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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #390 - 01 March 2004

Nurjaya Meets With Local Tourism Industry
New Director of Bali Tourism Authority Holds First Face-to-Face with Local Tourism Players.

Mr. I Gede Nurjaya, appointed Director of the Bali Tourism Authority, held his first mass meeting with members of Bali's tourism industry at an informal "nasi bungkus" lunch at the Nusa Dua Beach Resort and Spa on Friday, February 27, 2004.

In an upbeat and optimistic debut before local tourism operators, Mr. Nurjaya confirmed his willingness to assume a leadership role for the island's massive tourism industry on the mutual understanding that the local tourism stakeholders would share their input and support on matters concerning tourism.

In the lunch organized by the Bali & NTT Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Mr. Nurjaya explained how he hopes to play a coordinating role between the tourism sector and the various other institutions in Bali affected by the island's massive tourism economy. Decrying the lack of coordination in past efforts to promote Bali, Mr. Nurjaya told the group of steps now underway to synchronize and coordinate tourism promotional efforts by the various regencies in Bali.

Working closely with the Provincial People's Consultative Assembly (DPRD), he hopes that by 2005 Bali's approach to promoting its tourism will become more focused and coordinated. Similarly, he pledged a more professional response in crisis management, based on better internal communications with the various elements of the tourism industry and a more unified message to the outside world in communicating Bali's position on various issues affecting the island's fortunes.

Determined on maintaining Bali's competitiveness as a leading world tourism destination, Mr. Nurjaya assured listeners that his administration will be firm and transparent in its application of the rules. Prior to his most recent appointment as the Director of the Bali Tourism Authority, Mr. Nurjaya served as Bali's Public Relations and Protocol Chief from 1999. Prior to that he held the top post in Denpasar's Tourism office for four years and served as the local government chief (Camat) in Kuta and Karangasem.

Acting as moderator at the lunch-time meeting between the travel industry and Mr. Nurjaya was balidiscovery.com's President Director, J.M. Daniels.


What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?
Maryse LaRocque Leaves Hatten's Vineyards to Join Ombak Putih Cruises.

Ombak Putih Cruises, the operators of two wooden cruising schooners, Ombak Putih and Ombak Biru have announced the appointment of Ms. Maryse LaRocque as their Marketing & Business Development Manager, effective March 1, 2004.

Maryse, also known by many as Marissa, has spent the past 4 years tirelessly promoting Hatten Wines - Bali's only commercial vineyard. During her tenure she has assisted Hatten's securing local customers as well as gaining world market for their vintages in Europe, Singapore, the Maldives and the USA. She has also been active in creating a range of Hatten gifts and accessories items sold from the retail locations where the Company's 8 distintive vintages are also sold and sampled.

In her new role with Ombak Putih Cruises, Maryse will be responsible for promoting the cruises from Bali to Komodo Island, Flores, Sumba and Sumbawa on board the wooden schooners that offer cultural and diving adventures in both style and comfort.



Ramsay Westin's New Director of Marketing in Bali
Tasked with Launching Westin's New Bali Product.

The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, have appointed Ms. Tabatha Ramsay as Director of Sales and Marketing for the 355 room property.

A member of the Starwood team since 1998, Ms. Ramsay has held a number of positions with the Group including her most recent assignment with a luxury resort in Krabi, Thailand. Other hotel industry assignments have provided practical experience working in North Asia, South Asia, Australia and Europe. In her new role she will have a lead responsibility in re-branding and re-positioning The Westin Resort Nusa Dua which until recently operated as the Sheraton Nusa Indah.

Ms. Ramsay is replacing Ms. Fay-Linn Yeoh who now holds both the position of Director of Sales and Marketing of Sheraton Laguna and the Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Indonesia.



Winning a Trip to Bali
AIME Winner Announced For Free Trip to Bali from Air Paradise and The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua.

As part of Bali's participation at the AsiaPacific Incentives & Meeting Expo 2004 (AIME 2004) just held in Melbourne February 17-18, 2004, visitors to the Indonesian stand were invited to register to receive a copy of the Bali MICE Guide 2004 and earn a chance to win a free round-trip ticket to Bali on Air Paradise International (API) and a 7 night stay at The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua.

And the Winner is ...

The winner of the air ticket and hotel package is Ms. Monica Persson, Executive Manager, of the Audiological Society of Australia (ASA).

Based in Richmond, Victoria, Ms. Persson will receive a round trip ticket on API from Melbourne to Bali and 7 nights at The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua.

Congratulations to Monica!

Bali MICE Guide 2004

The Bali MICE Guide is published annually and is the only comprehensive guide to meetings. Conferences, incentives and exhibitions in Bali. Distribution is free to qualified decision makers in the meeting and conference industry.



Four Seasons Sayan Protest Ends
Protest Launched by Local Residents Demanding Money and More Jobs Disrupts Operations for Three Day.

Street protests launched by members of the Banjar Kutuh demanding larger cash contributions and more jobs from the Four Seasons Resort in Sayan has been resolved following a signed pledge from local villagers and their community leaders to maintain the peace and obey all local laws and regulations.

On Saturday, February 21, 2004, a group of local villagers gathered at the entrance to the world-famous resort in Ubud, demanding larger cash contributions from the hotel and a greater number of employment positions for people from the local community. To make their point, some of the villagers removed pavements stones from the properties entrance, closing access to and from the hotel for a period.

The following day saw Gianyar Police apprehend a number of local residents involved in the protests for questioning in connection with the incident. Claiming that the arrests were illegal, villagers relaunched theirs protest on Tuesday, February 24, demanding the release of those held by the police and restating their demand that the Resort hire more locals, increase the size of cash payments made each month to the Banjar, and provide 100 kilograms of rice and meat for every major religious celebration carried out by the Community.

At the height of the protest the police dispatched two platoons of mobilized police (Brimob) to the hotel who encountered spirited resistance from locals demonstrators resulting in minor injuries to several police officers.

By the evening of February 24, tensions had eased at the Resort as local villager leaders promised to keep the peace and avoid further illegal acts in pursuing their demands.

By the close of the week, local press reports stated that 13 local villagers where in the custody of local police facing criminal prosecution for their actions in connection with the service disruption at the Resort. Among those arrested was a local resident who sounded the kulkul bulus the wooden alarm bell traditionally used to raise the alarm in a Balinese village.

During the protest action, guests at the resort were temporarily relocated to the Resort's sister property in Jimbaran Bay. Operations had returned to normal by the end of the week.


Bali is Back!
Australian Bureau of Statistics Confirm Bali is Preferred Holiday Destination for Australians. 200,000 Australians Expected in 2004.

Bali is quickly moving into position to reclaim its mantle as the most desirable international holiday destination for Australians.

Statistics just released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Bali has already regained #2 spot, ahead of such destinations as the United Kingdom, United States and Fiji.

In fact, in 2003 Bali's popularity was far greater than any other Asian holiday destination, exceeding nearest rival Thailand by more than 45,000 visitors, and Singapore and Malaysia by more than twice this number.

Only New Zealand continues to attract more Australian holidaymakers than Bali, but not for long if past performance and future projections are any indicator. Industry observers in Australia say that that 2004 will likely see the island once again become the top international holiday destination for Australians a position it enjoyed from 1996 to September 2001.

Comments from Bali wholesalers support the buoyant view on Australia's rapid comeback for Bali-destined tourism.

"Sales for both January and February have achieved record levels in our 21 year history," said Nick Deacock, Product Manager of Garuda Orient Holidays.

Andrew Yell, General Manager Sales, Marketing & Product, for Creative Holidays described bookings to Bali as "phenomenal." "We are extremely happy with the way Bali has bounced straight back," he said.

Ian Garritt, Managing Director of Venture Holidays SA & NT, said his company had taken more bookings to Bali in the last week than it did for the whole of January.

"Passenger loads have been improving over the past six months, aided by some of the best value deals in years," said Kerry Timms, NSW Sales Manager for Garuda Indonesia, which has a total of 21 flights per week to Bali from six ports in Australia more than any other carrier.

Mason Adams of Asia Escape Holidays joined the triumphant chorus saying, "we couldn't be more pleased with the tremendous increase in business to Bali we're currently experiencing. Bali's intrinsically strong brand equity is leading the rapid road to full recovery for that very special destination."

Given that Bali has been known to achieve annual visitor numbers in excess of 300,000 in the past, current trends would appear to strongly support the view that more than 200,000 Australian tourists will visit Bali in 2004.


Here Comes the Sun
Course on Introduction to Renewable Energy Sources and Small Solar Systems Set for March 15-16, 2004.

The Udayana Lodge at Bukit Jembaran is continuing its efforts to promote sustainable development in Bali by offering a 2-day course on the functions, uses and components of small solar energy systems on March 15-16, 2004.

The course will be presented by Instructor Mr. Howard Pullen of Charles Darwin University in Northern Australia. A member of the faculty of electrical engineering where he teaches a course in micro processing, Mr. Pullen's areas of expertise include power point trackers, solar arrays and data logging. He has participated three times as a team member in Northern Territory University's Solar-Powered Darwin to Adelaide Race and twice in an international solar car rally held at Akita, Japan.

The cost of Rp. 300,000 per participant (approximately US$ 35.30) covers the cost of all course material, lunches, coffee breaks and a completion certificate. The course will run on both days from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For more information contact Mr. Gede Anjasmara, telephone/facsimile ++62-(0)361 - 701098 or e-mail [iniradef@indo.net.id].



Calling All Talking Heads
Balivision Launches Talent Quest for English Presenters.

Balivision, the English language program broadcast on Bali's National Television Station (TVRI), has launched a talent-quest looking for future, part-time presenters.

The contest-cum-selection process now underway is expected to draw 100 aspiring broadcasters culminating in a Grand Final selection scheduled for March 12, 2004, to be broadcast live on TVRI Bali.

The first-round selection process requires contestants to compose a two-minute opening introduction to Balivision to be recorded as an initial screen test. Then, a final 30 contestants will be chosen for the semi-final rounds to be held on March 8, 2004. The final run-off will require contestants to interview a native speaker on air.

"The first and foremost objective is to find budding talents within the Bali community and also to encourage active application and usage of the English language. Tourism, as the locomotive of Bali's economy, must be supported by human resources who are well versed in foreign languages most particularly English," said Ms. Kora Amalwati, program initiator and Director of Travel Works Communications International.

Organized by Travel Works Communications International in cooperation with TVRI Bali's Balivision and Creative Concepts, contestant must be at least 18 years of age and living in Bali. For more information, please contact Ms. Susi from Monday Friday, 09.00 am 5.00 pm, at Travel Works Communications International telephone ++62-(0)361 282194. Facsimile ++62-(0)361 - 282193.


Dengue Cases Continue to Mount
Over 300 Cases Reported by Bali's Health Department. New Infections Limited to Urban Centers.

As of February 23, 2004, a total of 323 cases of Dengue Fever have been reported by Bali's local Health Department.

The Malarial infections of dengue reported to Bali's Sanglah General Hospital are primarily originating in densely settled urban centers on the island, including Denpasar, Badung, Jembrana, Karangasem and Bangli.

According to officials at the hospital, the majority of sufferers are in stage I or stage II of the illness permitting successful treatment and discharge from the hospital after 3 to 4 days of hospitalization.

Cases of Dengue in tourist areas of the island are extremely rare with hotels and villas undertaking regular foggings and inspections to prevent the nesting and breeding of mosquitoes.


Added Security To Safeguard Elections
More than 7,000 Police to Guard Bali's Security During Election Period.

Bali's Chief of Police, Inspector General Made Mangku Pastika, recently announced that 7,108 police officers will be deployed to provide security to Bali in the period leading up to the 2004 elections.

In an operation code-named Mantap Brata XII, 8 brigades will be mobilized to ensure the democratic process runs smoothly in Bali including a special brigade to provide personal security for any visiting presidential candidate visiting the Island.

As a further back-up, an additional 1,000 members of the Indonesian Armed Forces are also on assignment in Bali to enhance security precautions.

During the actual election process some 9.706 polling centers will be in operation across Bali, each guarded by 2 members of the local defense force backed up by the massive police and military presence.



Westin Hit by One-Day Taxi Driver Blockade
Nusa Dua Drivers Block Hotel's Entrance Demanding a Larger Share of the Transportation Pie.

Approximately 200 vehicles and drivers from the Nusa Dua Tourism Cooperative (KOWINU) staged a half-day blockade of the entrance roads to the Westin Resort Nusa Dua on Friday, February 27, 2004.

The blockade, which closed the entrance road from 2 6 p.m., was initiated by taxi drivers of KOWINU wailing from local residents of the Nusa Dua Area who demanded that they be given priority in providing tax services to guests staying at the Resort over a competing local tax firm, Bali Taxi. In the past, both taxi firms were given a 1:1 share in passenger pick ups from the Resort. However, local drivers are now demanding that this ratio be changed to 5:1 in their favor. The Nusa Dua drivers defend their demand for a lion's share of the business on the basis that as members of the local community they also play a major role in guaranteeing the security of the local area.

Following discussions on Friday involving representatives from both taxi companies, the Resort, the Bali Tourism Development Corporation who manage the Nusa Dua Complex, local government officials and the police an agreement was reached that will allow guests free access to the hotel while a new Transportation Concession Agreement covering the period 2004-2006 is finalized.


Deep Purple to Perform April 14
Legendary Rock Band Includes Bali's GWK on Pan Asian Tour.

Deep Purple - a group that has sold more than 100 million records over the past 30 years will include Bali's Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK) on its current Bananas World Tour 2004.

With multiple stops in China, Singapore and Jakarta on their way to Bali, the group will perform at GWK's Lotus Pond on Wednesday, April 14, 2004. Confirmation of the Group's appearance has beeen given by the Jakarta-based organizers of the concert Original Productions and is listed on the official website for the Group.

VVIP tickets will cost Rp. 650,000 (approximately US$ 76.50); VIP Rp. 500,000 (approximately US$ 58.80); First Class Rp. 350,000 (approximately US$ 41.20); Festival Class Rp. 250,000 (approximately US$ 29.40).

Promoters have promised a dynamic stage performance including hits from such albums as "Stormbringer", "Machine Head" and "Made in Japan."

The current personnel of Deep Purple is comprised of Don Airey, Ian Gillian, Steve Morse, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice.

Following their Bali appearance the mega-group moves on to the Australia segment of their world tour.


 
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Bali Update #390
March 01, 2004

Bali Update #389
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