Virtually Entire Board of Directors and Commissioners at Garuda Indonesia Airways Replaced.
Indonesia's National Air Carrier Garuda Indonesia saw virtually its entire 13-member Board of Directors Fired on Wednesday, March 16, 2005, by the Minister of State Owned Enterprises (BUMN), Sugiharto.
The Airlines, increasing marginalized as a player in international aviation circles, a shadow of its former self in terms of both aircraft and destinations served, heavily burdened by debt, facing intense competition on both domestic and regional routes, and most recently embroiled in a headline-grabbing criminal investigation of the poisoning of a leading Human rights activist who died while on board a Garuda flight to Amsterdam - Garuda's new managers have a plate full of issues to deal with as it assumes the reigns of power at the Airline.
The New Line-Up
The government has appointed the following people to manage the Airline:
Emirsyah Satar as President Director. Most recently, Satar worked as the finance Director of Dank Danamon Indonesia and once served as the Finance Director of the Airline before leaving to join the banking sector. An accountant by training, he has held a number of senior management positions including assignments as an auditor for Price Waterhouse and as a Senior Manager with Citibank's Corporate Banking Group.
Soenarko Kuntjoro as Technical Director. His last position was as the President Director of P.T. Gapura Angkasa - the airport ground services provider at all of Indonesia's major airports.
Agus Priyanto as Commercial Director. Priyanto's last posting was as Garuda's General Manager in Frankfurt, Germany.
Rudi Hardono as Director of Operations. Hardono was retained in the new board at his former position.
Abdul Gani as a Chief Company Commissioner. Gani once served as the Company's President Director and is widely credited with managing to successfully restructure the Airline's long-term deebt.
Goenarni Soewarno as a Commissioner. She comes to this position at the Airlines after heading Bank Niaga and the National Banking Association (PERBANAS).
Bambang Wahyudi as a Commissioner. Wahyudi's last position was as the Technical Director of the Airline.
M. Suparno as a Commissioner. Suparno is also a former President Director of the Airline.
Slamet Riyanto as a Commissioner.
Arie Mufti as a Commissioner. He is the Director of P.T. Permodalan Nasional Madani.
The new Board of Directors and Commission assume office from Monday, March 21, 2005.
February Arrivals - A Return to Pre-Bombing Levels
Bali by the Numbers: Encouraging Start to 2005.
Direct foreign arrivals for the first two months of 2005 point to a return to arrival numbers reminiscent of those recorded in the periods prior to the October 2002 bombing of a Bali night spot.
February arrivals totaled 100,638 - an increase of 19.38% over February 2004 and the 3rd best February total for tourist arrivals after 2001 and 1999.
Similarly, combined arrivals for January and February 2005 totaled 202,569 - an increase of 7.5% over the aggregate total for the same period one year before. Again, the latest results rank as the 3rd best opening two month to any year, trailing only after 2001 (207,937) and 1999 (207,520).
16 Nations to be Added to Visa on Arrival List?
Government Moving Slowly Towards Promised Revisions in Visa Policy. Longer Visa Validity Also Said to be in the Works.
Despite a long-standing promise to announce revisions in the visa-on-arrival policy by late February, indications ate that changes are coming - even if the actual date of the promised changes remains elusive.
The State Minister for Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, was recently quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia as saying that:
16 new countries will soon be added to the current list of countries eligible to purchase a visa upon landing at an international airport in Indonesia.
Those countries from outside of ASEAN who currently enjoy visa-free visits to Indonesia on the basis of reciprocity will likely lose their special status, with only ASEAN citizens continuing to enjoy the privilege of the visa-free visits. Short on details, the Government is claiming the curtailment of the reciprocity approach to visas has been made necessary by "security considerations."
Among those nations reported to soon be added to the purchasable visa-on-arrival facility are the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, China, India, Kuwait and Egypt.
The new policy will reportedly extend the 3-day validity period of the $US10 visa to one week and the 30-day US$25 visa to 60-days.
The Minister was unclear in his comments as to when the promised changes in the visa policy will actually be introduced.
The Minister of Culture and Tourism also repeated his promise that additional immigration booth would soon be operational at major gateways to speed visa processing procedures.
balidiscovery.com will immediately publish any changes in the visa policy as they are formally introduced by the Government.
Government to Appoint 3 Overseas PR Firms.
Companies in Australia, Japan and PRC to Spearhead Tourism Drive in Those Markets.
The Department of Culture and Tourism will shortly present tenders for the appointment of 3 public relations firms in the Australian, Japanese and Chinese markets to stimulate tourism visits as part of the goal to net 12 million foreign visitors to Indonesia by 2009.
The appointment of 3 companies to act as Indonesian Tourism Promotion Offices is intended to provide an economical and effective means to penetrate selected overseas markets. Udin Saifuddin, the Deputy Chief of Marketing for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said his office is establishing a team to help select the PR companies for the job, with the final decision in the hands of Minister.
The PR companies selected will determine the physical placement of the Tourism Promotion Office in their locale as well as assign the individuals to work from those offices. Included among the areas of responsibility assigned to each overseas office will be the placement of advertisements in local media, the preparation of educational tours and other promotional activities, the distribution of information to their respective markets, and relations with local media and tour operators.
According to Saifuddin, the targeted opening date for the 3 overseas offices is August 2005 with each office being granted a one year operating contract worth an estimated Rp. 2-3 billion (approximately US$217,000 - US$326,000).
At present, Indonesia has no operating overseas tourism promotion offices. Prior to their closings, Indonesia maintained tourism representational offices in London, Frankfurt, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Indonesia Asks Australia to Remove Travel Warning
Ministerial Meeting Between Australia and Indonesia Focuses on Regional Security Issues.
At the 7th Australian-Indonesian Ministerial Forum (AIMF) held in Canberra on Friday, March 13, 2005, the Indonesian delegation of Ministers asked their Australian counterparts to remove the travel warning advising against Australians visiting Indonesia because of the widespread negative impact of those warnings on the Indonesian economy.
The Indonesian delegation, led by Indonesia's coordinating minister for the economy, Aburizal Bakrie, were assured by the head of the Australian delegation, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, that the travel warning issued by the Australian government was a matter under continual review.
One day prior to when Downer's assurances were made to the visiting Indonesian officials, Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, told members of the Indonesian press that travel warnings represented a complicated issue, demanding that the Australian government be forthright with the Australian public regarding the tragic possibilities inherent in holidaying in Indonesia.
Visas on Arrival for Indonesian Tourists
The visiting Indonesian leaders also put forth the suggestion that Australia consider easing the visa requirements for Indonesians visiting Australia, including the provision of a visa on arrival facility. The introduction of such a reciprocal facility in Australia for traveling Indonesians would be in conformance with Indonesia's long-held desire for reciprocity in bilateral immigration policies and the current immigration courtesies extended to Australians visiting Indonesia.
The Dimensions of the Terrorist Threat
Before departing for the Canberra summit, Minister Bakrie told the press that he felt Australia's perceived threat of terrorist far exceed any real danger. Supporting his argument, Bakrie said, "Singapore is a country with strict anti-terrorism policies, yet it does not prevent its citizens or the citizens of other Southeast Asian nations from traveling in the region. Australia should adopt a similar approach."
Another reported outcome of the Canberra summit was an agreement to establish a security accord between Indonesia and Australia as a means of countering the world-wide threat of terrorism.
Tsunami Warning System
German Republic Helps Indonesia with a Tsunami Early Warning System.
The Jakarta Post reports that German aid and technology will soon assist Indonesia in the installation of a Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS). Utilizing seismic equipment located beneath the ocean's surface, the system is capable of measuring major tectonic events and automatically trigger e-mails and facsimiles to geophysical and security agencies across the region within minutes of any quake generating sufficient magnitude to create a tidal wave. Generally, only earthquake measuring 7.0 or more on the Richter scale precipitate tsunamis capable of causing significant property damage or human casualties.
In Jakarta on Monday, March 14, 2005, visiting German Federal Manager of Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn, and Indonesia's State Minister for Research and Technology, Kusmayanto Kadiman, made a joint declaration detailing the terms of cooperation for the realization of a TEWS in this region. Indonesia's State Minister for Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman, along with Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn, signed the bi-lateral agreement to install a TEWS system in the earthquake prone areas of the Indian Ocean.
Quoted in the Jakarta Post, Minister Bulmahn said, "the international community is convinced that there is a need for an early global warning system for the Indian Ocean."
The system to be installed with its first phase expected to be operational by October 2005, is linked to a satellite-based telecommunications network able to provide automatic real-time warnings on a multi-national regional basis.
The etire program, expected to take 3 years to complete, will commence with the deployment of ten sensors connected to ocean buoys.
The German government will provide assistance for TEWS development in Indonesia over the a three-year period. The first stage, will be to deploy an initial ten buoys operating with GPS (Global Positioning System). The final system will incorporate 25 seismographs, 10 GPS stations, 10 GPS tide gauges and 20 ocean bottom pressure sensors.
The entire system is expected to cost 45 million Euros or approximately US$59.93 million.
Rainy Season to End in March?
Bali's Weather: National Weather Forecasters Say Dryer Days Just Ahead.
Following a number of days in early March of torrential rains brought on by lingering severe weather systems hovering between Bali and Darwin, Australia - national meteorologists are forecasting that the start of the dry season in Bali may be just days ahead.
While the dry season is predicted to start in April May June for much of the Indonesian archipelago, weather experts say that the dry season has already started for parts of Bali and West Nusa Tenggara commencing from early March.
Based on records kept by the Indonesia Department of Meteorology and Geophysics (BMG), the dry season started in Buleleng and Jembrana in North Bali amd in parts of Eastern Sumbawa in early March. Bali's East coast and southern region, together with most of Lombok and western Sumbawa will enter into the dry season in April. While the Month of May will see the dry season extend to Central Bali and Central Lombok.
Adam Air to Fly to Perth?
Domestic Carrier Hopes to Spread it Wings to the Australian Market.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Indonesian Airline Adam Air, Gunawan Suherman, has announced his airline's intention to commence international service between Bali and Perth, Western Australia.
According to Suherman, steps now underway by the self-proclaimed boutique airline to increase its armada to 15 aircraft by the middle of 2005 will allow Adam Air to begin servicing Perth, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Dubai- as well as a list of new domestic destinations targeted by the Airline.
Adam Air currently operates 48 domestic flights every day using Boeing 737-400 and 737-500 aircraft.
To help serve its planned expansion into international service Adam Air has announced that they will bring two Boeing 747-400 jumbo aircraft into service within the coming month.
No firm date has been announced by the Airline for the commmencement of its new Perth service.
Norway Coming Our Way?
Norwegian Ambassador Calls on Bali's Governor and Urges Greater Tourism Ties Between Oslo and Bali.
Norway's Ambassador or Indonesia, H.E. Bjorn Blokhus, paid a courtesy call on Bali's Governor on Thursday, March 17, 2005.
Underlining the strong potential for tourism visits by Norwegians to Bali, the Ambassador expressed the hope that direct flight connections between Oslo and Denpasar might someday be established in order to stimulate tourism flows. Norwegians represent a large block of visitors to other Southeast Asian destinations, such as Phuket (Thailand) and Sri Lanka.
In addition to expressing his wish for better air access, the Ambassador applauded current efforts to establish a Bali Crisis Center to handle all nature of civil emergencies. According to the Governors office, a Crisis Center is currently being developed on a pilot project basis in Bali with assistance from the French government.
Responding to the call for direct flights, the Governor supported such moves pointing out, however, that air access and air rights are determined by the Central Government in Jakarta.
Frans S. Sidharta: 1940-2005
Active in Bali Tourism, Managing Director of Merdeka Tours & Travel Dies at 66.
Bali has lost another much loved and respected member of its travel industry with the death of Mr. Frans S, Sidharta, Managing Director of Merdeka Tours & Travel, who died on Thursday, March 17, 2005.
In addition to owning and managing, together with his wife - Marlina, his inbound tour and ticketing company, Pak Frans dedicated much of his time to advancing Bali's tourism industry.
He served as a former member of the Executive Committee of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) and was one of conceptualizers and founders of Bali Promo.
Services and burial for Frans S. Sidharta took place in Malang, East Jawa.
He was 66 years old at the time of his death and is survived by his wife, Marlina S. Sidhartha.
Peneeda View Resort Suffers Limited Fire Damage
No Injuries Reported in Nightime Fire that Engulfed 3 Bugalows of Sanur Beach Property.
The Hotel Peneeda View Resort-Hotel, located at Jalan Danau Tamblingan 97 in Sanur, suffered fire damage in the early hours of Sunday, March 13, 2005, caused by a fire attributed to a short circuit in the Hotel's electrical system.
As the result of the fire, seven of the Hotel's 56 rooms suffered substantial damage with 3 rooms largely consumed by the blaze.
No injuries were reported as the result of the fire which caused an estimated Rp. 500 million in damages (approximately US$ 54,000).
5 fire trucks responded to the fire scene which was extinguished in about one hour.
According to reports on the fire in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the hotel was fully operation by noon on Sunday with the damaged rooms closed off from public view. The papers reports that services to guests were not interrupted by the preceding night's fire.
SKAL Stages a Bali Comeback
International Social and Public Service for Tourism Professionals Recommence Monthly Meetings.
SKAL - the international association of tourism professionals that has floundered in Bali in recent years following the Bali bombing, is taking bold initial steps to re-establish its presence on the Island.
The Bali comeback is being organized under the Club's new chairman, Phil Hill, General Manager of the Ramada Benoa Resort, who has already established an executive committee busily compiling a program of community service and social events for a steadily growing base of Bali members.
SKAL - whose members are comprised of travel industry executives and managers, boasts 25,000 members worldwide in over 500 Clubs spread across more than 80 countries. Local meetings of SKAL are open to members and their guests, visiting Skaleagues holidaying in Bali, and travel professionals wishing to attend and learn more about the organization. The Club holds monthly gatherings at rotating venues across the Island.
Next Meeting April 1
The next meeting of the Bali Skal Club is scheduled for 12 noon on Friday, April 1, 2005, at the Pica's Tapas Restaurant at the Kuta Galleria. The meeting commences with cocktails followed by a brief presentation by Dr Patrick Monserrat, a local Chiropractor practicing in Bali.
A Valued Member of the Community
Since 1997 the Bali Skal Club has successfully raised more than US$40,000 for local worthy causes including scholarships for students preparing for a career in tourism as well as organizing a number of fun-filled social events for the local tourism industry. More recently, the Bali club managed in only two weeks to raise US$ 30,000 for tsunami relief.
Need More Information?
If you'd like more information on membership or coming programs, send an e-mail to the link provided or telephone
Gede Juwena at the Skal Secretariat at ++62-(0)812 364 9012.