BALI UPDATE #399 - 03
An Evening of Art
in Modern Luxury
Westin Resort Nusa
Dua's Grand Launch.
A US$5 million refurbishment program now finally
completed, Westin Resort, Nusa Dua
held an evening of Art in Modern Luxury
on Friday, April 30, 2004, to launch its new name
and refurbished splendor to 200 community figures
and VIP overseas guests.
The evening commenced with a cocktail reception
in the new, brighter and seemingly more spacious
lobby of The Resort. In keeping with the evening's
theme of art and luxury, works of art and fine
design by Runa Gallery, Ni Nyoman Sani,
Petter Solheim, I Made Suamba, Agus Pande, Heliconia,
Seiki Torige and I Gusti Lanang Gede Atmaja complemented
the luxurious setting of the Westin's lobby
with a display of Bali's leading exponents of
painting, jewelry, stone sculpture, fine glass
work, floral arrangement and photography. Exotic
cocktails, delicious canapés and fine art – all
present in copious quantities together with music
presented by Bali's premier new age musical
group - Balawan.
Dinner is Served
Well greeted and refreshed, guests continued on
to the Resort's newly-renovated poolside area
– now touted as the largest freeform freshwater
pool in Bali, for a lavish dinner and formal opening
Mr. Rosano Barack, President Director of PT
Nusa Dua Graha International - the Resort's
owning Company, welcomed the guests recalling,
"our property joined ITT Sheraton in May 1993
and our decision to embrace the Westin brand started
in 2002." Stressing that despite the challenges
of recent times, the shareholders had honored
their commitment to reinvest in the property,
demonstrating their confidence in Bali and Indonesia
Then, Mr. Oliver Bonke, Vice President Sales and
Marketing of Starwood Hotels and Resorts
Asia Pacific, the parent company of Westin,
came to the stage where he highlighted the program
of continuing improvements in the dynamic Westin
brand worldwide. The keynote address of the evening
was delivered by Indonesia's Minister of Culture
and Tourism, Mr. I Gede Ardika, who congratulate
the Owners and Westin on their latest achievement.
All three men then joined hands to press a button
that launched an impressive fireworks display
that lit the tropical sky above the Resort.
With staff and tables all elegantly attired in
black, an Asia-Pacific culinary journey through
the world of Westin was presented with recipes
created by chefs from five Westin hotels Thailand,
Japan, China, Malaysia and Australia.
National TV personality and Bali native, Sandrina
Malakiano, served as Master of Ceremonies for
Who Says Bali Tourism
Has Recovered? Part II
Bali By the Numbers:
Bali's Former Tourism Boss - Dr. Pitana Weighs
in on the Recovery Question.
In an editorial carried in the April 28, 2004,
edition of the Indonesian language Bali Post
the former Head of the Bali Tourism Authority
Dr. I.Gede Pitana, contributed his views on the
question – "Has Bali Tourism Recovered?"
In that editorial, Dr. Pitana explains that determining
whether or not Bali tourism has regained its footing
is a matter of which statistical indicators you
choose to examine and what base line is used to
The Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
Quantitatively, the factors that are used generally
to measure tourism's state of health are statistics
related to arrival numbers, hotel occupancy rates,
length of stay totals, average levels of expenditures,
and foreign exchange earnings. Meanwhile, the
qualitative measure is gauged by a single factor,
namely, the vitality of the local "peoples"
Foreign Direct Arrivals
In Dr. Pitana's analysis, foreign direct arrivals
in Bali for the first 3 months of 2004 show a
significant improvement over the same 3 months
in 2003. January 2004 arrivals totaled 104.062,
a 71% improvement over the 60,836 recorded in
January 2003. February 2004 figures improved 25%,
climbing from 67,469 in 2003 to this year's figure
of 84,374. March's performance for 2004 climbed
39% to 99,826, up from 72,263 in the same month
just a year before.
April's partial figures also serve to encourage.
Average daily arrivals through the first half
of the month totaled 3,900 foreign arrivals, up
significantly from the average 2,400 daily arrivals
recorded in April of last year.
What do these figures mean in terms of Bali's
tourism recovery? The answer to that question
is less than clear. 2004 arrival figures, while
better than those reported in 1997 and 1998, are
still below those recorded in 2000 and 2001.
In evaluating Bali's current tourism situation
length of stay
statistics are a cause for
real concern. Prior to the Bali bombing, in 2000
and 2001, the average length of stay
foreign visitors to Bali averaged 10.97 days and
9.48 days, respectively. By 2003, the average
length of stay
was down to just 6 days. Dr.
Pitana assessment is that the dramatic erosion
of European and American tourists following the
WTC and Bali bombing tragedies and their supplanting
with domestic and Asian travelers are responsible
for the drop in room night production and average
occupancies at Bali hotels. According to Pitana,
average occupancies in Bali hotels for the first
three months of 2000 averaged 46.33%, dropping
to 31.87% for the same period in 2003. Figures
for average occupancy in Bali hotels in January
2004 tallied in at 31.41%, underlining that stronger
arrival totals do not necessarily translate into
higher hotel occupancy levels.
In continuing his analysis, Dr. Pitana shows how
average spends of US$134.66 per person per day
in 1994 had fallen to US$74.38 in 2001, declining
even further to US$60.95 in 2003. The causes for
this large decline in spending include the change
in the composition of Bali's visitors and the
substantial discounts on offer to visitors.
Seen from a qualitative perspective, the improvement
in visitors numbers in the first quarter of 2004
following the business exodus for the same period
in 2003, the period immediately following the
Bali bombing, have helped to buoy the spirit of
the people of Bali.
The New "Normal"
Are these truly better times? Certainly, things
are much better than they were just one year ago.
Are things back to normal? Now, that is the
In trying to find a base line
to measure current performance we always come
back to the same question: What is normal?
In 1997/1998 tourism number were negatively impacted
by an Indonesian monetary crisis. 1998 and 1999
arrivals suffered due to widespread social unrest
in Indonesia, including Bali. The year 2000 offered
a brief respite of normalcy, only to be interrupted
by the WTC attacks in September of 2001 followed
by the Kuta bombing in October of 2002. 2003 dawned
and remained lackluster, still suffering the fallout
of the Bali bombing with the embellishments of
the War in Iraq and a SARS epidemic.
The results of these developments were obvious
on Bali's tourism sector. 1998 foreign direct
tourist arrivals dropped 3.51% totaling 1,187,153.
In 1999 figures recovered, increasing 14.21% to
be followed by a more modest increase of 4.2%
in 2000 tallying in at 1,412,839. In 2001 number
began a downward ride dropping 3.97% (1.356,744
foreign direct arrivals); declining a further
5.23% in 2002 (1,285,844 foreign direct arrivals);
and plummeting 22.77% in 2003 (993,029 arrivals).
Dr. Pitana discourages the viewpoint held by those
that view "normal" years as tourism development
in Bali in the late 1980s. His view: the low arrival
numbers, totaling less than 400,000 per year,
argue against that period serving as any benchmark.
In fact, according to the veteran tourism observer,
Bali's real problems may have more to do with
issues of oversupply. The so-called "golden
of 1988 featured an island with only
12,155 rooms spread over 625 hotels. The guests
visiting in that era were served by 69 travel
and tour companies' lead around the island by
753 registered guides; and dined at 426 restaurants.
While current arrivals hover around 1 million,
a total nearly thee times as much as in 1998,
those tourism visitors are spread among 1,198
hotels with 35.212 rooms; 440 tour and travel
agents; 840 restaurants; 6,781 guides.
Is Bali's current dilemma one of too few visitors,
staying too short a time, and spending too little
money or more a result of two much product in
a stagnant or declining market?
According to Dr. Pitana, it's really a matter
of how you want to look at the numbers.
| Too Few
Visitors or Too Much Supply?
| Foreign Direct Arrivals
| Hotel Rooms
| Tour Agents
| Registered Guides
Bali Runners to Cardiff
for Interhash in July
Bali Runners Will
Head Bidding Effort in Wales to Bring Interhash
2006 to Bali.
Founded in the 1930's in Singapore, the Hash
is an international association
of cross country runners now boasting more than
300,000 members in over 1,000 clubs worldwide.
Each of the clubs meets once a week at a different
locality near their homes to undertake scenic
runs followed by convivial sessions of earnest
Once every two years, Hashers
the world converge on a different location for
- a weeklong festival of running,
drinking beer and celebrating the run
friends, old and new. This year's Interhash
will be held in late July 2004 in Cardiff, Wales,
where some 4,000 runners plus numerous friends
and family are expected to participate.
Bali Seeking to Host Interhash 2006
For the first time in the long history of the
, participants in this year's
event will be asked to cast a vote on which location
will win the rights to host the 2006 event. Site
selection decisions for past Interhash
events were made by a committee drawn from the
general membership. The four cities competing
for the honor will be host bid committees from
Chaing Mai (Thailand), Edmonton (Canada), Perth
(Western Australia), and Bali (Indonesia). In
order to win the bid, Bali's five Hash Clubs
have joined together and formed a committee to
bid at Cardiff for the right to host Interhash
Bali last hosted an Interhash in 1988 and, for
many who participated then, Bali remains the standard
against which all other Interhashes
Working Together for Bali
Chairman of the Bali Interhash Bid Committee
Michael Crowley, a long term resident of Bali
said, "winning the right to host Interhash 2006
will be very difficult because the competition
amongst Hash Countries is very fierce. However
I believe that Bali has much more to offer than
the alternative locations. Bali's combination
of unique culture, beautiful scenery, excellent
tourism infrastructure, great hash experience
and geographical proximity to the heartland of
Hashing make our chances of winning very good."
When asked why the members of the Committee were
volunteering so much of their time to the bid
effort Michael explained, "the Committee members
are all Indonesians and expatriates that live
in Bali. Were trying to bring 5,000 athletes to
Bali in 2006 which will generate a huge boost
for tourism. We realize that the potential benefits
to Bali of hosting Interhash 2006 include: International
prestige and recognition as a world class recreation
destination; direct benefit to the Bali economy
of millions of dollars; and long term boost to
Bali tourism resulting from event marketing and
The Bali Interhash 2006 Bid
has been strongly
endorsed by Bali's Governor.
Corporate sponsors are being sought to help support
the cost of the Bali Interhash Bid.
For more information e-mail [Interhash
Visa Process to be
Explore Turning Current 3-step Visa Process into
The Directorate General of Immigration is studying
the viability of reducing from three to one the
number of steps required for nationals of countries
required to purchase a visa upon arrival in Indonesia.
Ade E. Dachlan, the Head of Public Relations for
the Directorate General of Immigration, has admitted
that the citizens of the 21 countries required
to line-up for visa must currently stand in three
separate lines, necessitating prolonged periods
of standing and walking for people arriving off
international flights. Because of this, he told
the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia
that steps are now being studied to reduce from
three to one the number of processing desks in
the purchased-visa-on-arrival process.
The current process requires those affected by
the policy to stand in one line operated by banks
to pay the US$10 (3 days) or US$25 (30 days) visa
fee before proceeding to another desk where the
visa is issued and then on the a final desk for
final immigration clearance.
In order to increase the speed and efficiency
of the processing of incoming tourists, the Immigration
Department is examining the possibility of reducing
the time and steps needed to pass the immigration
process at Indonesia's international gateways.
The Process Takes Too Long
Meanwhile, a leading travel figure from Makassar
and an official of the Association of Indonesian
Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Nico B. Pasaka,
has complained that processing of visa can take
According to Pasaka, "the immigration service
must be reduced to one step, eliminating the substantial
time needed to travel between various counters
in the airport and the separate banking counter."
Rotary Tennis Tournament
Cash and Merchandise
Prizes On Offer as Rotary Raises Funds for Cleft
13th Annual Rotary Charity
Tournament will be held May 8 – 16, 2004,
in Nusa Dua.
Rp. 6 million (approximately US$700) in cash prizes
and a range of exciting door prizes will be given
away to men and women players in 4 separate divisions
Participants will compete on the courts of Nusa
Dua's leading hotels - The Westin Resort,
Conrad Bali Resort and Spa, and Nusa
Dua Beach Resort & Spa.
Held each year since 1992, the event has raised
more than Rp. 200 million (approximately US$23,530)
to assist handicapped children in Bali. Last year's
tournament contributed an additional Rp. 27.78
million to this worthy cause.
Registration costs for the tournament, expected
to draw players from many nationalities, varies
between Rp. 50,000 (approximately US$5.90) to
Rp. 150,000 (approximately US$ 17.65), depending
on division of play.
Deadline for registration is May, 3, 2004.
For more information telephone ++62-(0)8123632177
or visit the link to the Tournament’s website
Citibank Open in Bali
Bank Says Bali Branch Will Assist Efforts to Rebuild Island's Economy.
On Friday, April 30, 2004, Citibank formally opened a branch office in Bali.
The Bali branch, the thirteenth office for the New York City headquartered bank in Indonesia, is a Card and Loan Center. The office will provide support services to Citibank credit card holders, manage corporate and personal banking matters for its Bali-based customers, and provide exclusive personal banking for select clients through its CitiGold Wealth Management Banking.
Commenting on the opening of the Bank, Mr. Rangga S. Widjaja, Assistant Vice President Branch Business Manager, said, "Citibank cares deeply for the economy of Bali which remains depressed." At the same time he said he felt Bali possesses outstanding potential for locally-based business development.
Citibank's Bali branch office is located on Jalan Teuku Umar in downtown Denpasar.
Building Character in Bali’s Jungle
Outward Bound Restarts its Programs for Singapore Youths in December 2004.
After a gap of nearly 7 years, Outward Bound® Indonesian will recommence in December 2004 its highly successful program of 10-day courses for Singapore youth.
Recently, a four-person team from Outward Bound® Singapore visited Bali to review the facilities and proposed program which will include abseiling, high-rope activities, trekking in the Payangan area of Ubud, a 4-day expedition to a mountains in Bedugul, and a 2 day-home stay with a Balinese family in one of the banjars near Payangan.
The Singapore Outward Bound® Overseas Youth Program in Indonesia was held previously at the organization's facility in Jatiluhur, West Java, from 1993-1997 and was cited with an award from Singapore's Prime Minister, Mr. Goh Chok Tung. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming popularity of the course, the program was suspended in 1998 due to concerns for civil unrest.
The recommencement of this program for Singapore youth in at Bali's Outward Bound® is yet another sign of Bali tourism's recovery.
Outward Bound® has recently opened a Bali center of operations offering corporate and individual life-turning character and team building excursions.
Harris Resort Kuta to Open Late May 2004
Industry Veteran – Jean Charles Le Coz Pledges to Make 'Fun' A Central Theme of Kuta's Newest Hotel.
Scheduled to open in late May 2004, Harris Resort Kuta will represent the latest addition in Harris Management Indonesia's fast-growing list of innovative value-conscious properties in Indonesia.
The 191-room property has taken over an entire wing of the Hotel Sahid Raya in Kuta, spending more than 12 months transforming it into a completely new stand-alone hotel product with its own entrance.
Jean Charles Le Coz - General Manager
Veteran hotelier Mr. Jean Charles Le Coz has been
appointed General Manager of the Resort promising
to create a "fun hotel" saying the Harris
mission is to establish a "fun environment that
must exude to our guests and will start from a
team of fun staff who smile from the bottom of
Mr. Le Coz brings to his new position 14 years experience in leading hotels in France, Switzerland, Thailand, Jakarta and Bali before signing on with Harris.
Pratiwi Tjahja – Heads Sales Effort
Following a distinguished record in general management
at the Kuta Legian Village Hotel and sales
with the Discovery Kartika Plaza and Bali
Rani Hotel, Ms. Pratiwi Tjahja has been appointed
the Director of Sales and Marketing at the newest
A graduate of the Bali Tourism Institute, in her new position Ms. Pratiwi will report directly to the General Manager.
Upgrade of Nusa Penida Port Connection Underway
Rp. 51 Billion To Improve Mentigi Port on Nusa Penida.
Work is now underway on a significant upgrade of port facilities at Mentigi on Nusa Penida's north shore.
The project started in October 2003 and slated to require two years to complete will cost Rp. 51 billion (approximately US$ 6 million). Once inaugurated it will allow ships of up to 600 gross registered tones (GWT) to land at the island, just 16 kilometers from the port of Kusamba in the Gianyar Regency.
The project is part of an overall plan to enhance the depressed economy of Nusa Penida by opening the island to tourism development. Making the island accessible to larger ships and small ferries will have a significant impact on the island currently only connected to Bali by small local sailing boats.
A Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On!
Second Significant Earthquake in Ten Days Felt by Bali's Residents.
The second significant tectonic event in 10 days was felt by many Bali residents on Tuesday, April 27, 2004, when an earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale shook the island shortly after midnight local time.
With an epicenter 80 kilometers below sea level and 160 kilometers southwest of Denpasar in the Indian Ocean, the main brunt of the earthquake – like the one that preceded it ten days earlier (17/4), was felt in the East Javanese city of Banyuwangi.
No injuries or significant property damage have been associated with the Tuesday quake. The most recent quake lasted only 36 seconds, unlike its predecessor which shook non-stop for 20 minutes.
Bali, like much of Indonesia, exists in an area of almost continuous volcanic and tectonic activity known as the "ring of fire." Bali and the surrounding area experiences as many as one hundred measurable geophysical events each month, but most of these quakes register less than 4 on the Richter scale and therefore pass without notice by most local populace.
Bali experienced a 6.1 Richter quake on January 2, 2004, which caused property damage in the Karangasem area.
Thailand Elite Membership
Bali Discovery Tours Appointed to Represent Thailand Elite in Bali.
Thailand Elite - the world's first "country membership club" for friends of Thailand and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) offers an almost endless list of privileges and benefits for VIP visitors, potential investors or those seeking to reside in the Kingdom.
Personal memberships costing US$25,000 or Corporate Memberships of US$50,000 provide a whole range of privileges valid for a 30-year membership period, including:
• Exemption from entry visa requirements with automatic permission to stay in Thailand for five (5) years. Members are also exempt from the requirement to exit Thailand to renew their entry visa.
• A 24-hour a day Call Center for assistance during your stay in Thailand.
• Personal assistance through the immigration and entry process and special lanes for handling through the customs and immigration process.
• Special VIP lounge privileges at the point of entry to Thailand.
• Free transfers between airport and hotel on each visit to Thailand.
• Special discounts and privileges when flying Thai Airways International.
• Special rental rates for private aircraft, helicopter and car rental.
• Hotel discount and upgrade programs at hotels throughout the Kingdom.
• Free green fees at selected golf courses.
• Free daily Spa and Massage service during a member's stay in Thailand.
• A free full medical check-up each year at a leading Thai medical facility.
• Discounts of up to 25% at selected restaurants in Thailand.
• Special shopping privileges and store services when shopping at an approved department store.
Upon completion of the simple enrollments form, payment of the applicable fee, and the submission of a copy of the front page of your passport together with a business card the final approval of the Thailand Elite Card requires only 2 days.
Bali Discovery Tours is the appointed representative of the Thai Elite Card for Bali.
Call ++62-361-286283 for more information or follow the e-mail link provided.
Sometimes Total Transparency
An Exhibition of Glass Works by Seiki Torige at The Ganesha Gallery.
Bali's Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran Bay is the host to a one-month long exhibition of the glass works of acclaimed Japanese artists Seiki Torige, May 3 – June 3, 2004.
Themed "Sometimes Total Transparency" - the exhibition will feature the glass artistry of Seiki Torige who works primarily with recycled glass making trademark glass melts, cobalt-blue pulls, and chiseled vases and decorative pieces.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1941, Seiki Torige studied stained glass at the Lindo Glassy Studio in Milan, Italy, before establishing his first studied in Tokyo in 1978. Since 1995 he has lived and worked in Bali, producing works of art from his Gianyar workshop for display at his studio Hari Esok Lusa in Seminyak.
The exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Jimbaran is open daily from May 3 – June 3, 2004.
For more information telephone the Gallery at