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Sanur Raya No. 27
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Tel: ++62 361 286 283
Fax: ++62 361 286 284
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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #404 - 07 June 2004

Garuda Adds Seats Between Bali and Perth
Growing Demand and Faith in Bali Prompts Garuda to Add 33 Flights in June and July.

The National Carrier Garuda Indonesia is bullish on tourism between Bali and Perth, Western Australia. So bullish, in fact, that they've just scheduled an additional 5,483 seats on 33 supplementary flights between the two destinations effective between June 18 and August 1, 2004.

Buoyed by statistics that show an increase of 2,404 Australians from Western Australian visited Bali in the first quarter of 2004, Rob Moro, Sales Manager of Garuda in Western Australia said, "We have taken a punt by providing 5,483 extra seats for West Australians in a six week period. With such a short lead-in it will be a challenge to fill these flights, but school holidays fall within this period and this always produces very strong loads."

Nor did Mr. Moro rule out the possibility of maintaining some or all of the extra capacity on a permanent basis if passenger loads justify such a move.

One Place Where the Oz Dollar is Strong

Australian visitors to Indonesia and Bali are enjoying a windfall as their dollar now buys more Indonesian Rupiahs than ever before. Explained Moro, "The Australian dollar is worth four times what it was 20 years ago in Bali, so bargains abound. Back in the 1980s Aussies typically received about 1000-1500 Rupiahs for their dollar, compared with around 6000 today."

Bargain All Round

Inexpensive flights, bargain priced hotels and affordable food and beverage at outstanding restaurants are proving irresistible to Australian travelers. 7 night packages including flights, taxes, accommodation and a full breakfast each day starting from just AU$ 780 are just some of [Fantastic Travel Values ex Perth] now on offer.


Surviving in the 'New Normal'
Indonesia Hoteliers Association Conducts a One-day Seminar on Business Survival.

The Indonesia Hoteliers Association (IAPINDO) will be conducting a one-day seminar of Survival in the Hotel and Tourism Business on Friday, June 11, 2004, at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel in South Kuta.

To be officially opened by the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority, Mr. Gede Nurjaya, the Seminar will feature two of Indonesia's most respected authorities on the business of tourism: Drs. Tjiptono Darmadji and Mr. Sani Soemakno.

Drs. Tjiptono Darmadji is a graduate of Airlangga University in Surabaya and has served as a financial advisor to a number of leading Indonesian corporations. He is a frequent speaker at seminars and workshops, both in Indonesia and abroad, focusing on his interests in finance, tourism and travel.

Mr. Sani Soemakno is a graduate of Tokyo University in Hotel and Travel Management. He has also attended post-graduate programs conducted by the University of Hawaii and Cornell University. He has held senior management positions with Inter-Continental Hotels in Bali, Bangkok and Auckland as well as serving as CEO of several Indonesian hotel companies. Mr. Soemakno has served as President of the ASEAN Hotel and Restaurant Association and as a Board Member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

The one-day seminar in Bali will present an overview of the Indonesian economy and how future trends relate to the hotel and tourism business. Practical suggestions and insights on how local companies can cope and prepare for the future will be discussed.

The seminar is designed to have materials of interest to Hotel and Travel Agent Owners, General Managers, Airline Executives, Directors of Sales, Financial Controllers and Department Heads.

Cost of the seminar is only Rp. 200,000 for IAPINDO members (approximately US$ 21) and Rp. 250,000 for others (approximately US$ 26). This fee covers all materials, coffee breaks and a luncheon.

For registration and more information contact the IAPINDO Secretariat at telephone ++62-(0)361-773537/8 or facsimile ++62-(0)361-774821.

More information: IAPINDO Web Site


New International Wing at Sanglah General Hospital
Approximately Half of the Money Needed to Complete the Project in Hand Allowing Work to Commence.

Officials at Bali's General Hospital Rumah Sakit Sanglah have confirmed that the cornerstone of a new International Wing is scheduled to be laid on June 22, 2004.

The cornerstone ceremony is to be held simultaneously with the inauguration of the Hospital's new Burn Unit. Plans are still uncertain who will officiate at these two events, with Hospital authorities hoping the President or, in her place, the Minister of Health will be able to attend.

Working with limited funds, the first Rp. 20 billion (approximately US$ 2.12 million) allocated for the International Wing will be used to complete the first floor of the project housing a polyclinic. The total project, estimated to cost Rp. 40 - 50 billion (approximately US$ 4.3 to US$ 5.3 million) including a second floor, is targeted for completion in 2005.

Plans to upgrade Bali's main hospital gained urgency in the aftermath of the Bali bombing of October 2002 when the island's need for an international standard medical center was made glaringly clear.


More on Tourism Academy 'Closing'
Minister Ardika Explains Why No New Students Can Be Received at STP.

Further to the report at balidiscovery.com [Bali's Tourism School to be Closed?], Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism has now provided background information surrounding his Department's order to Bali's Tourism Academy (STP) to not accept any new students for coming academic year.

That decision, according to Minister I Gde Ardika, was in keeping with National Education Law Number 20 of 2003 which mandates schools and training centers originally established to educate civil servants be returned to their original function. He explained that when the STP was first established in 1978 its purpose was to educate those working in government tourism posts. However, over time, the STP's function changed dramatically where today it accepts more public students than government functionaries.

The new law, passed in 2003, is intended to improve the quality of the Indonesian Civil Service by returning the training institutes to their original roles.

Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the Minister explained how, on two separate occasions, he had been reminded by Commission VI of the Parliament (DPR) of his responsibility to return the STP to its original function. The decision to stop the intake of new students was, according to Minister Ardika, "better than making a bad situation worse by receiving new students who would only later find themselves in an uncertain situation when the new law is implemented." The Minister said the order to halt the admission of new students was in keeping with his responsibility to anticipate future developments.

The Minister acknowledged the controversy unleashed in the community by the decision to stop new admissions. And, he also acknowledged STP's contribution to national tourism development in successfully graduating some 10,000 tourism professionals since its inception.

However, the Minister reminded all concerned that the matter was far from over, with all parties awaiting the issuance of the implementation procedures for the National Education Law Number 20 of 2003.


'Family Matters' at Richard Meyer Culture
Bali's Newest Gallery Features Photography and Images from Another Era.

Bali's collection of fine galleries has been complemented with the opening of Richard Meyer Culture specializing in vernacular, vintage and international fine art photography.

Located on Jalan Petittenget No. 200X in Kerobokan the gallery's opening exhibition features early photographic images from Indonesia.

For more information, contact Richard Meyer Culture at telephone ++62-(0)361-7445179.


Kupu Kupu Foundation Opens an Ubud Gallery
Ubud Gallery Dedicated to Art Produced by Bali's Handicapped Artists.

The Kupu Kupu Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of Bali's physically and mentally disabled people, has announced the opening of an Ubud Gallery featuring arts and handicrafts produced exclusively by those assisted by the organization.

Located on Jalan Raya Ubud at the corner of Jalan Hanoman, the Kupu-Kupu Foundation Gallery aims to improve the lives of Bali's disabled by providing a sales outlet for their work.



Sky-High Fuel Costs
Singapore Airlines Announce a World-Wide Fuel Surcharge.

Effective Monday, June 7, 2004, Singapore Airlines introduced a fuel surcharge of US$ 5 per flight sector on all its services worldwide, subject to the approval of the relevant authorities in certain markets.

In countries where Singapore Airlines has already introduced a fuel surcharge, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France - the current surcharge will be discontinued on June 7 and replaced by the US$ 5 per sector charge.

The airline announced the move as necessary in light of rising fuel prices and in keeping with actions being taken by other major carriers to help defray part of the higher fuel costs.



We Get Mail
Threatened Closure of Tourism Academy, a Local Share of Visa Fees and our Travel Advisories Editorial Prompted Many to Write.

Bali Tourism School to be Closed

The Bali Update #403 report [ Bali Tourism School to be Closed] brought comments from readers.

Regular contributor Andrew Sivijs from Brisbane Australia had this to say:

"The Indonesian Government has an uncanny knack for not understanding the fundamentals of tourism and the delivery of quality visitor experiences. These experiences are forged by a visitors interaction with hosts both formally (e.g. hotels, tours) and informally (e.g. cafes, shops and local adventures). To close a valuable training and development environment such as the Tourism School is short sighted and does not bode well for the tourism industry or Bali's youth. In Australia, we are placing increased emphasis on personal development and up-skilling as the foundation of a quality visitor experience. The Government need not sacrifice this 'essential service' merely to provide bureaucrats with an alternative meeting place. From the foundations of education and training emerges our future industry leaders and human capital. Let's hope the Government is wise enough to re-consider this situation. Invest in your youth."

Mr. Robin Findlay, who heads a major U.K. incentive operator, added :

"As one of our Companies takes students from STP Bali and finds them work at hotels in the UK, we are dismayed at this news! The students from STP Bali are confident and well-trained and to close this school would be nonsense. Who do we complain to?"

A reader from Spain, Mr. Antonio Peregrin, also wished to join the chorus of those opposed to the closing of Bali's tourism academy.

"I would like to know what can we do to avoid STP closure? Tourism is a key activity, (for the) economy and development of the Balinese people ... Who wants to hurt the Balinese people more than they have already suffered? Please, we have to do something good and profitable for Balinese."

Travel Advisories Variations on a Familiar Theme

Our editorial discussing recent U.S. and Australian travel advisories [Travel Advisories Variations on a Familiar Theme] received unanimous support from the many readers who wrote in commenting on that article. Here's a sampling of those letters:

Ms. Sue Painter wrote to say:

"Your article is true and correct. We were in Bali last September and never felt a moment's worry. We would return to Bali today, and will return when we can. Your article rings true and makes good points about political positioning of governments. Thank you for your voice of reason."

Dominic Cafini of Australia had kind words for Bali Update and this to say about media coverage of Bali:

"I have been receiving the Bali Update for over 1 year now and have found it to be a good form of information and advice on what is happening in my most favorite place in the world to go. Since I can lay claim to having traveled to Bali on 12 occasions (3 times already this year and again in August) this is not just any statement. I agree with your Editor that these travel warnings are a bit over the top, blown out by certain media types and that it will definitely not have any effect on me traveling to Bali to see the many, many good local friends in the living village of Jimbaran and Kedondongan. Looking forward to seeing those warm and friendly smiles once again ... Keep up the good work with the Bali Update."

Adrian Martin in Australia offered the following comments:

"Just wanted to let you know that I haven't come across anyone here in Oz who has regularly visited Bali in the past, and doesn't want to go back.

Sure, many of us now avoid the rubbish on Pantai Kuta and go elsewhere, but folk are still planning to visit. The Balinese people are too nice to just forget and leave."


Yunus and Sylvia Sujud in Australia offered enthusiastic support for our editorial, saying:

"This was a great article ... and oh so true. We have been back to Bali three times since 911 and have never felt unsafe or threatened. Wish I could say the same about being here in Australia. If for no other reason than 'your times up when your times up' - so what better place to be than Bali. Looks like the terrorists win when people are scared of their own shadows and stay at home. I'll be forwarding this article on to all the fools who won't travel! We will be back in Bali in two weeks ... can't wait."

Seeking a Local Share of the Visa Fees

Our coverage of calls by local officials in Bali for a share of the revenues collected from the recently introduced visa-on-arrival program [Seeking a Local Share of the Visa Fees] brought pointed commentary from one reader:

Goanna had this to say:

"Bali is, let's face it, a cash cow for the Jakarta folk. It's always been a cash cow, bring in plenty of revenue, reaping a huge share of the multi-billion dollar industry of tourism - yet returning little or none of that money to Bali. I am thinking of infrastructure, electricity supplies, garbage collection and disposal, clean water supplies, adequate roads, schools and hospitals ... god know the government. Collects plenty, starting with the 20% tax that all hotels have to pay, and many restaurants. There is also the Rp. 100,000 per head departure tax, (and) now the visa tax ... Where do all these billions go?

The Government ought to be careful. When you have a cow as productive as Bali has been you look after it, and care for it. Personally I think I shall skip Bali this year: not because of terrorist warnings, but because of the bad water, the pollution and the hopeless traffic problems. When you have a milk cow you treat it RIGHT.

All take and no give will have its repercussions, as tourists start to choose other destinations."


More information: Tell Us What's On Your Mind


Romero to Top Job at Melia Bali Villas & Spa
Spanish Hotelier on Second Work Assignment in Bali.

Alfonso Romero has been appointed General Manager of the 450 room Melia Bali Villas & Spa.

With 22 years of experience in hotel management, this marks his second assignment in Bali, serving in the late 1990s as Resident Manager and General Manager at Melia Benoa in Bali. Mr. Romero has also worked as General Manager of the Melia Hua Hin in Thailand.

He began his hotel career in Spain over two decades ago where he also followed a course of study in hotel management.

Looking forward to his re-assignment to Bali, Mr. Romero is eager to renew acquaintances with his many friends and colleagues in the Island's tourism industry.



Harmony An Exhibition of Paintings and Glass
Suklu and Richard Morrell at Jenggala Ceramics Through August 5, 2004.

Jenggala Ceramic in Jimbaran is hosting an exhibition of paintings by the Balinese artist Suklu (I Wayan Sujana) and blown glass by Richard Morrell, June 11 through August 5, 2004.

I Wayan Sujana (Suklu)

Through painting and installation art, Suklu interprets the spiritual world, using meditation to inspire his works.

Richard Morrell

Born in London, Morrell has worked and lived in Australia since 1979. Working in blown glass and dense castings, he has held exhibitions in Australia, Japan, the U.S.A. and Europe.

The exhibition is open daily at Jenggala Ceramics, ending on August 5, 2004.

For more information contact Jenggala Ceramics at ++62-(0)361-703311 or visit the Jenggala Web Site.

More information: Jenggala Ceramic Web Site


It's All Down Hill From Here
Rotary Club Seminyak Holds Bike-A-Fund on the Batur Trail, June 13, 2004.

The Rotary Club of Seminyak, Bali will sponsor a Bike-A-Fund on the Batur Trail on Sunday, June 13, 2004.

Using new mountain bicycles and safety equipment provided by Sobek Adventures, participants will gather in Sanur Beach ay 8:30 a.m. on the morning to be transported to the rim of Batur's volcano and the start of a downhill bike trail through traditional villages ending in Tampaksiring where a lunch will be served. Participants will be transported back to the Sanur starting point by approximately 1630 hours.

Funds raised will be used to support Rotary Club Seminyak's many community projects - including surgery for cleft palate victims, HIV/AIDS education, scholarships, assistance to the poor, school house rebuilding, polio immunization, and beach cleaning activities.

Cost for participating is Rp. 350,000 (approximately US$ 37) which covers the rental of the bike and safety equipment. A special price of Rp. 300,000 (approximately US$ 32) is available to students.

For more information or to register, contact Rotarian Dr. Patrick Van Kampen at telephone ++62-(0)81 138 6807 or use the e-mail contact below.

More information: Rotary Bike-A-Fund E-mail


Bali Finals of Miss Indonesia Contest
June 12 Bali Finals in Run Up for Prestigious Title of 'Miss Indonesia.'

Saturday, June 12, 2004, is the exciting evening that will see some of Bali's most beautiful young women compete for the right to represent their Island in the National Finals of the Putri Indonesia 2004 or Miss Indonesia 2004 Competition. The young lady eventually selected to wear that crown spends an entire year attending international events as an Indonesian ambassador for beauty and charm.

The Bali finals, to be held in the Denpasar Ballroom of the Patra Bali Resort & Villas in Kuta, get underway at 1800 hours on Saturday, June 12 when young women representing each of Bali's regencies will compete in talent, poise and general knowledge rounds that, by the end of the evening, will see one of them destined for Jakarta's nationally-televised finals.

Miss Indonesian 2004 Dian Krishna

Officiating over the evening in Bali will be the reigning Miss Indonesia 2004 - Dian Krishna. A 26-year old born in Jakarta with a post-graduate degree in communications from RMIT University in Australia, Dian was selected by a jury of 11 during last year's competition in Jakarta.

Door prizes, performances by top entertainers, and two junior beauty pageants for young girls between the ages of 5 - 8 and 9 12 will also be part of the evening's entertainment.

For Tickets and reservations contact Wien Productions at telephone ++62-(0)361-227872 or ++62-(0)361-243119.


 
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