Tourism Industry Eager to Learn More About Man Appointed to Top Tourism Job.
The appointment of Jero Wacik as Indonesia's new Minister of Culture and Tourism to President Yudhoyono's new "United Indonesia Cabinet" has been met with some surprise among national tourism circles where little is known about the man selected to guide Indonesia's tourism fortunes.
Introducing Minister Jero Wacik
The 55 year-old Balinese was born in Singaraja on April 24, 1949, later moving to the Kintamani area of the island. A gifted student, Jero Wacik graduated with distinction as an engineering student from the prestigious Insitut Teknologi Bandung in 1974, earning a degree in economics from the Universitas Indonesia in 1983. He is the author of several books, including several text books for high school students and books on management theory.
After nearly 20 years with the heavy tractor division of United Tractors (ASTRA) he left a Directorship with that Company to start a number of tourism-related companies including PT Surya Raya Idaman and PT Griya Batu Bersinar - both companies holding diversified portfolios in hotels and tourism services.
Most recently Jero Wacik served as one of the heads of the Indonesian Democratic Party orchestrating campaign efforts for the newly elected President.
Industry Reaction to Appointment
Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Iqbal Allan Abdullah, the Chairman of the Indonesia Conference and Convention Association (INCCA), said many were shocked at the appointment of an individual largely unknown in local travel industry circles. "Most of my friends in the industry, who I have contacted by telephone, do not know him (the new Minister). That's no problem, what's important is his vision for the tourism sector," said Iqbal.
According to the ICCA Chairman, various tourism associations want to sit down with the newly appointed Minister and exchange ideas on a future course for Indonesian tourism.
Tourism, Still the Poor Cousin
Iqbal said he was disappointed to see that tourism is still under a non-departmental ministry of the Government headed by a State Minister. This, according to Iqbali, denies tourism its rightful place as a fully-fledged ministry and means that President Yudhoyono does not yet fully appreciate the role tourism can play in earning badly needed foreign exchange.
Although disappointed that the President has made a political appointment instead of appointing a tourism professional to the Culture and Tourism Minister's post, Iqbal remains optimistic that positive cooperation between the tourism industry and the Government can be established to help the beleaguered industry move forward.
What's Ahead? Minister Jero Wacik Promises a Pro-Active Administration with Policies Based on Input from Industry Players.
One day after his formal installation as Indonesia's new Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik's early statements to the press give some indication of future direction for the Country's tourism industry.
• It's still unclear whether President Yudhoyono will make the department headed by Minister Jero Wacik a fully fledged department of the Government or leave it in its current status as a State Ministry. Minister Wacik has told the press that he hopes his ministry can be elevated to the status of a Government department granting it wider powers to address tourism issues.
• Minister Jero Wacik has said that his first official meetings as Minister of Culture and Tourism will be with ranking police officials across the nation, underlining the over-riding importance of providing security to encourage tourism.
• Working together with police authorities and the local tourism community, his top priority will be the establishment of a secure environment that will hasten the lifting of negative travel advisories regarding Indonesia and encourage visitors to Indonesia.
• The new Minister promises to adopt a more competitive approach to tourism promotion, emulating the promotion efforts of neighboring destinations in the region, such as Thailand and Malaysia.
• Minister Jero Wacik has also declared his intent to hold urgent meetings with tourism stakeholders to gain direct input for the goals and strategies for the first 100 day action program, as mandated by President Yudhoyono.
After 30 Years of Service to the Nation, I Gede Ardika Returns Home to Bali.
I Gede Ardika has just completed 30 years of distinguished service to the Nation, capped off by a final 3 years, 2 months and 10 days serving as Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism.
Some men are destined to live in interesting times. Pak Ardika's tenure as the Country's tourism boss was anything but tranquil; in a world seemingly turned upside down, he faced crisis after crisis trying to lead an industry traditionally based on fun and relaxation but now sudenly characterized by fear and trepidation. Shortly after assuming his Ministerial post the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center sent world-wide travel into a tail-spin. Then, 13 months later the vicious attack on two Bali night spots claimed 202 lives and left the Country's top tourism destination reeling from a lack of visitors. Let's also not forget bird flu, a SARS epidemic, several bomb attacks in Jakarta, and inexplicable changes in visa regulations - all serving to further flatten an already depressed local tourism industry and make the job of promoting Indonesian national tourism an almost insurmountable task.
Against this dismal backdrop, Pak Ardika's consistently positive outlook and unwavering commitment to reviving national tourism becomes all the more remarkable. Suffering criticism from almost every quarter clamoring that more attention and more funds be allocated to tourism promotion, his efforts made to answer these demands were frustrated from the git-go by being a member of a government that, if not guilty of attaching a low priority to tourism issues, at least felt larger, more pressing issues of national policy more worthy of their attention.
Ironically, had those most critical of the Minister bothered to listen closely to his public pronouncements, they would have discovered they shared with him a desire for more funds for tourism promotion, enhanced security for attracting tourism activities, and a shared disdain for a wrong-minded visa policy. Caught between a rock and a hard place as a member of a national administration noted for its political in-fighting and cross party political rivalries, we believe Pak Ardika always did his level best in difficult circumstances to pursue the best interests of tourism. Later, if all else failed, he accepted the difficult duty of trying to socialize unpopular policies and problematical political decisions to his colleagues in the travel industry.
Could the Minister have done things differently or better during his tenure in office? Hindsight is always 20:20 and criticism is a field of human endeavor requiring little effort and even less expertise.
However, we believe history and the more knowledgeable members of the tourism industry will judge Pak Ardika as a dedicated and professional statesman who managed to persevere and win a number of victories for tourism even when faced with daunting circumstances.
Pak Ardika's admirers – and there are many – applaud his many contributions to the Nation achieved over three decades of faithful service.
What's next for one of Bali's finest sons? Pak Ardika has told the local press that now he is freed of the busy schedule of a Cabinet member, he's looking forward to an extended period of rest and relaxation back home in his North Bali ancestral village.
But, before taking his well-earned rest, our newly-retired Minister has declared his intent to undertake sacred piodalan prayers at a lcoal pura, seeking the special harmony and balance between man and man, man and God, and, man and the environment that is the spiritual refuge of every Balinese Hindu.
Welcome home and well done, Pak Ardika.
Rest well in the certain knowledge that Bali and Indonesia are better places because of your many efforts. We're delighted to have you back on the island you love.
Bali's Very Busy Airport in September
Bali by the Numbers: 2004 Figures Through September Near Record Highs. Some Softening in Arrivals Seen in August and September.
Direct foreign arrivals in Bali during the month of September 2004 totaled 141,952, just 5.83% behind the best-ever September performance set in 2002 (150,747).
Year-to-date tourism arrivals have clocked in at 1,093,714 - only 1.36% behind the highest ranking January-September performance, also set in 2002 (1,109,854).
Monthly totals and a graphic representation are available for download from balidiscovery.com
Although 2004 arrival figures are strong, there are several points worthy of further consideration:
• Current figures are strong in the aggregate but do not reflect the very drastic drop in quality of tourists, as measured by average daily spends and average length of stay. Bali's most recent spurt of growth has been sourced to visitors from the Asia-Pacific region, while the higher-spending, longer-staying Europeans and Americans are yet to return to former levels.
• A closer examination of 2004 versus 2002, a year with similarly strong arrival numbers for January – September, may suggest a "softening" of the market place is currently underway. Comparing the two years shows August arrivals dropped 2.99% while September's visitors were down 5.83%.
Coming editions of "Bali by the Numbers" will be taking a closer look at arrival statistics, providing detailed breakdowns by country of residence.
Sherrie Comstock Has Kinds Words for Bali in Her Article "Wake up in Bali" Published in Calgary Country.
Canadian journalist, Sherrie Comstock recently visited Bali and discovered Bali's "favorite visitors usually are Canadian."
Obviously at home among Bali's majestic volcanoes, terraced rice fields and gentle folk, Sherrie proclaimed Bali one of the "most enchanted places" to visit for those wanting to explore Asia's Rich Culture.
Follow the link to read Sherrie Comstock's entire article as published in the "Calgary Country."
London's Sunday Times Travel Takes an In-depth Look at Bali as a Tourism Destination.
The Sunday, October 24, 2004, on-line edition of The Sunday Times, timesonline.co.uk, published a detailed guide to Bali covering what to do, where to stay and even where to dine in all the island's major tourism destinations.
Written by Andrew Thomas, whose visit to Bali was hosted by Singapore Airlines, Uma Ubud, and Royal Jimbaran Bay, he apparently managed to cover most of the island, ferreting out what to do, how to do it and what it will cost. Along the way Andrew was most impressed by the people, the scenery and Bali's vibrant culture.
Coordinated Police Sweep Saves 86 Turtles and Arrests Made in Crackdown on Turtle Smuggling.
A joint police action involving Bali's police, water police and air surveillance teams resulted in the confiscation of a ship full of protected turtles and the arrest of 5 sailors early on the morning of Friday, October 22, 2004.
The ship - KM Putra Tunggal 01 sailing from Sulawesi was placed on air and water surveillance by police from Thursday afternoon as it sailed closer to Bali. Shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Friday morning when the boat was just 8 miles off Bali's shore, police moved in and arrested the ship. 86 protected green turtles were found on board the ship which were confiscated together with the ship. Police also arrested the Captain and his four crew. If convicted, the sailors face up to 5 years in prison for their crime.
Bali's Police Chief, Irjen Pol. Drs. Made Mangku Pastika called on the police to increase enforcement efforts against Bali's illegal turtle trade thereby ending the island's negative reputation as center for the illegal trade.
To underline his commitment, Chief Pastika joined tourists and members of the local community on Kuta beach on Friday in releasing many of the turtles confiscated that morning and considered fit enough to return to the Oceans after a check by local veterenarians.
4 Course Menu and the Fine Wines of Margaret River's Voyager Estate and Victoria's Bass Phillip Wineries – at The Legian October 29.
The Restaurant at The Legian continues its popular tradition of presenting premier wines in combination with innovative menus by presenting another four-course wine dinner on Friday, October 29, 2004.
The Resort's fabled Executive Chef Nam has created a menu to complement carefully selected fine wines from Western Australia's Voyager Estate and Victoria's Bass Phillip wineries.
Located on the ocean swept plains of Margaret River, an area accounting for 23% of Australia's premium wine production, Voyager Estates is known for its outstanding Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Semillon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot.
Shepherding the wines on their journey from Western Australia and presenting them to the guests attending the dinner will be Mr. Clifford Royle, Voyager Estate's winemaker and Australia's Winemaker of the Year 2003.
Named after two famous early explorers of Australia, Bass Phillip is located 150 kilometers southeast of Melbourne, an area well-suited to the cultivation of the Pinot Noir grape. Grapes produced exclusively using organic methods result in eight individual styles of wine, generally requiring six to twelve years of cellaring to reach their peak.
Phillip Jones, widely regarded as Australia's best Pinot Noir winemaker, the owner of Bass Phillip's and a finalist in the "Qantas Winemaker of the Year Awards" will be attending the Bali dinner to personally present his finely crafted wines.
Gnocchi with Crème Fraiche & Caviar
Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2002
Light Vegetables Bouillon with Pistou
Côte de Boeuf Rossini
Voyager Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2000 and Voyager Shiraz 2002
Baked Vacherin Mont d'Or in Zucchini Flower, Tomato Coulis
Bass Phillip "Village" Pinot Noir 2003 and Domain Phillip Jones "Old Cellar" Pinot Noir 2003
The Legian Blend Coffee or Selection of Tea
Reservations are manadatory for this special evening of wine and food. An exceptional value at Rp. 690,000 (approximately US$ 76) per person, the price includes pre-dinner cocktails, dinner, wines and 21% tax and service.
For reservations or additional information, contact The Legian via the e-mail link provided.
Travel Association Striving for a Shared View of the Role and Function of Official Government Travel Advisories.
Just released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association's (PATA) President and CEO, Peter de Jung, the PATA Code for Fair Travel Advisories Issuance has been formally endorsed by the organization's board.
Intended to promote closer cooperation between issuing bodies, such as governments and travel industry stakeholders, PATA is working to promote the code in public forums. At the same time PATA is working behind the scenes to have industry players included in travel advisory councils who issue travel advisories; brokering dialogues between PATA member destinations and source market governments when members feel current warnings are unclear or unjustified; promote the "PATA Code for Fair Travel Advisory Issuance" to governments who have issued warning detrimental to Asia-Pacific destinations; and seek a standardized international approach to the way in which travel advisories are issued.
PATA Code for Fair Travel Advisory Issuance
The main points of the new PATA Code include:
• The system for advisory information gathering and implementation should be made more transparent.
• The economic and social effects of the advisory on target destinations must be taken into account and reconciled with other objectives such as support for overseas development and the alleviation of poverty, especially in developing economies.
• Open consultation between stakeholders both in the issuing countries and the destinations affected.
• Advisories must be proportionate to the real risk.
• Advisories must be updated quickly, especially to reflect events which have already become public knowledge.
• Out of date information should be removed as soon as possible.
• Warnings should be lifted or lowered as soon as practical.
• All destinations should be treated equally.
• As far as possible, destinations governments should be informed in advance of changes to the travel advisory, and the underlying reason for the changes.
Asia Pacific Media Forum
Bali to Host First Regional Media and Advertising Forum March 12-15, 2005.
Senior regional representatives of the media and advertising companies are expected to attend the inaugural Asia Pacific Media Forum (APMF) set to be held in Bali March 13-15, 2005.
Advertisers, agencies, media specialists, media owners, production houses, research agencies and government organizations will gather in Bali to exchange ideas, network and hear top speakers flown in from around the world.
Over 300 participants are expected at the forum intended to discuss issues related to advertising, consumer trends, media consumption studies, research, and how to raise the professionalism of the advertising industry. The organizers have indicated that they desire to make the gathering an annual event.
The conference will be centered at the Le Meridien Resort and Spa near Bali's famous Pura Tanah Lot.
Tourism Leaders Insist on Dynamic Action From Government to Rebuild Industry.
Although underlining their respect for the decision of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to appoint Jero Wacik as the new Minister of Culture and Tourism, the Indonesian Tourism Think Tank (MPI) is calling for a review of the Minister's job performance after 3 months.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Ms. Herma Danuningrat, the Chairwoman of MPI Jakarta said "tourism is a dynamic sector (of the economy) and if we wait for one year to discover the new Minister's synergy is not operating well, tourism will fall further behind."
Together with other members of the tourism industry, Danuningrat welcomes the appointment of Minister Jero Wacik in President Yudhoyono's "United Indonesia Cabinet" and wishes to cooperate with him in developing national tourism. "In fact, MPI Jakarta extends the open hand of cooperating and will provide him (Minister Jero Wacik) with input in designing his program for the first 100 days in office," added Danunungrat.
Must Culture and Tourism Be Joined at the Hip?
Bali Tourism Board Official Laments New Government's Failure to Separate Culture from Tourism.
Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, the Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations for the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), M. Iqbal expressed his disappointment that culture and tourism continue to be housed under the same government department.
Iqbal said that BTB's position has long been that the tourism and culture functions within the government should be separated. "If we see the progress that has been made by tourism in Malaysia and Singapore, tourism must be separated from culture," said Iqbal.
He went on to explain that if tourism is to achieve its rightful role as a major contributor of foreign exchange to the Country, a fuller, more professional concentration on the management of the industry will be required than has been the case in times past.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.