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BALI UPDATE #416 - 30 August 2004

July Arrivals for Bali Set New Records
Bali By The Numbers: In Terms of Arrivals July 2004 The Best Ever. Concerns Linger Over Quality Issues.

July direct foreign arrivals totaling 148,117 represents the strongest ever arrivals for the month of July, setting a new record and defeating the previous best July arrival total established in July 2002 which tallied 147,033 arrivals. Demonstrating rapid recovery from the depressed market performance of just one year before, July 2004 figures improved 32.35% month to month.

Quality Concerns Persist

While strong arrival figures are cited in official circles as proof that Bali's tourism industry is fully recovered from the sudden downturn after the Bali bombing of 2002 and that the new visa on arrival policy has not negatively impacted arrivals, the total foreign direct arrivals presented here do not tell the entire story. Most of the improvement in arrival numbers has resulted from a 101.5% increase in ASEAN arrivals as compared to just 4 years ago in 2001. Meanwhile, European arrivals and arrivals from the Americas continue to lag by more than 30% when compared to their performance in 2001.

In fact, with the notable exception of Australia which has managed to improve 4.48 percent since 2001, those countries required to purchase a visa either before or upon arrival in Bali, all continue to fail to rack up totals resembling their past performance of just 4 years ago.

While ASEAN arrivals are booming they fail to make up for the loss in European and American arrivals in terms of revenue and foreign exchange as these long haul markets traditionally stay longer and spend more when visiting Bali. As a result, average spends and average periods of stay are down by nearly 50% from numbers achieved just four to five years ago.

Download the chart comparing total arrivals for January – July 1999-2004 from balidiscovery.com.

Coming Next Week

Our series Bali By The Numbers continues next week with detailed breakdowns of direct foreign arrivals to Bali by nationality, demonstrating that those nations required to purchase or obtain visas for visits to Bali generally under-perform arrivals from nations enjoying a more liberal visa facility.



Tourism Budget Dedicated to Main Markets
Careful Spending Dictated by Financial Limitations in Promoting National Tourism.

The 2005 budget for Indonesia's Ministry of Culture and Tourism – although still under review by the National Parliament, will remain focused on maintaining and increasing tourist flows from the main source markets of Japan, China, ASEAN, Australia and the Middle East.

According to Sapta Nirwandar, a Secretary to the Minister of Culture and Tourism, a decision has been made to dedicate limited financial resources to maintaining and increasing established main markets in the region in an effort to create growth in total arrival numbers.

Total foreign arrivals nation-wide for 2005 are set at 5.4 million. The Ministry is seeking an increase in promotional and operation budgets from the 2004 development budget of Rp. 310,330 billion (approximately US$ 34.5 million) and a routine operating budget of Rp. 93,3 billion (approximately US$ 10.4 million).

Selected Targeted Numbers

Some of the targeted foreign arrival numbers for Indonesia in 2004 provided by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are:

• Singapore 1,502,700

• Japan 665,900

• Malaysia 509,800

• Taiwan 429,400

• Australia 351,400

• South Korea 225,900


National Orchid Show September 3-9
Third Annual Orchid Show at Istana Kuta.

The Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Forestry Department and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will host the 3rd Annual National Orchid Show at the Istana Kuta Galeria, adjacent to the Central Parkir Kuta, September 3-9, 2004.

Rare and exotic orchids from around the world will be on display with competitions, sale, landscape contests, seminars and flower arrangement contests also being held in conjunction with the show.

For more information, contact the Bali Agricultural Department at telephone ++62-(0)361-228716 or Milo Bali Orchids at ++62-(0)361-730410..


The Kind of News Only a Mama Would Share
Space Age Technology Brings Today's Paper From Anywhere to a Local Restaurant.

Mama's German Restaurant, on Legian Street in the LaWalon Center, has recently started providing 5 of the world's leading newspapers to its guests just minutes after their publication times in their home countries.

Using a state-of-the-art technology that allows complete facsimile copies of any major newspaper to be printed in Bali simultaneous with their original print run. Every day visitors will have the chance to read any of the following newspapers: Hamburger Morgenpost, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Australian, Kicker Magazin, or Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

Mama's is open 24 hours a day serving a wide range of German specialties and, now, some of Europe and Australia's leading newspapers hot off the press.

More information: Mama's Restaurant Web Site


Oka Fails to Bring Athens Gold to Bali
Bali's Oka Sulaksana Unsuccessful in Medal Quest at Athen Olympics.

Indonesian wind surfer Gusti Made Oka Silaksana was knocked out of the competition for a medal at the Athen's Olympic when, in the last race he was only able to place 12th, resulting in a final ranking of 18th among all competitors.

Oka, who managed to win the a gold medal for first place at the Busan, Korea, Asian Games, scored 167 penalty points, placing him behind two other Asian wind surfers participating in the Athen's games. Zhou Yuanguo from China placed 7th overall with 84 penalty points while Chi Ho Ho from Hong Kong finished 14th with 138 penalty points.

Oka, who operates a local windsurfing center in Bali, is a local Sanur fisherman’s son who won his first major competition in 1985 before going on to win honors in 2 Asian Games, 4 Southeast Asian games, and placing 19th in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.


Sanur Beach Renewal Program Continues
Restaurants and Shops Occupying Public Beach Land Along Sanur Being Demolished in Project to Upgrade Beach Area.

90 owners of hotels, restaurants and shops along Mertasari Beach in Sanur are largely demonstrating support for efforts by the local government to improve and upgrade the popular beach front. In fact, a number of hotels and restaurants along the beachfront have already begun demolishing their buildings in anticipation of a final deadline from the local government requiring a clear right of way along the beach, unimpeded by illegal structures.

At a meeting held on Tuesday, August 24, 2004, an initial installment of compensatory funds was paid to a number of owners of illegal shops and restaurants which have voluntarily begun to demolish their buildings. A number of local businesses, employing an estimated 900 people who have operated along the beach front for 30 years, will be affected by the beach renewal program.

The program to clean up the beach front was commenced two years ago with a program of socializing the concept to local villagers whose lives would be disrupted by the mandatory removal of an estimated 90 structures.

Compensation for local business affected by the beach renewal program totals Rp. 57 million (approximately US$ 6,300) spread across 5 phased installment payments.

Wismilak Ladies Tennis Tour September 13-19
Wismilak International Tennis Tournament Returns to Bali Featuring Top-Ranked Players from the Women's Tennis Tour.

Now an annual event on Bali's calendar and a regular fixture on the international Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tournament tour roster, Wismilak International Bali will once again be held in Nusa Dua September 13-19, 2004. The WTA Tier III Tournament offers US$ 225,000 in prize money in competitions spread across Singles Main Draw (30 players), Singles Qualifying Draw (16 players), and Doubles Main draw (16 teams).

With play centered at the Grand Hyatt Bali, a number of ranked international women players are expected to participate in the event including Anastasia Myskina, Sveltana Kuzetsova, Ai Sugiyama, Nadia Petrova, Chanda Rubin, Jelena Dokic and fast-raising Indonesian tennis sensation, Angelique Widjaya.

Qualifying matches will be held on September 12-13 with main draws scheduled for September 13-19, 2004. Match tickets are available from Adidas Kuta Square, Telephone ++62-(0)361-753997, or from the Grand Hyatt Bali.



Putting Our Best Foot Forward
Exhibition Hall or Trade Center for Jl. Gunung Agung Site? Polemic Erupts on Best Use of Land in Denpasar Now Used for Trade Exhibitions.

The rumored emergence of a potential investor interested in constructing a combined exhibition hall / trade center on a parcel of land on Jalan Gunung Agung in Denpasar has ignited a debate in the Bali media on what is the best use of a land parcel now used as the site for regular trade exhibitions.

An official from the city-owned market board (P.D. Pasar Kota Denpasar Kota), Mr. I Wayan Darsa, has encouraged the current debate in the planning phase for the future use of the publicly-owned land parcel in order that any eventual end use manages to accommodate the widest interests of the local community.

As a result, numerous elements of the local community are supporting those seeking a trade center that will increase the ability of Indonesian handicraft producers to market their products internationally from a local base. Others have voiced their concerns, underlining the need that the rules of operation for any eventual trade center truly reflect the interest of local traders. There is also a segment that is lobbying for the proposed trade center to incorporate an exhibition hall able to accommodate the growing meeting, conference and exhibition market.

While the debate is likely to continue apace for some time, there does seem a consensus to formalize the use of the land now used for open-field exhibitions into a more permanent showcase and take advantage of the declared interest of investors to develop a trade center cum exhibition hall on the large tract of land controlled by the Municipality.

Bali Police Crack Down on Illegal Fire Arms
Following Denpasar Shooting Police Conduct 'Sweeps' to Confiscate Illegal Weapons.

Following several shooting incidents in Bali over the past few months, including the most recent pre-dawn drive-by shooting at a Denpasar Karaoke lounge on Sunday, August 22, 2004 that resulted in the serious wounding of a security guard, Bali's police are taking steps to curb the presence of illegal weapons in the community.

Bali's police said this week that they are taking firm steps to remove illegal firearms and knives from the community. A police spokesman announced that police will be undertaking surprise sweeps at local night spots targeted at confiscating illegal weapons. Police are also asking the public to volunteer information that would lead them to individuals or locations in possession of any illegal weapons.

The most recent shooting at the Karoake Akasia in downtown Denpasar was believed to be tied to gang activities and has sparked a massive investigation by Bali police. According to police, a suspect has been identified in that incident who is now the object of nation-wide manhunt that police feel certain will soon result in an arrest.

Lion Air Offers New Routes from Bali
Bali Serving as Secondary Flight Hub for Fast-Growing Indonesian Domestic Carrier.

Indonesia's fast-growing Lion Air increased the number of flights it operates through its Bali hub with the inauguration of a number of new services on August 16, 2004. In addition to daily flights from Jakarta to Bali, Lion Air is now also offering direct services between Yogyakarta and Denpasar (Bali), Mataram (Lombok) and Denpasar, Denpasar and Manado (North Sulawesi), and Makassar (Ujung Pandang) and Denpasar.

Lion Air now operates a fleet of 19 McDonnell-Douglas aircraft and 2 Boeing 737-499. Airline executives claim an average load factor of 98% system-wide on Lion Air which has pioneered inexpensive domestic air fares for Indonesia.

Bali's Tourism Students Study Abroad Program
Bali's Tourism Academy Offers Overseas Study Opportunities in 7 Foreign Countries.

Bali's Tourism Academy (STP) is taking steps to make semester abroad study opportunities available in Italy and France as part of the school's program to increase the educational experience of its students.

Once Italy and France are successfully included in the semester abroad program of STP, qualified students wishing to study overseas for six months will have 7 countries from which to choose. The other countries already cooperating the STP in offering Balinese students the chance to study and work in their local tourism industries include Singapore, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Japan.

According to Mr. I Made Sudjana, Director of the STP, students studying overseas under the STP program not only receive valuable training but also get paid honorariums for their 6 months of overseas practical work experience.

Speaking to the Indonesian language Bisnis Indonesia, Mr. Sudjana said the study abroad program assists his Academy in meeting three basic requirements of the tourism industry: the need for professionals with skills in their chosen area of expertise; foreign language fluency, particularly in English; and the self confidence to display their professional competence.

The STP currently has 1,500 students, graduating some 500 students every year. STP graduates are widely sought as employees both in Indonesia and abroad, with some 60% of their students obtaining jobs in the international cruise industry.

ASITA and Air Asia Sign Cooperation Agreement
Airline and Indonesian Travel Agents Set Terms for Future Business Development.

The Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) and Air Asia have entered into a formal agreement for the development of tourism between Malaysia and Indonesia.

The agreement was signed this week by the Chairman of ASITA, Ben Sukma, and the Country Director for Indonesia of Air Asia, Abdul Nasser Abu Kassim.

The joint cooperation agreement specifies that:

• Air Asia will only appoint agents in Indonesia who are officially licensed by the Indonesian Government and are ASITA members.

• Agents appointed by Air Asia in Indonesia must be Internet connected.

• Indonesian Travel Agents wishing to sell Air Asia must apply to the airline by paying a guarantee of Rp. 20 million (approximately US$ 2,222) and include a letter of recommendation from ASITA.

• Air Asia will pay their appointed Indonesian agents a commission on all ticket sales of 5%.

• ASITA agrees to assist Air Asia in promoting all the Indonesian destinations served by the airline.

The cooperation agreement has a validity of one year and can be renewed on the agreement of both parties.

ASITA has negotiated the commission agreement with Air Asia as a means of assuring that the advent of low cost airlines in the region does not automatically mean that the role of travel agents in making travel arrangements will be eliminated.

More information: Air Asia Web Site
 
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