"This was the first time we had booked on the Internet and we were a little apprehensive when we first started looking for accommodation options. However any fears we had were soon overcome with the wonderful service we received from the Bali Discovery team."
Local Tourism Experts Suggest Strategic Planning Missing in Bali Government's Tourism Recovery Plan.
According to a report carried in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, several leading tourism experts are questioning the effectiveness of overseas promotion currently carried out by the provincial government, suggesting that the current approach to recovery lacks strategic thinking. Citing recent overseas tourism recovery trips to Vietnam and Japan as examples of a lack of strategic planning, critics are calling for the government to develop keener crisis management skills for the future.
According to Yos WK Amertha, the Chairman of the Association of Water Sports Operators (Gahawisri), Bali tourism is at a critical juncture. According to Amertha, those who downplayed the negative effects of Bali's most recent bombing as being lest severe than the aftermath of the 2002 attacks are guilty of self-delusion. He claims that cancellations continue to escalate, tourism arrivals continue to decline, and a number of companies have closed or on the verge of doing so.
Underlining that while he does not wish to trivialize the contributions made by the government of Bali to date, Amertha feels that what has been done thus far is far from adequate. While the visit to Japan by the Governor of Bali and a group of tourism leaders in the weeks after the October 1st bombing to explain security measure being put into place was a positive step, Amertha questions why similar trips to other key markets, such as Australia, have not been undertaken. "With all due respect," he said, "this (approach to recovery) can leave the impression of discrimination in how we promote Bali."
Similarly, Amertha expressed shock that the Government has chosen Vietnam as a target for exhibitions and overseas promotions in the period following the terrorist attack. While such promotion is necessary, he suggests that a scale of priorities in choosing markets for overseas promotion is necessary, especially when funds for such activities are severely limited.
Echoing Amertha's sentiments were comments made by Ida Bagus Lolec, the Managing Director of Pacific World Nusantara, a leading destination management company in Bali. Calling for more thorough preparations in connection with overseas promotional program, the veteran travel professional says that a successful overseas promotion is dependent on 90% preparation and planning, and only 10% on the actual execution of the activity. Elaborating on his comments, Lolec explained that preparation includes deciding who will participate in an overseas promotional trip, what materials will be presented, and who will be targeted in the promotion. Lolec questioned whether the government's current helter-skelter program of overseas promotional trips have been preceded by preparations that are thorough and professional?
Based on his shared experience with others in the travel industry, Lolec insists that overseas promotions have to be linked to specific, achievable targets, adding that promotional activities undertaken abroad must be productive with less emphasis placed on ceremonial programs. Wishing to blame no one in connection with the conduct of current promotional trips, Lolec warned "it is better to meet with only two or three key individuals than to gather together with a hundred people of no consequence and little influence."
Bali Bombers to Seek Judicial Review
Execution to be Delayed While Lawyers Challenge Legality of Law Used to Convict Bali's Self-Confessed 2002 Bombers.
The final capital execution of the three convicted Bali bombers - Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron – will be delayed as lawyers for the three have now formally announced that will seek a legal review of their conviction.
A retreat from the initial bravado of the three mass murderers who iniitally insisted they would seek neither legal reviews or Presidential clemency, their lawyers have announced they will now formally challenge the legality of their clients' ex post facto conviction for a crime committed on October 12, 2002 under a law that was only enacted some six days after the infamous Bali bombings.
The three are currently housed in isolation on death row on Indonesia's notorious Nusa Kambangan Island following their hasty evacuation from Bali's prison where massive crowds gathered outside the penitentiary demanding their immediate execution following the most recent October 1, 2005 bombing.
Visitor to Tourist Objects Now Pay More
Admission Rates at Tabanan Tourist Objects Increae 230% for Foreign Visitors and 150% for Local Tourists.
The Regent of Tabanan has issued a decree increasing the cost of admission fees for tourist objects in Tabanan.
Effective December 1, 2005, tourist visiting Tabanan Regency will pay increased admission fees for official tourist objects as follows:
• International tourists will pay Rp. 10,000 per adult visitor (approximately US$0.99), an increase from the old tariff of Rp. 3,000 (approximately US$0.30).
• Domestic adult visitors will now pay Rp. 7.500 (approximately US$0.74) with children charged Rp. 5,000 (approximately US$0.50). The old tariff for domestic visitors was only Rp. 3,000 (approximately US$0.29) with children paying half that amount.
Tabanan Regency is home to 24 official tourist objets, including Pura Tanah Lot, Alas Kedaton, Pura Batukaru and the botanical garden at Bedugul.
Share an Evening with Mrs. Tolstoy
Actress Jennifer Claire Presents "Tolstoy's Wife" - a One-Woman Play at Bali's Amandari Resort Saturday, December 17, 2005.
Classically trained in the English theatre, Jennifer Claire divides her time between homes in Sydney and Bali following a distinguished career that includes 10 years with the Melbourne Theatre Company.
As a young woman traveling from the United States to Australia by ship, she read the printed diaries of Countess Tolstoy, the wife of Count Leo Tolstoy.
Many years later and approaching her sixth decade, Ms. Claire embarked on an ambitious plan to turn the story of Madam Sonya Tolstoy into a stage play. Consuming two years and countless hours of painstaking research, the story of the much-maligned and long-suffering Countess Tolstoy eventually was presented to appreciative audiences in New York and Australia.
Ms. Claire, speaking of her play in an interview published in Australia's The Age, said, "I wanted to be faithful to her words and her passions. I wanted to portray a woman who had borne 13 children, of whom nine lived, and who was great but who also had her faults, as faithfully as I could." Adding, "I had to be ruthless. I had to deal with the old Russia of peasants and serfs and all those difficult Russian names."
Humiliated by Tolstoy in his diaries amd seen in history as a shrew who persecuted a great mind, Ms. Claire's play lends a much more human depiction of a woman otherwise portrayed to the world as a villian. Putting much of the blame for history's treatment of the Countess at Tolstoy's feet, Ms. Claire says, "I don't think he really liked women. I think at heart he was a deep misogynist, which is incredible, really, when you consider that Tolstoy also created one of the most memorable women of all time in Anna Karenina."
A Single Bali Performance
In an evening of rare theatre, Bali visitors and residents will be treated to a performance of "Tolstoy’s Wife" presented by its author on Saturday, December 17, 2005, at the Amandari Resort in Ubud.
Ticket at Rp. 200,000 each (approximately US$19.80) include pre-performance cocktails and canapes at 7:00 p.m. followed by the play at 7:30 p.m..
A special after theatre supper is available at The Amandari for an additional charge.
Ms. Jennifer Claire's performance is donated with proceeds going to the Amandari's Kesayan Ikang Papa Orphanage Fund and to asist the surviving family of I Wayan Sudika, who lost his life in the bombing of Raja’s Resraurant in Kuta on October 1, 2005.
Reservations are mandatory and can be made by calling Putu Sudiari at The Amandari at ++62-(0)361-975333 or via the e-mail link provided.
Bali Dynasty Resort Fills its Halls and Lobbies with The Sights and Sounds of Christmas.
Oh Christmas Tree
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
Don't let the palm trees and balmy outside temperatures mislead you . . . it's Christmas time in Bali.
Any doubts on that point evaporate instantly for visitors to The Bali Dynasty Resort - a South Kuta Landmark that is well and truly in the Christmas spirit. An elegant four meter high Christmas tree (shown on balidiscovery.com), with a brilliant array of lights and colorful ornaments, already adorns the Resort's lobby.
Not Just Any Tree
"It's a rather uniquely designed tree" boasts Robert Kelsall, Bali Dynasty's General Manager. "The frame is a metal cone structure decorated with purple Lily flowers, Christmas lights and over 300 decorative festive baubles. And of course no Christmas tree would be complete without a giant star at the top of the tree."
Guests at the resort seem most impressed with may choosing to linger around the tree for drinks and refreshments and to make pictures each evening when the trees 2,500 lights are illuminated.
Christmas and new Years Program
To put everyone in the holiday mood, The Bali Dynasty Resort has devised a whole range of festive activities both their in-house guests and local residents.
Year-End Office Parties - The Resorts popular Irish-themed pub Gracie Kelly's is offering local companies "End of Year Party" packages through December 24, 2005 with traditional Irish Christmas menus starting from only Rp. 90,000 (approximately US$8.90) per person, including a welcome drink.
An Oriental Flavor for the Holidays - The Resort's award-winning Chinese Chef Lim of the Golden Lotus has prepared an Oriental Set Menus between December 24, 2005 and January 1, 2006 priced at only Rp. 130,000 per person (approximately US$12.90), including a glass of beer or a soft drink.
Christmas Eve at the Tropical Café - Bring the entire family and dine under the stars at the Tropical Café while listening to a children's choir, watching a magic show and feasting from a special Christmas Eve Buffet price at Rp.175,000 per person (approximately US$17.30). Price includes free-flow soft drinks with children under 6 years free, and kids between 7 and 12 years discounted 50%.
Christmas Day at the Grand Nusa Penida Ballroom - A traditional Christmas Day Buffet luncheon will be served at the Grand Nusa Penida Ballroom with gifts from Santa for children under 12 years of age, music from a children's choir and Batak quartet, and free flow soft drinks- all for just Rp. 175,000 for adults (approximately US$17.30). Children under 6 years are free and kids between 7 and 12 years discounted 50%
Christmas Day Dinner at Tropical Café - The Tropical Café will offer a special Christmas day buffet dinner with modern dances and music from a Batak Quartet. just Rp. 175,000 for adults (approximately US$17.30). Children under 6 years are free and kids between 7 and 12 years discounted 50%
Welcome in the New Year in the Nusa Penida Ballroom - Join the Gala Dinner with a Brazilian Carnival Night Theme at the Grand Nusa Penida Ballroom for only Rp. 350,000 per person (approximately US$34.65). Entertainment will be provided by a Latin Band with Salsa Dancers to set a great party atmosphere.
Reflecting the Business Model of its Malaysian Shareholders, Indonesia's Awair Now Calls itself Indonesia AirAsia.
Awair - an Indonesian domestic air carrier rescued following a 30-month suspension of service in December 2004 when the Malaysian low-cost airline Air Asia purchased a 49% share in the company for US$2, has metamorphosed further following a legal name change registered with the Indonesian department of Justice in September.
More than Mere Look-a-Likes?
The legal change of the airline's name from PT Awair International to PT Indonesia AirAsia will now allows the Indonesian carrier to fly aircraft with liveries that are virtually identical to its minority owner Air Asia with whom it now shares a common branding.
That the Indonesian and Malaysian companies intend to become almost indistinguishable to consumers is further evidenced by the fact that those trying to link to the old Awair web site are now automatically redirected to the AirAsia.com web site.
The change of name and official registry with the Indonesian Justice Department, have also been officially recorded with the Indonesian Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) and the Indonesian Department of Civil Aviation, meaning that the Indonesian fleet of aircraft operate as look-a-likes of the huge armada of aircraft flown by their Malaysian part owners. That the Indonesian version of AirAsia is now sold from a common web site with the Malaysian AirAsia will provide substantial mutual market access to the domestic air travelers served by both airlines.
The latest move resembles the fast-growing Malaysian carrier's business model of "purchasing" access into key domestic air markets in the region, demonstrated in the establishment of Thai AirAsia - a joint venture established in late 2004 between the fast-growing Malaysian budget carrier and the Shin Corp, a conglomerate affiliated to Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's family.
Indonesian law prohibits more than a 49% ownership share in any domestic transportation company.
Abdul Aziz: The Artist and his Art
A Leading Artist Who Made his Home in Bali Lovingly Remembered in New Book Written and Compiled by His Wife, Mary Northmore-Aziz.
There was music, song, art and a breathtaking view of a Balinese valley. Such was the setting for the gala soirée launching of the book "Abdul Aziz: The Artist and his Art" held at Ubud's Indus Restaurant on Saturday, November 26, 2005.
Clearly a scene that would have warmed the great heart of the man memorialized in the book skillfully written and compiled by the Artist's wife, Mary Northmore-Aziz, the publication launch included an address by H.E. Charles Humfrey CMG, the Ambassador of Great Britain to Indonesia; comments by Nyoman Suteja Neka of the Neka Art Museum,; a brief musical recital by a local string youth orchestra; rare film footage from Aziz's life in Bali, and a solo performance on a precious violin hand-crafted by the late artist.
Abdul Aziz, who died in Denpasar on January 22, 2002, was truly a renaissance man of many parts, coming to painting only after completing a degree in political science, and then studying at Italy's Academia di Belle Art in Rome from 1960-1965. Thinker, artist, sculptor, musician, and the maker of fine musical instruments - Abdul Aziz's painting ”Mutual Attraction (shown on balidiscovery.com), has achieved iconic status among Bali's pantheon of legendary paintings and is part of the largest public exhibition of Aziz's works on permanent display at the Neka Art Museum in Ubud.
The 240-page book containing hundreds of image of the artists’ paintings, sketches, and statues is published by the Mariz Foundation of Bali and was compiled by the artist's wife, Mary Northmore-Aziz, after conducting nearly three years of painstaking interviews and research with her husband’s acquaintances and those who collect his work.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is a photograph of Mary Northmore-Aziz autographing a volume of the book.
Mary, is the founder and Director of the Seniwati Gallery of Art by Women in Ubud. The Gallery, cited by Time Magazine in September of 2005 as a “gem of a gallery,” is the only gallery in Bali dedicated solely to the presentation and promotion of art by women artists on Bali.
For more information or to purchase a copy of "Abdul Aziz: The Artist and his Art" visit the link provided.
Popular Bali Water Recreation Park Names its Bathing Beauty Queen and Ambassadress for the Coming 12 Month.
On November 27, 2005, the 2nd Annual Miss Waterbom Contest was held with 15 local bathing beauties vying for the right to represent Bali's Waterbom Park as its official Ambassadress for the coming year.
D. Riana Bismarak, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Waterbom Park explained the concept behind event, saying: "The idea of the contest is to find a beautiful, young, fun-loving girl with a fearless and friendly personality who will actively join other Waterbomers to increase the park's brand awareness and to perform duties to represent Waterbom in any events that Waterbom participates in, such as exhibitions, joint promotions, and social activities, for one year."
The fifteen finalists were chosen from a larger group of contestants – all female students between the ages of 15 and 22 years with interests in sports, a healthy life-style, educational pursuits and the environment.
Handsome prizes were on offer for both the top winner and runner-up. Miss Waterbom received Rp 3 million cash (approximately US$297), return air tickets to Australia, a Waterbom membership card, vouchers, and a trophy.
Introducing Miss Puput – Miss Waterbom 2006
In the final selection held at Waterbom's Pleasure Park, 21-year-old Miss Puput was declared the official winner. Puput, whose picture is shown on balidiscovery.com, was described by one of the contest's judges as being "smart, having a wide perspective of everything, pretty and a gifted story teller."
Canberra's New Man in Bali
Alexander Downer Announces Change of Consul-Generals for Bali with Appointment of Bruce Cowled as New Consul General.
Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has announced the appointment of Bruce Cowled as the new Consul-General to Bali.
Cowled, the former Acting Assistant Secretary to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Finance Services, will replace Brent Hall who has served as the Consul-General since January 2003.
Married with two sons and a daughter, Mr. Cowled holds an Advanced Diploma of Foreign Affairs and Trade from Deakin University. Prior to his last posting as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Cowled held a variety of positions in Canberra including Director, Financial Services Section (2002-05), Executive Officer, Evaluation and Audit Section (2000-02), and Executive Officer, Internal Audit Section (1995-96).
A man with extensive overseas experience, Mr Cowled has served overseas as First Secretary, Australian Embassy, The Hague (1997-2000), First Secretary, Australian High Commission, Bandar Seri Begawan (1991-94), First Secretary, Australian Consulate-General, Chicago (1987-91), First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Mexico City (1985-87), First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Santiago de Chile (1981-85), Second Secretary, Australian Consulate-General, San Francisco (1979-81), Second Secretary, Australian Embassy, New Delhi (1977-79) and Attache, Australian Embassy, Manila (1973-76).
Mr Cowled joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1969.
Brent Hall to East Timor
Mr. Hall will reportedly assume a new posting at the Australian Embassy in Dili, Timor Leste.
During Mr. Hall's tenure the Consul-General's role in Bali has undergone a number of significant changes including a relocation to more secure premises following the 2003 attack on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the permanent posting of Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers at the Bali Consulate
In announcing the new appointment, Mr. Downer underlined that Australia's links with Bali were an important part of its broader relationship with Indonesia.
The terrorist attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005 have underscored the importance of continued close cooperation between Australia and Indonesia to combat terrorism," he said.
"Our consulate-general and Balinese authorities have worked together intensely following both of the Bali bombings.
"This partnership underscores the very substantial, longstanding and wide-ranging links between our governments, peoples and business communities."
The Bali Consulate-General office provides consular and passport services to Australians in Bali, and to Canadian nationals under an agreement for the sharing of consular responsibilities.
Australian Airlines Adds Sydney and Perth Flights
Close Down of Air Paradise and Increased Holiday Traffic Prompts Australian Airline to Increase Seats to Bali.
Australian Airlines have announced that they would add a fourth weekly service to Bali from Sydney and commence offering a weekly service between Perth and Bali during the months of December and January.
The additional Sydney-Bali service commences on 19 December 2005 and the Perth-Bali service will begin on 26 December.
Normal Schedule Resumes January 29, 2006
Effective January 29, 2006, Australian Airlines will reinstate its full schedule of services to Bali – three flights per week between Sydney and Bali; two flights per week between Melbourne; and Bali and two flights per week between Perth and Bali.
The Chief executive of Australian Airlines, Adrea Staiones said the extra services were added to meet demand for capacity over the school holiday period following the suspension of operations by Air Paradise services on November 23, 2005.
Assistance Assisting Air Paradise Passengers
Australian Airlines, together with Qantas and Garuda Indonesia, are offering Air Paradise passengers who have purchased now worthless tickets on Air Paradise very special discounted fares for replacement travel to Bali valid for departures through March 31, 2005.
Bali Bomber's Family Seeks Forgiveness
Seeking Permission to Bury Salik's Remains, Brother of Bali Bomber Apologizes to Victims and the Community.
According to the Antara News Agency, the family of Muhamad Salik Firdaus has made a public apology seeking forgiveness from those affected by the suicide bombing undertaken by Sidik on October 1, 2005.
Seeking forgiveness from all those killed and injured in the October 1st bombing, and in particular for those injured and killed by the bomb carried by Salik into the Café Menega in Jimbaran, Otong Ali Hamzah, the bomber's brother, also ask forgiveness from the people of the Majalenka district in Java where Salik was born and raised.
The apology was offered by Otong Ali Hamzah at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta where he was seeking police permission to claim Salik's head and other body parts for final burial. He was accompanied by Sidik's father, wife, sister, infant son, and brother-in-law.
Christina Aguilera Honeymoons in Bali
U.S. Singing Sensation and New Husband Spend relaxing Honeymoon in Bali.
Former child actor form the Disney Series The New Mickey Mouse Club, Christina Aguilera married her recording executive husband Jordan Bratman in northern California on November 19, 2006 and then flew to Bali for a very private and relaxed honeymoon on Asia's favorite island.
Media reports indicate that the newlyweds chose to stay in a private villa with its own swimming pool overlooking Bali's Jimbaran Bay from which to watch each evening's tropical sunset.
While in Bali, Christina and Jordan were reportedly seen enjoying kayak trips in local waters and enjoying an evening out at a local Japanese restaurant.
After taking off her Mickey Mouse ears, the one-time child actor launched her adult career at age 17 in 1999 that has seen her take off much more, and use her considerable vocal talents to sell over 10 million records and win a Grammy award.
One thing's for certain: There was nothing "Mickey Mouse" about Christina Aguilera's honeymoon choice.
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