourism projects. As McCune
explained, "Indonesia is clearly 25 years behind
Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand in terms of
the yachting industry and sailing events. Each
year an estimated 150 yachts transit Indonesian
waters to take their tourist dollars to other
countries because of the high cost and complicated
procedures in Indonesia. With the new 30 day visa
this can only get worse. Slow sailing yachts cannot
possibly see much of this archipelago of 17,000
islands in 60 days, let alone with a 30 day visa.
All yachts will now require an extendable Social
Budaya Visa to enjoy the area at all and the
cost and inconvenience continues to grow."
He continued, "Our nearest neighbors, Australia,
must now pay an average of A$ 667.90 for one boat,
husband & wife. That's equal to A$ 1,453.40 for
a family of four to sail through Indonesia. This
will buy them a Cruising Permit, a Social Budaya
Visa, a port clearance into the country and
one visa extension. Many of these people save
money for a lifetime to pursue their dream of
sailing to exotic lands. They are not all rich
people, contrary to some popular beliefs."
The RYBC was established in February
2002 under the rules of Indonesian Sailing Federation.
The Club organizes a number of local sailing events
including the annual Darwin to Bali Yacht Race.
Arrivals for 2003
– The Year That Was
Bali by the Numbers:
Total Direct Arrivals Back to 1993 Levels.
Total direct foreign arrivals via Bali's Ngurah
Rai Airport for all of 2003 reached 994,616 –
a figure that showed a retreat in tourism performance
back to levels emblematic of those achieved in
1993 and before.
While December arrivals hit 95,783, a marked improvement
from the same month in 2002 and 2001, the strong
end to the year did little to improve the year-long
totals which came in 22.65% behind the 2002 totals
and trailed 26.69% after the 2001 totals.
The total foreign direct arrivals to Bali for
the entire year 2003 fell under the important
psychological threshold of 1 million, reminiscent
of arrival figures for the island in 1993, the
last time Bali's foreign direct arrivals were
below 1 million tourists.
Putting an End to
the Child Sex Trade
on Many Fronts to Stop Child Sex Practices in
Following the recent arrest of an Australian man
in East Bali charged with molesting two under-aged
boys as reported last week in the article [Australian
Held on Child Sex Charges
], there is growing
evidence of a crackdown on sexual predators who
prey on children in Bali.
U.S. Homeland Security Agency Joins the
Ms. Theresa A. Nibblet, the Program Manager, Foreign
Operations for the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security's Immigration & Customs Enforcement Division
told a regional seminar in Singapore on Thursday,
January 15, 2004, that the U.S. Government is
looking into the possibility that a child prostitution
ring may be operating in Bali.
According to reports in the Indonesian-language
, the U.S. started to take
a closer look at child prostitution in Bali based
on information received by their office.
Over the past few years under a program called
, the U.S. has assisted in the
overseas apprehension of 7 U.S. citizens involved
in the criminal exploitation of children. In Asia,
international cooperation by law enforcement officials
resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of a 69-year
old American, Michael Clark, in Cambodia for 30
years for child-sex related crimes.
ASEAN Traveler's Code
A meeting among tourism officials from the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Indonesian
Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and concerned
non-governmental agencies concluded on Friday,
January 16, 2004, and resulted in a draft resolution
of the ASEAN Traveler's Code (ATC)
Code calls on travelers to consider people's rights,
particularly the rights of women and children,
and be mindful of the activities they undertake
and the businesses they support. The Code asks
the public to "help prevent the abuse and exploitation
of people" placing particular emphasis on the
need to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children.
Plans are for the ATC
to be distributed
through travel agents, airlines, and immigration
check points across the region.
According to data cited by Mr. Ahmad Sofian, Executive
Secretary of the Center for the Study of Child
quoted in the Jakarta Post
there are an estimated 71,281 working as registered
prostitutes in Indonesia, 60 percent of which
are young girls between the ages of 15 and 20
years. Mr. Sofian also cited the sexual abuse
of children on the island of Batam where some
3,000 visitors from nearby Singapore and Malaysia
visit every week. He said that there are an estimated
5,000 to 6,000 sex workers operating on Batam
under the age of 18.
Child Wise Report Highlights Bali
During the same meeting, the Director of the non-governmental
group Child Wise
released a report entitled
"Bali: A Mecca for Child Sex."
Director, Ms. Bernadette McMenamin,
indicated that the recent arrest of the man in
Karangasem only began to suggest the scope of
Bali's child-sex problem. According to McMenamin,
"There has been evidence of pedophiles traveling
to Bali since the 1920s. This (Karangasem) is
a very poor area of Bali and has always been vulnerable
and since the bombing it is even more vulnerable
to these crimes."
More information: Child
A Short Course in
Offers Passengers Special Fares to Sample Their
New Long-Haul Airbus – the A345LeaderShip.
Singapore Airline is offering
passengers in the region a chance to sample their
new long-range Airbus A345LeaderShip before
it is deployed on its non-stop runs between Singapore
and Los Angeles on February 3, 2004.
The specially configured aircraft with larger
seating in both business and economy sections,
extensive entertainment options, and lounge areas
for economy passengers will fly from Singapore
to Bangkok, Jakarta and Bali until the end of
January 2004 with special fares to allow travelers
the chance to experience what the Airline calls
its "long-hail premium configuration."
The special offer, available on selected flights
through the end of January, promotes one-way fares
on selected flights between Singapore and Bali
for SIN$ 99 (approximately US$ 58); between Singapore
and Jakarta for SIN$ 450 (approximately US$ 264);
and Singapore and Bangkok for SIN$ 320 (approximately
When the new service is launched between Singapore
and Los Angeles on February 3, 2004, it will fly
non-stop 16 hours on the eastbound journey and
18.5 hours on the return, westbound leg. SIA's
A345LeaderShip will feature the world's
first long-haul all premium configuration with
just 181 seats in a spacious two-class configuration
comprising an enhanced Raffles (business) Class
and a new Executive Economy Class. The A345LeaderShip
Executive Economy Class, designed in a very spacious
2-3-2 configuration, will offer the industry's
widest economy class seats at 20 inch. The seats
also come with a larger 9 inch personal monitor,
and a laptop power supply.
Following the introduction of the Singapore –
Los Angeles non-stop service, Singapore
Airlines will introduce another A345LeaderShip
on a Singapore to New York non-stop service in
As at 1 January 2004, SIA's operating
fleet consisted of 82 aircraft comprising 30 B747s,
51 B777s and 1 A345.
Wrong with Travel Advisories
Provides its Input to Whitehall White Paper Reviewing
Possible Changes to the U.K.'s Foreign Travel
The Government of Great Britain is in the process
of preparing a "white paper" that will suggest
possible improvements and changes to be made in
the way the British Government issues foreign
In a consultative process that solicits the widest
range of opinions on the subject, balidiscovery.com's
editor wrote last week to Mr. Robert Chatterton
Dickson, the Travel Advice Reviewer at Whitehall
in London, to share a Bali-view of the changes
needed in the way travel advisories are issued.
What follows is the text of our letter and a link
to Mr. Chatteron Dickson's e-mail, should you
like to share your thoughts on the subject.
Robert Chatterton Dickson, Travel Advice Reviewer,
Dear Mr. Chatterton Dickson:
The undersigned is the operator of the e-travel
website balidiscovery.com and a major destination
management company located in Bali, Indonesia.
We are availing ourselves of this opportunity
to contribute our thoughts on the current review
of travel advisories being conducted by the British
We sincerely believe that the current system of
travel advisories is inequitable and contributes
little of value towards the protection of your
country's citizens traveling abroad. In this regard,
I would like to repeat the statements contained
in an open letter sent to the U.S. President,
George W. Bush during his visit to Bali on October
22, 2003 by the Indonesian tourism industry.
Our comments delivered to Mr. Bush are equally
applicable to Her Majesty's Government:
• The war on terror is an international
conflict. After September 11, 2001, the
world did not declare New York and the United
States as unsafe to visit. This would have punished
the victims and played into the hands of terrorists'
aims. As terrorist targets, the people of New
York, Washington, Nairobi, Jakarta, Bali, and
others – have all been equally victimized.
• The battle against terrorism is a shared
responsibility. When every nation is
a potential target of terror, it is wrong to single
out individual nations, like Indonesia, and issue
such warnings. These negative travel advisories
are equivalent to a tourism trade embargo by your
country against Indonesia.
• Indonesia is an ally in the war on terror.
The world has praised Indonesia's police and judicial
response to the October 12, 2002, Bali bombings,
citing it as an excellent example of a victory
in the international was on terror. President
Megawati and her government are committed to eradicate
We now call on you, asking to be treated as a
true ally in this important struggle. The current
travel advisories — which are highly prejudicial
to our tourism industry, a fundamentally important
source of badly needed foreign exchange for Indonesia's
economy — should be reconsidered.
We humbly remind the U.K. Government that courage
is the first weapon in the war against those who
resort to terror in an attempt to disrupt the
very fabric of our lives. The millions of Indonesians
who derive their incomes from tourism ask you
to courageously take the lead in revising the
current travel advisory system that continues
to cause untold misery for the victims of terror,
long after any actual terrorist attack.
In its stead, together we must create objective
international criteria for public safety and security
against which all travel destinations can equally
be measured. In the absence of specific threats
upon which to base a country-specific travel advisories,
the world and the British traveler will be much
better served by a transparent set of specific
security criteria against which safety, security
preparedness, and improvements achieved in enhancing
the public's security can be objectively measured.
Use the link below to send your comments on
Travel Advisories to Mr. Chatterton Dickson.
On the Road with The Peace Gong
First Sounded in Bali on December 31, 2002, in Bali, the Peace Gong Continues to 'Ring' Around the World.
The World Peace Gong was first rung at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2002, by Indonesia's President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Vice-President Hamzah Haz to symbolically usher in a new era of peace following the horrific terrorist bombing in Bali that occurred just two months earlier.
Echoing its call for peace, that Gong has traveled the globe and been used to open important international meetings, reminding the citizens of the world of the urgent need for peace and brotherhood. Continuing that journey, the Gong will travel to Geneva on February 5, 2004, where it will be sounded to mark the opening of the Second Global Summit on Peace and then make its way to New York where it will be used to help open the annual session of the United Nation's General Assembly.
Spreading the Message of Peace
To help sound the gong of peace, replicas of the World Peace Gong are now in production with plans to install them initially in five major cities of the world, namely, New York, Washington D.C., Beijing, New Delhi and Geneva. Eventually, the initiators of the World Peace Gong project hope to have gongs in 10 cities by 2005 and in 218 countries around the world by 2015.
A Gong Rich in Symbolism
Each of the World Peace Gongs is decorated with a peace flower and the name "Gong Perdamaian Dunia" - it's name in Bahasa Indonesia to identify its birthplace. The edge of each gong will bear religious symbols from 10 of the world's great religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Khonghuchu, Shintoism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Hindu Dharma from Bali. The Gong will also feature a symbolic representation of the planet earth to remind the world that we all share a common home.
Journey - An Exhibition of Photographs
A Photo Exhibition by William R. Durman and Rama Surya Through February 20, 2004, at Cottage Frames.
A photo exhibition of images by William R. Durman and Rama Surya will be held at Cottage Frames on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 888xxx in Pemogan (Denpasar) through February 20, 2004.
William R. Durman
With over a decade's experience as a free-lance photographer, U.K.-born William R. Durman has produced a wide-ranging body of work. His deep interest in anthropology and travel has resulted in remarkable images of the art, culture and social diversity in Southeast Asia. His work has appeared in a number of regional publications and he has undertaken a number of private photographic commissions in the region.
Rama Surya has contributed to a large number of international publications, including Galeri Foto Journalistik and Latitudes. He was named "Photographer of the Year" by Germany's fotoMagazine in 1998. His touring photo exhibition in 2000 documenting the destruction of the Borneo rain forest, met with overwhelming critical acclaim.
Rama Surya recently provided the photographs for a book "Bali Living in Two World," published in 2002 under the auspices of the Museum der Kulteren in Basel, Switzerland.
The current exhibition is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Cottage Frames, closing on February 20, 2004. For more information telephone ++62-(0)361-728555.
PATA Urges Restraint on SARS
Travel Organization Sees Baseless Fear as Part of the Problem.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has issued a call for media restraint in reporting on any possible re-emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The call, issued by PATA's President and CEO Peter de Jong, was made as Chinese officials investigate a suspected SARS case in Guangshou, southern China.
PATA points out that in contrast with the emergence of SARS early last year, highly sophisticated surveillance and response mechanisms are now in place around the world. Furthermore, China (PRC) medical authorities have been praised by the World Health Organization for the speed, efficiency and transparency of their response to the one isolated case last month.
PATA's Mr. de Jong said all parties must not make the same mistakes as last year. "I particularly urge the consumer media not to fan the flames of public fear by overstating the threat of any new outbreak of SARS. This is a time for the media to show its professionalism by maintaining perspective and not hyping the issue. Because of misplaced hysteria 10 months ago, thousands of people in the Asia Pacific travel industry lost their jobs. This must not happen again."
On January 8, 2004 the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an official release: "Symptoms of SARS mimic those of several other respiratory diseases, including many that are more frequently seen during the winter months. Some of these diseases may also give rise to atypical pneumonia. It is likely that numerous other suspected cases will be reported over the coming weeks."
The PATA President and CEO said: "All of us have to remain vigilant. The travel industry across the Asia Pacific region has taken all reasonable measures to ensure traveler safety and well-being in face of any new health challenge. PATA will continue to take a leading communications role to protect our industry whatever the threat."
PATA has urged local authorities facing any future suspected cases of SARS to take quick and decisive measures to contain the problem. Health authorities should then inform the public of measures taken and keep them fully updated with the latest developments.
Changing Tides at Waterbom Park
Sales Team Undergoes Major Revamp at Boutique Water Park.
The sales and marketing line-up at Bali's Waterbom Park has undergone a major shake up with new players cast in key roles to drive sales and customers to the water recreation park and spa complex in Kuta.
• Ms. D. Riana Bismarak is now the Park's Director
of Sales & Marketing, replacing Mr. Harry Tanjung
who has left to join the Conrad Bali.
Riana has over 9 years experience with hotels and airlines, her most recent position as Marketing and Sales Manager Indonesian for Air Paradise.
• Ms. Yuli Wijaya has been appointed Sales Manager.
Prior to her latest appointment, Yuli was the
Sales Manager at the Ramada Bintang Bali
• Ms. Arie Widianingsih is the Park's new Marketing
Communications Manager. Before this new assignment,
Arie served as a Marketing Coordinator at Le
Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa, Bali and
will continue to assist that property while working
with the Park.
• Ms. Yuliani Normauli is in charge of the Park's
growing meetings and incentive segment in her
role as Event Coordinator. Yuliani's last assignment
was with the Sales & Marketing division at Bali's
Commenting on the new appointments, Mr. Mikael Ding, Waterbom Park's Director of Operations said, "the challenge here is to hire and train the right people; and then retain them. As this market develops we have to think carefully about what it takes to remain competitive."
Asia Securities Forum in Bali
Region's Capital Market Bosses to Gather January 28-30, 2004.
Key players from financial securities companies across the Asia-Pacific region will meet at the Grand Hyatt Bali in Nusa Dua from January 28-30, 2004, to attend the 9th Asia Securities Forum (ASF).
Adopting the theme of "Restoring Confidence in Asian Capital Markets," the Conference will draw participants from securities companies in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
The two day event will feature the following speakers:
• Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Coordinating Indonesian Minister for Political and Security Affairs.
• Mr. Laksamana Sukardi, Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises.
• Mr. Chatib Basri, an economic observer from the University of Indonesia.
• Mr. Jim Rogers, the author of "Investment Biker: On the Road with Jim Rogers" and "Adventure Capitalist."
• Mr. Spencer White, First Vice-President and Chief Equity Strategist at APR, Merrill Lynch.
The Forum is the 9th annual meeting of its kind. The first ASF was held in Japan in 1995 with meetings held at different locations each year whose aim is improving the performance of capital markets across the region.
More information: Send an E-mail
Willem Loots Leaves Asian Trails
Bali Travel Veteran Now Seeking New Challenges.
After opening the Bali office of Asian Trails in February 2000, Willem Loots has announced his resignation from the company, effective March 1, 2004.
Mr. Loots, with several decades of experience in Indonesia, is a popular member of the Bali travel industry and is widely expected to re-emerge in a new travel role in Bali where he has made his home with his wife and family.
Reports in the region's travel press suggest Loots opted to leave the helm at the Bali branch of the large regional destination management company over differences in opinions with other shareholders in the Company.
Asian Trails have announced the appointment of Mr. Renato Domini to replace Loots in Bali. Mr. Domini's last assignment with the company was as manager-inbound for the Asian Trails' Thailand office.
Doc, It Must Have Been Something I Ate
Bali Custom's Officer Arrest Sierra Leone Man Carrying Half-Kilo of Heroin in His Stomach.
Custom's Officer at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport arrested a 31-year-old Sierra Leone citizen attempting to smuggle 462 grams of heroin into the Country concealed in his stomach.
According to local press reports, police became suspicious of Mr. Emmanuel O. Ihejerika when they questioned him about his frequent visits to Bali after arriving on a Malaysian Airline flight from Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, January 14, 2004.
Claiming to be a food and vitamin supplement salesman, the officers became even more wary when the tourist seemed to have no practical knowledge when asked about the types of health products he sold. Later, when drug detection dogs became very agitated whenever they got near the man, Customs Officials took Mr. Ikerjerika to the nearby Bali International Medical Center where x-rays showed a number of foreign objects lodged in the man's stomach.
The subsequent administration of a strong laxatives produced 31 capsules of heroin, each weighing approximately 14 grams, with a total street value estimated at US$ 49,000.
Prosecutors are now preparing formal charges against
the man who faces a possible death sentence if
convicted of smuggling narcotics into Indonesia.