BALI UPDATE #388 - 16
Flying Higher Still – Air Paradise International
Bali's Home Grown International Airline Turns One and Celebrates with Friends from Across the Region in Bali.
Valentine's Day marked the celebration of Air Paradise International's (API) first birthday with a gala cocktail reception attended by hundreds of travel industry colleagues at Bali's Gado-Gado Restaurant on Seminyak Beach. Decision makers from top wholesalers in Australia and travel agents from across the region enjoyed fine wine and canapés while being entertained by cabaret dancers and a live band.
The Airline's founder and guiding light, Mr. I Made 'Kadek' Wiranatha, was on hand, both in person and on large screen during a multi-media presentation, retelling the dramatic story of Bali's only international airline.
Pak Kadek, a man deeply committed to his island was remained undeterred in his plans to launch API - just 4 months after the tragic bombing of October 12, 2002 that claimed more than 200 lives. Determined to see his new venture get off the ground – both literally and figuratively – he has defied naysayers and managed to grow from a single destination service to an airline that now flies to Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Taipei, Seoul and, starting in March 2004, Adelaide. Using quality aircraft leased and maintained by a subsidiary company of Singapore Airlines, API's endemic Balinese charm has earned the Airline friends and a loyal passenger followings in each of the markets it serves.
As one partygoer from the travel industry observed at Saturday's birthday party, as Air Paradise Goes, So Goes Bali. And, of that is the case, both Bali and API are pushing forward to a bright future.
Happy Birthday Air Paradise International
- Panjang Umur!
Bullish on New Visa Fees
Insists New Visa Fees Won't Have Negative Impact
on Nation's Tourism.
According to Indonesia's Minister of Justice and
Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, the visa fee
being collected from the citizens of 21 countries
and territories upon arrival in Indonesia will
not cause tourism arrival numbers to nose-dive.
In place since February 1, 2004, the new policy
requires many visitors who formerly received a
60 day visit pass without charge to now pay a
US$ 25 fee for a 30 day non-extendable visa or
US$ 10 for a 3 day visa. Those not on the list
of 21 countries and territories who can purchase
their visa on arrival or not citizens of the 11
countries and territories given 30 days visas
without charge, must apply for and obtain a visa
before entering the country under the new policy.
Defending the visa fee as necessary to pay the
cost of a modernized immigration system for Indonesia,
he told an Agence France correspondent:
"We take care of people from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Is it just to collect taxes from poor people to
pay for refugees and illegal migrants here?"
The Minister insisted that the new visa system
is working smoothly and tourist flows remain at
Repeating a favorite theme of reciprocity in bi-lateral
visa policies, Minister Mahendra said :"There's
no objection from foreigners coming here if they
should pay US$ 25 for visa on arrival. To get
a visa to Australia or the United States we should
pay Rp 450,000 (US$ 54). If they refuse (to grant
visas) we don't get our money back."
Words of Wisdom from
Former Chief of Bali
Tourism Authority Takes a Hard Look at the New
Visa Policy and its Impact on Bali's Image Worldwide.
In the February 13, 2004 edition of the Indonesian-language
Bali Post, the outgoing Chief
of the Bali Tourism Authority, Dr. I Gede
Pitana, offered his comments on the paper's editorial
page regarding Indonesia's new visa policy and
its impact on Bali's image as a tourism destination.
While acknowledging the right and responsibility
of every country to protect its borders and sovereignty,
Dr. Pitana contended that the new visa policy
and how it is being administered will have far-reaching
implications for the island's economy and its
competitiveness as a world tourism destination.
According to the Professor of Tourism at Bali's
Udayana University, the rapid growth of Indonesia's
tourism sector, now the largest contributor of
foreign exchange to the National economy after
the Petroleum, can be traced to the liberalization
of the visa policy in 1983. In that year, the
nationals of some 48 countries were essentially
granted free 60 day stays in Indonesia upon arrival
at any main international gateway. In citing proof
of the effectiveness of this policy in stimulating
national tourism, Dr. Pitana pointed to a total
tourist inflow of 170,505 in 1983 that had grown
to nearly 5 million visitors in 2003. That's an
annual growth rate of approximately 27%.
In the wake of the WTC tragedy and Bali bombing,
Dr. Pitana underlined the shock and amazement
in tourism circles when President Megawati issued
the new visa policy in March of 2003. Saying that
the policy served to make Indonesia uncompetitive
in its efforts to attract tourists, he questioned
the timing and the direction of the new policy
at a time when other countries were racing to
create additional incentives for tourism.
In response to those who said the new policy was
a necessary response to improve national security,
Dr. Pitana felt such arguments were strangely
at odds with the fact that those arrested by Indonesian
police in connection with various terrorist incidents
were overwhelmingly Indonesian citizens, a goup
that is unaffected by any change in the national
Continuing his examination of the new policy,
Dr. Pitana also questioned the thinking of officials
who put forward economic necessity as a defense
for the new policy. Citing research carried out
by the Casa Grande Bali (Bali Hotel Association)
and several leading Balinese economists, he underlined
the possibility that tourism numbers will plummet
and that both backward and forward linkages
to the tourism economy will be adversely affected.
Clearly, vast sub-sectors of Bali's economy are
strongly linked to tourism and, according to Dr.
Pitana, any revenues collected in visa fees will
be insignificant in comparison to the cost of
lost tourist spending to local economies.
The Quest for Quality Tourists
The former head of Bali's tourism industry also
questioned those who felt the new policy would
prove effective in luring quality tourists
to Bali. Asking what constitutes a quality
tourist, he suggested the new visa fee would
likely prove a disincentive to families visiting
Bali and the large backpacker market.
Dr. Pitana also suggested that current arguments
demanding reciprocity in formulating national
visa policies were much too narrowly focused.
He pointed out that while Indonesia desperately
needs tourist visitors from countries such as
Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and other
developed countries, he doubted if those same
countries' economies felt an equally urgent need
for Indonesian visitors. He went on to argue that
greater weight should be given by national policymakers
to the needs of the Indonesian people than to
the less compelling arguments of personal pride
based on narrow issues of reciprocity.
Overly Strict Enforcement?
Admitting that the initial introduction of the
new visa policy has been remarkably smooth, he
questioned the overly strict interpretation
of the rules that in the first 8 days of the new
policy caused 61 foreign nationals to be refused
entry to Bali.
Those individuals, not on the list of 32 countries
and territories eligible for a visa-free stay
or a purchased visa on arrival, were turned away
by immigration officials at Bali's airport. Sympathizing
with the certain disappointment of the 61 people
travelers who were obviously neither criminals
or willful violators of immigratuion rules, Dr.
Pitana said such actions by immigration officials
would have a strong negative impact on tourism's
image and suggested that some flexibility should
be extended during the first six months of the
new policy's introduction.
Analytical Trouble Shooting
ECGL – Allen Abeng Institute Presents 2-Day Management Workshop in Bali, February 23-24, 2004.
Mr. Kent Netherly of Louis Allen Associates, internationally renowned consultant in human resources development, management, teaching, and training, will lead a two-day management workshop at the Executive Center for Global Leadership (ECGL) campus adjacent to the Bali Handara Mountain Resort in the Island's mountain-lake district on February 23-24, 2004.
Much sought after as a consultant to top management, Mr. Netherly is on the adjunct faculty at the American University (Washington D.C.), Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business (Malibu, CA) and NTL Institute (Alexandria, VA) where he conducts the Leadership Excellence Program.
With more than 20 years of experience in consulting, human resources development, management, teaching, and training, he brings to each workshop he leads a superior set of skills and proven capabilities in the area of executive coaching, performance management, management continuity & succession planning, leadership assessment & development, change management, and team development.
His projects under contract to major corporations have included organization restructuring, increasing individual and corporate self-awareness and communications for better decision-making and resolving conflict within management teams. He has a thriving executive coaching practice that helps managers focus on performance limitations, turning liabilities into assets.
Analytical Trouble Shooting
Mr. Netherly's Bali workshop will help executives:
• Sharpen their casual analysis, decision-making, problem prevention and pre-planning skills that lead to increased organizational productivity.
• Develop sound questioning skills that permit them to uncover and analyze information – even technically complex data essential to problem solving and decision-making.
• Obtain the knowledge necessary to evaluate recommendations objectively and provide clear feedback to employees on how their recommendations might be improved.
• Develop a sound method for setting priorities in an uncertain environment.
• Establish a method for building teamwork among employees from different departments, as well as, between managers and direct reports in the same department.
The program will be held at the ECGL Campus at the Bali Handara Mountain Resort, home to a Peter Thompson designed golf course. 66 kilometers north of Denpasar's Airport and the beaches of Nusa Dua, Kuta and Sanur - the Campus is located amid the lush highlands at an altitude of 1,142 meters and is nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano that enjoys year round average daily temperatures of 16-20 degrees Celsius.
US$ 1,200 per person all inclusive, including all program materials, meals and hotel accommodation.
Cross of Merit for
Consul to Bali and NTB Presented 'Cross of Merit.'
On Friday, February 6, 2004, the Honorary Consul
to Bali and Nusa Tenggara Barat, Mr. Reinhold
Jantzen was presented with the "Bundesverdienstkreuz
1. Klasse" or "Commander's Cross of Merit,
First Class" from a grateful Government for
long and outstanding service to the Federal Republic
Mr. Jantzen has lived in Bali for 27 years, serving
as Honorary Consul for Germany for the past 18
years, the last 9 of which included the expanded
role of representing Germany for all of West Nusa
Tenggara. During his period of service, Mr. Reinhard
Jantzen has seen the consulate office located
on Bali's Sanur beach grow, both in size and the
number of German tourists it serves. On round-the-clock
call, Berlin's Man in Bali provides the
entire gamut of consular activities, ranging from
the mundane assistance to people who have lost
their passports, to the dramatic aftermath of
the Bali bombing, to VIP visits by the German
Head of State. His wise counsel to travelers and
his Government and a growing capacity to handle
the many tasks presented to his office, no matter
how complex, were among the reasons cited in the
ceremony recognizing Mr. Jantzen's distinguished
The medal, presented at an exclusive luncheon
at The Westin, Nusa Dua was presided
over by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic
of Germany to Indonesia, Dr. Fulda, together with
the Head of the Consular and Legal Division. The
medal, the highest honor of its class, was bestowed
in front of Mr. Jantzen's proud family, colleagues
and friends from Balì's diplomatic corps, and
ranking officials in the local government.
This is the second such honor presented to Mr.
Jantzen in connection with his diplomatic service
in Bali. He was also the recipient of a Cross
of Merit Award presented to him in 1996.
Mr. Jantzen is married to Endang Suciati, who
together are the proud parents of two sons, Michael
and Robert, and a daughter, Nicole.
In addition to his role as the Honorary Consul
for Germany, Mr. Jantzen runs a successful meat
processing operation on the island.
La Lucciola Opens the 'Firefly Room'
Popular Beach Side Restaurant Now Offers Private Dining for Small Groups.
Bali's landmark dining spot La Lucciola
Restaurant on Kerobokan Beach has marked
its 10th year of successful operations
with the opening of a private dining area - The
On Friday, Ferbuary 13, 2004, The Bali MICE Initiative in cooperation with La Lucciola Restaurant hosted an evening cocktail reception to introduce this new dining outlet – available exclusively to private groups – to the Bali meeting and conference industry.
Introducing the Firefly Room
A clubby, lavishly appointed dining venue, the Firefly Room draws its name from the English translation of the Restaurant's name with an ambience inspired by the life of the firefly. Perched atop the trendy open bar with a ceiling bejeweled by small ferry-lights, the Firefly Room is the epitome of style. Spectacular views from every angle and fine table settings make it an ideal setting for tropical brunch meetings, board lunches, cocktail parties and elegant dinner gatherings.
Small groups of up to 40 diners booking the Firefly Room can start the evening with sunset cocktails and canapé served under the Restaurant's palm fringed beach before adjourning to the air conditioned privacy of the Firefly Room where service is provided by carefully trained servers in elegant white coats.
Designed to offer a memorable dining experience, no details have been overlooked. Specially tailored menus, fine white linen tablecloths, fine china, French crystal, exotic tropical flower arrangements and impeccable service – all are part of the Firefly experience.
Conrad Bali Offers Very Special Opening Rate
Massive Discount Offered Through June 30, 2004, at Bali's Newest Five Star Resort.
Bali's newest luxury resort is celebrating its early March 2004 opening by offering a rate of only US$ 94.00 per night for a Deluxe Ocean Room. This rate, representing a discount of 76% from the normal tariff, inclusive of 21% tax and service, is for room only and is valid only until June 30, 2004.
The Conrad Bali Resort & Spa is situated on the southern coast of the island of Bali, only a short drive from Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport and adjacent to the Nusa Dua Resort Complex. It occupies 6.8 hectares of land encompassing tropical gardens with lagoons and cascading waterfalls stretched along a 300 meter beach front.
Built with an "E" share floor plan which allow every room an ocean view, guestrooms have an impressive glass wall bathroom with free standing bathtub, a separate shower cabin and the exclusive deluxe Conrad Bali bathroom amenities. For the comfort of guests, the beds and accessories are of the highest standards obtainable and an extensive selection of 'pillow menus,' are also available. Rooms are wired with the latest communications technology, there is broadband access and wireless internet in all areas of the hotel - including at the swimming pool.
A vast range of leisure options include a 33-metre swimming pool, a jogging track with landscaped gardens, floodlit tennis courts, Jiwa Spa, and a fitness centre with the latest equipment. There are even special facilities for children such as the Kura-Kura club providing supervised activities for the kids.
Bali's Bird Flu Information Center
Bali International Medical Center Launches Information Center for Avian Influenza.
Bali International Medical Center (BIMC) has launched a special section on their bimcbali.com website that provides all the latest information on Avian Influenza or Bird Flu.
The site, supervised by BIMC's Dr. Charles Hoo, M.D, Head of Medical Education and Technology for the Center, contains the latest information on the spread of the disease, strategies for prevention, and practical advice on risks to the traveling public of contracting Bird Flu.
Bali International Medical Center (BIMC) was officially opened in 1998 and was established to provide primary health care service for tourists, travelers and expatriates living in Bali.
Strike Closes Bali Hai Beach Club
Island Staff Walk Off Jobs to Protest Suspensions. Evening, Reef and Ocean Rafting Cruise Programs Continue to Operate.
Following the suspension by Management of four staff for misappropriation of company assets, a large number of Bali Hai Cruises island beach resort staff called a wildcat strike on Tuesday, February 10, 2004, disrupting the Company's beach resort cruise and accommodation programs at Nusa Lembongan Island. Because the strike is limited to the Company's island staff, operations of Bali Hai's Reef cruises to an off-shore pontoon, their Ocean Rafting Dolphin Cruises and Evening Dinner Cruises continue to operate without interruption.
According to the Company's Management and Local Labor Department Officials quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the strike is illegal, failing to conform to Government regulations that require 7 days prior notice to the Company and local labor officials before launching any industrial action.
Local press reports state that representatives from the Klungkung Regency Labor Office and Police are continuing to monitor the situation while meeting with the Company's management and representatives of the striking workers.
Black Box Culinary Challenge - 2004
Local Talented Chefs Win Honors in 6th Running of Cooking Contest Between Bali's Top Hotel Kitchens.
Back in 1996, a group of 3 men drinking beer on one of Bali's beaches were brainstorming on how best to challenge talented young chefs to improve their culinary skills. The 3 wise men – comprised of a representative of the Australian meat industry, a supplier of gourmet ingredients to Bali's hotels, and a chef - eventually devised the now time-proven and highly successful Black Box Culinary Challenge.
Now having completed its sixth running, the Challenge brings together groups of eager young chefs – all under the age of 30 – who are given a mystery box containing sufficient quantities of Australian meats, dairy product and fresh produce to prepare a 3 course meal for 16 diners. The teams, under the watchful eye of their team captain, then have only one hour to devise a menu plan followed by 24 hours of intense work before they reconvene for the final cook-off.
A critical jury comprised of 5 local food experts judge the competing teams on the basis of composition, creativity, correct preparation, service practicality, taste, proper utilization of ingredients, presentation and consistency. Each cooking team is backed up by a service team whose task it is to wow 16 fortunate gourmands with their service and table presentation skills.
MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge 2004
Sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), this year's competition saw 9 hotels compete for honors.
Winning the top honors and the right to compete in the national Black Box cook-off in Jakarta was the cooking team of The Patra Resort and Spa. Named as the 1st runner up was the kitchen team from the Ritz Carlton Bali Resort and Spa followed by Sheraton Laguna Resort in the 2nd runner up post.
The Winning Menu
The Patra Resort team, managed by Mr. Timotius Hari Sunarto and comprised of Mr. I Wayan Mudita (Chef de Partie); Ms. Ida Ayu Pratiwisari (Demi Chef); Ms. Komang Sri Utari (Cook), prepared the following winning menu for a sumptuous luncheon served at the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) on Thursday, February 5, 2004:
Patra Bali Resort & Villas
MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge 2004 Menu
Smoked Salmon and Opaka-Opaka Fillet
Served with Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, Green and Red Capsicum, Drizzled with Ginger, Honey and Lemon Grass Dressing
Roasted Lamb Shoulder Rack
Served with Sautéed Portabella Mushrooms, Palm Heart, and Gratinated Potato, Enhanced with Thyme Jus
Pistachio Cream Cheese Cake and Fruit Compote
Served with Strawberry Vanilla Sauce
Pedophilia on the Rise in Bali?
Report from Australian Child-Advocacy Group Claims Child Sex Abuse Widespread and Well-Organized.
The February 10, 2004 edition of The Australian, writes that a Melbourne, Australia based child-advocacy group, Child Wise, has released a report claiming pedophile rings are operating on the Island offering sex tours that prey on under-aged children.
The report, which has been handed over to Australia's Justice Minister Mr. Chris Ellison, the Australian Federal Police, and the Indonesian authorities warned of a "flourishing child sex trade" in Bali with the involvement of Australians, European and American expatriates.
The report was based on various information, including the findings of a researcher sent to Bali last year by Child Wise. As reported by The Australian, pedophiles gain access to Balinese children by visiting remote, economically depressed areas of the Island, sometimes working as volunteers with local welfare organizations.
A former Australian diplomat, William Stuart Brown, was arrested in January in east Bali following complaints that he had sexually molested several local underaged boys. He is currently under arrest awaiting trial on those charges.