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A Chance to Win a Bali Holiday from Contiki Resort Bali and balidiscovery.com.
Forgive us kiddies! Sincere apologies to Mom & Dad . . . But if your between 18 and 35 tears of age here's an outstanding opportunity to win one of 10 five-day holidays for two in Bali at Bali's newest life-stryle resort dedicated exclsuively to young people looking for a fun-filled Bali holiday - Contiki Resort Bali.
Between now and April 30, 2006, ten separate Bali holiday packages sponsored by Contiki Resort Bali and balidiscovery.com will be given away including:
• 5 nights at Contiki Resort Bali for 2 people (double or twin sharing) including brunch and dinner.
• Round-trip transfers between airport and Contiki Resort Bali.
• Half-day rafting adventure for two from Sobek Adventures.
• Free full day admission to Waterbom Park.
• Free Bungy Jump Tickets for two from A.J. Hacket.
• Free Beach Club Cruise from Bali Hai Cruises.
• Half Day Surf Lesson from Rip Curl School of Surf
• Free admission to Bali Bird Park.
3 Drawing Dates
Prizes will be drawn on the following dates and posted on balidiscovery.com and ayokebali.com :
• 2 winning packages for 2 to be drawn on March 1, 2006.
• 2 winning packages for 2 to be drawn on April 1, 2006.
• 3 winning packages for 2 to be drawn on May 1, 2006.
Entries made during the course of the first two drawings but who do not win will remain in contention for a possible prize until the last drawing on April 30, 2006.
How to Win?
• Contest is open to anyone between 18 - 35 years, except immediate family members of employees of Contiki Resorts, www.balidiscovery.com and supplemental prize sponsors.
• Prize must be redeemed before December 15, 2006 and subject to space availability at the time of booking.
• Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable for cash.
• Participants agree to allow Contiki Resorts and Bali Discovery Tours to use contact information for future promotions and special offers. Names and contact information will not be shared with third parties.
• Only one entry per e-mail. Duplicate e-mails and ISP originations will be removed from eligibility for prizes.
• In entering this contest, contestants agree that should they win they will allow their names and images to be used in press releases announcing the winners.
• Prize does not include transportation to and from Bali which will be the prize winners' responsibility. Also excluded form this prize are any visa fees, airport taxes, and any purchases of a personal nature made during the winners' stay in Bali.
Chief of Bali Tourism Authority Sound a Warning on Villa Construction.
Gede Nurjaya, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority (BTA) and Bali's highest ranking tourism official opened a meeting of regional tourism officials from across Bali on Thursday, January 19, 2006, by casting a spotlight on how non-stop villa construction in Bali may be aggravating Bali's over-supply of hotel rooms due to the current downturn in business.
Nurjaya told the meeting that while there are officially 36,000 hotel rooms available on the island the "real" number may be closer to 42,000 when villas operating as accommodation are taken into account. He explained that while the Governor has tried to balance supply and demand issues by freezing new permits for hotel construction, such policies are rendered ineffective in the face of non-stop villa construction.
Nurjaya called on regional governments across the island to tighten controls on villa construction, particularly in areas like Canggu and Mumbul which are experiencing villa building booms. Left uncheck, the BTA Chief warned that occupancy at Bali hotels would suffer.
Seeing Current Slump as Temporary, Garuda announces Plans to Restart Bali to Seoul, Korea Flight Service in April.
Garuda Indonesia's Manager for Bali, Uun Setiawan, told the Indonesian–language Bisnis Bali on January 18, 2006, that his airline will recommence service between Bali and Seoul, Korea starting in April 2006 after a lapse in service of 3 years. According to the Garuda official, growing passenger numbers from Korea have emboldened the Indonesian national carrier to restart the long-stalled service.
Service between Bali and Incheon Airport, the airport for South Korea's capital city of Seoul, was suspended in 2003 due to poor passenger loads.
The report in BisnisBali did not, however, provide details on the new service nor the frequency of the flights to be operated.
An improving Korean Market?
The latest arrival statistics for South Korean arrivals to Bali suggest the latest announcement from Garuda on the resumption of its Seoul-Bali service is, to some extent, a leap of faith.
Following Garuda's suspension of its Seoul service in 2003, South Korean arrivals did jump a dramatic 73.13% in 2004, totaling 80,273 South Korean visitors to Bali in that year. In 2005, however, arrivals from S. Korean dipped -2.63% for the year, declining 56.09% in the last quarter or 2005.
How quickly South Korean travelers recovers their nerve following last October's terrorist attack will no doubt largely determine if Garuda will hold true to its promise of an April 20006 resumption of flights from Seoul to Bali. .
Maya Ubud offers Spa Options for Men
Spoiling the Inner Man – A Specialty at Ubud’s Maya Ubud Resort & Spa.
The award winning Spa at Maya - the riverside haven of peace and tranquility of the Maya Ubud Resort & Spa, in Ubud, Bali has introduced a new spa menu for 2006, placing increasingly more emphasis on the male client.
"Since opening the resort in 2001, we have noticed in recent years a steady growth in the number of male clients partaking in spa treatment and wish to encourage the development of this trend,", said General Manager, Paul Blake. "We have therefore introduced into our spa menu a number of treatments and spa packages aimed particularly to male clients." he added.
These treatments include the “Male Express,” which provides client with a two-hour body treatment commencing with reflexology or a more traditional foot massage, followed by a herbal pound massage and ending with an empowering herbal bath. Another option is the "Refined Man" - the perfect treatment after a day of intense activity which includes a Balinese massage, concentrated foot therapy and herbal bath, single treatments are also available.
The winner of three prestigious international awards, the Spa at Maya continuously strives to implement new and innovative treatments based on client feedback and suggestions. “We value the comments of our spa clients that will assist us in the development of new therapies that will enhance the overall spa experience." Blake concluded.
Pica Tapas Bar Presents Weekly Spanish Flamenco Dance Fiesta.
Already famous for his delicious and varied menu of tapas, Churrasqueria and other authentic Spanish/South American specialties, the Pica Tapas Bar's proprietor Carlos Vinas has recently introduced a weekly presentation of Flamenco dancing every Saturday evening at 9:00 p.m..
Initially dubious as to whether local dancers would be able to bring to the stage the passion, romance and excitement of Iberian dance traditions, I went with lowered expectations, prepared to see at best a second-rate performance. To my pleasant surprise, however, Señor Carlos Vinas has brought the same commitment to authenticity in training his troupe of dancers that he exhibits in his kitchen each day.
Presented on an outside stage in the Restaurants back court, the Pica's small dance company offer a spirited and sensuous floor show of steamy flamenco numbers.
While performing only one night a week at present, special performances for small groups can be arranged on alternate nights by prior arrangement.
Like Carlos' food, his dancers are not the be missed!
Pica Tapas Bar & Churrasqueria Restaurant
Open daily from 9 am – midnight
Flamenco Dancers Every Saturday at 9 p.m.
Istana Kuta Galeria, Blok 15, River Side, Kuta – Bali
Bali by the Numbers: Udayana University Survey Shows Trends in Tourism Info and Accommodation Sources.
A tourism survey undertaken in November 2005 by the Center for the Study of Culture and Tourism – Udayana University provides fresh insight into the changing demographic make up of Bali's foreign visitors.
The study, led by a team under the direction of Professor I Made Suradnya, undertook 500 interviews conducted among departing passengers at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport. balidiscovery.com thanks Professor Suradnya for the opportunity to present two graphs from his larger presentation made before a group of leading tourism players in Bali last week.
Sources of Information
As shown on the accompanying graph, the Udayana University study underlined the importance of "word of mouth" in the marketing of Bali's tourism products with 48% of the respondents saying they had obtained their information regarding Bali from friends and families. Also worthy of note, 32% of the respondents indicated that they had used the Internet to help organize their Bali trip.
Accommodation Choices in Bali
Also somewhat unexpected from the latest survey's results was the finding that 22% of those interviewed chose to stay in private villa accommodation in Bali. 64% of those interviewed said they stayed in luxurious or medium-class hotels. These findings suggest a course of future study exploring the impact of the boom in villa-style accommodation in Bali on the spending habits of local visitors and local tax revenues.
Not presented graphically on balidiscovery.com was another finding from the tourism survey that further underlined the importance of "word of mouth" advertising and the need to look after those visitors who continue to visit the island. Respondents when asked about their plans to make a return visit to the island saw 59% responding they were almost certain to return; 34% said they were likely to return; and the remaining 7% were either uncertain or unlikely to make another visit. These very high return visitors indications are all the more remarkable in view that the question was posed to Bali visitors in the month immediately following Bali's latest terrorist attack.
Q4 Punishing on Bali's Top 4 Markets
Bali by the Numbers: balidiscovery.com Examines Post Bombing Effect on Bali's Top 4 Producing Markets.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, total foreign direct arrivals for 2005 came in 1,386,499 foreign visitors, declining -4.92% from the record-breaking performance of 2004 when 1.46 million foreign visitors came to the Island. Of more immediate concern to local tourism players, however, is the -39.71% drop in foreign visitors during the last quarter (Oct.-Dec.) of 2005 following the October 1, 2005 terrorist bombing in Bali.
Bali's Top 4 Markets
Visitors from just four markets – Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea continued to dominate Bali's arrivals constituting a 55.21% market share of all arrivals in 2005.
A closer look at the effects of the October 1, 2005 bombing on arrivals from Bali's top four producing markets showed:
• JAPAN - Japan arrivals for 2005 totaled 310,139, a decline of -4.98% from Japanese arrivals in 2004. Underlining the absolute need for Bali to quickly recover its Japanese market is the fact that Japanese arrivals compared fourth quarter-to-fourth quarter (October-December) for 2005 and 2004 saw a -52.11% drop in Japanese visitors.
• AUSTRALIA - Bali's second largest inbound market of Australia drooped 6.92% in 2005 as compared to the previous year, totaling 249,001 for the year just ended. Similar to Japan, however, Australian visitors were down a whopping -52.91% for the Q4 of 2005.
• TAIWAN - The 3rd largest inbound market for Bali continued a downward slide that had commenced even before the October 1, 2005 bombing producing -30.19% fewer tourists in 2005 versus 2004. Also affected by the bombing, Taiwanese visitors dropped -50.95% in Q4 in 2005.
• SOUTH KOREA - South Korean total arrivals in 2005 slid southward -2.65% in 2005 for the year, but a more significant -56.09% for Q4 in 2005.
Power Costs to Hotels and Businesses May Increase by 100%.
The Indonesian language daily Kompas reports that the Government has given the State Electricity Board (PLN) permission to increase electrical tariff by a maximum 7% in order to compensate the power producer for recent increases in fuel costs. The permission to increase electrical costs is conditional PLN’s next financial report showing that the Sate-Owned electrical board continues to run an operating loss.
Indonesia's Director General for Electricity and Energy Use from the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, Yoga Pratomo, said, "We will see the extent of the effect of the increase in fuel costs on the cost of producing electricity." Yogo emphasized that his main concern is to ensure that Indonesian consumers obtain an electrical tariff that is not overly-burdensome and is fair.
Current PLN budgets allocate 25% of all expenditures for fuel purchases.
Indonesia’s Power Tariffs Among ASEAN’s Highest
Data released by the Indonesian Consumer’s Council (YLKI) shows that among the basic rate charges for electricity in ASEAN, Indonesia ranks among the highest, second only to the Philippines.
That report revealed the following basic costs for one kilowatt hour of electrical power:
• The Philippines 7.3 cents (US$) per KWH
• Indonesia 6.5 cents (US$) per KWH
• Malaysia 6.2 cents (US$) per KWH
• Thailand 6 cents (US$) per KWH
• Vietnam 5.2 cents (US$) per KWH
Will PLN Ask For Higher Increases?
While PLN has yet to make a formal request for the authority to increase its rates, one model put forth by the office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy would increase household electrical tariffs between 83-90% and business energy costs by 100%. That same model increase rates for small households with minimum power consumption by 7%.
Sweden to be Added to Visa-On-Arrival List?
Sweden and Indonesia on Fast Track to Re-establish Cordial Relations.
A thawing of political relations between Sweden and Indonesia is expected to soon see the citizens of Sweden added to the list of countries eligible to purchase a visa on arrival when visiting Indonesia.
Relations between the two nations plumbed new depths in 2004 when the Swedish Government failed to acquiesce to Indonesia's demand that Sweden arrest the leaders of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) living in exile in Stockholm. Hwoever, the peace agreement signed between GAM and the Government of Indonesia in August 2005 effectively ended hostilities in Aceh and paved the way for rapprochement between Sweden and Indonesia.
Heralding more cordial days ahead President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with Sweden's State Secretary Lars Danielson last week in Jakarta.
In a press conference following that meeting, Indonesia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wiradjuna told the Jakarta Post, "We will certainly consider granting Sweden visa-on-arrival facilities during the upcoming review of the facility."
Hassan further confirmed Indonesia's improving relations with Sweden announcing that Jakarta would appoint an ambassador to Stockholm in the coming few months. Indonesia refused to appoint a new ambassador to Sweden in 2004 at the zenith of its displeasure with Swedish policy on GAM.
Parting Thoughts from The Outgoing EAM of The Westin, Nusa Dua and Director of the BICC.
balidiscovery.com managed to corner the outgoing Executive Assistant Manager of the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali and Director of the Bali International Convention Center (BICC) on his way to his new position as Deputy General Manager of the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. After nearly 4 year in Bali, Alex took time to reflect on an island for which he holds a deep affection.
The Interview: Starwood’s Alex Riva
balidiscovery.com: After nearly four years in Bali, what do you see as the island's strongest selling points in terms of International tourism.
Riva: For years during my tenure in Thailand I always wondered what were the reasons for Bali to be a favorite island to a number of event organizers. The years I spent in Bali definitely helped me to understand. The "plusses" are unmatched in any other destination in this part of the world. The combination of incentive-class accommodation standards, value for money, year around favorable climate, genuine hospitality, variety of activities, diversity of the natural elements, and I could go on and on.
balidiscovery.com:As we all know, following the October 1, 2005, bombing Bali is going through a tough patch at the moment. In your opinion, what are the top priorities for Bali to recover lost territory in the shortest possible time?
Riva: I am a believer that there is 'no-can-fix-it response' to events such as the bombings. Even the most proactive industry approach would not bring quick results and consequently, although I know it might not sound too optimistic, the best is to wait for people to naturally forget and again select the beautiful island for their holidays or the venue for their events. The only thing I recommend to my colleagues is to continue sending out positive messages and remind people that although business levels might have been low recently this does not mean the island is deserted. For instance not everyone knows that over the recent festivities season hotels were running at occupancies in the range of more than 80%. And, I expect to see reassuring signs of recovery in May/June when the island traditionally enjoys the best level of arrivals.
balidiscovery.com:Much has been said of Bali tourism’s inability to finance and manage a professional promotional campaign. Without a dedicated and professional destination marketing authority can Bali realistically expect to get its share of the international travel market and the meeting and conferences market?
Riva: Will this ongoing issue ever be resolved? I don't know. It will take a really strong approach from the private sector in order to get the Department of Tourism to allocate funds to concerted initiatives instead of isolated campaigns which not only do not generate the expected results but also can have detrimental impacts on the image of the island.
Until the day a tourism body is able to put together an international standard campaign, the industry can only succeed with isolated combined efforts or alliances. A united approach will always face challenges based on different interests.
balidiscovery.com:What’s your candid appraisal of Bali’s security at the moment and what, if anything, remains to be done to regain the traveling public’s trust?
Riva: When looking at security from a tourism angle I would say the current levels are as good as they can be. If Bali was a minor island in the Pacific then it will be easier to say "come to the island where security is guaranteed." The reality is different and like any other major city or resort there will always be a soft spot where an attack could take place. But if the comparison is made with the security level at another major resort destination in South East Asia where I recently attended a tradeshow, then I can definitely say Bali is safe.
balidiscovery.com:Any parting word's of wisdom for the many friends you leave behind in Bali?
Riva: Despite the challenges the island has experienced over the past years, my time in Bali has been the most rewarding and the colleagues and partners I have had the privilege to work with know how much I believe in the destination and how passionate I continue to be about the island and its potential.
They will know that although I have left, my ambassadorship will continue to be strong. And as a father, I can assure you it will take a longtime before getting forgiveness from my three daughters who for the months to come will continue to ask their daddy why we have left such a beautiful place and lifestyle. And I have yet to convince them with any of my answers.
Local Organizers Decide Time is Not Right for 4th Kuta Karnival in 2006.
The The Kuta Small Business Association (KSBA) have announced that the fourth Kuta Karnival will not be held in 2006. The KSBA made public their decision on Tuesday, January 17, 2006, following a meeting of its directors and members in Kuta.
The Chairman of the KSBA, I Madè Supatra Karang, was quoted in the Indonesian-language DenPost as saying that 2006 would not see the hosting of the popular street festival in Kuta due to security concerns. However, the Chairman of the KSBA was quick to add that their decision did not reflect a lack of faith in the ongoinbg efforts of security forces in Bali and measures now being put in place to enhance security on the Island. Rather, according to Karang, the decision to temporarily postpone the event reflects the organizer's unwillingness to take the risk of holiding a large scale, widely dispersed week-long celebration of food, music, night-life and shopping at this time.
Shapelle Corby Sentence Increased
Corby has 5 Years Tacked on to her Jail Term while Brother Who Traveled with Her to Bali Arrested on Drugs and Assault Charges in Australia.
Shapelle Corby, the Australian woman in Bali's jail following her conviction for attempting to smuggle 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Indonesia, suffered major setbacks on several fronts last week as the Indonesian Supreme Court formally rejected her appeal and reinstated the original sentence of 20 years handed down by the Denpasar Courts in May 2005. Prior to the latest ruling, Corby's sentence was reduced to 15 years on an appeal to Bali High Court.
The reasoning by the three-judge panel to reinstate the original sentence against Ms. Corby remains a mystery while her lawyers await a formal copy of the High Court's decision. The Indonesian Supreme Court review represented Corby's last legal avenue for an acquittal or retrial.
Legal observers now point to a Presidential pardon as Corby's last remaining hope to avoid serving her 20-year sentence.
Blow to Credibility
The credibility of Corby's ongoing efforts to portray herself as the hapless and innocent victim of a botched drug delivery perpetrated by unknown smugglers who place the drugs in her baggage in Australia suffered a body blow with the arrest of her half-brother, James Kisinia, in Queensland last week. The 18 year-old Kisinia, who was traveling with Corby at the time of her arrested at Bali's airport in October 2004, has been apprehended in connection with a home invasion and assault that occurred near Brisbane on Tuesday, January 17, 2006. During that incident, police report a woman was tied up, a man assaulted with a baseball bat and a quantity of drugs taken by the assailant.
Kisinia has been charged by Australian police with deprivation of liberty, assault occasioning bodily harm and possession of a dangerous drug.
During the course of Corby's highly publicized trial in Bali, various groups in Australia supported her claims of innocence by calling for a boycott of Bali and a suspension of tsunami relief projects in Indonesia.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.