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Strong, Positive Response to Visit by Large Balinese Delegation to Perth, Western Australia Suggests that Bali is Back.
The just concluded visit to Perth, Western Australia by a delegation of 19 Bali travel operators together with ranking representatives of the Balinese Provincial Government and Bali Police has provided ample proof that Bali is definitely on the come back trail in terms of regaining its Australian market share which declined after a the October 1, 2005 terrorist attacks.
Armed with special air prices and hotel packages, Bali's hotels and tourist attractions launched a "Bali Endless Summer" promotion from an artistically decorated pavilion at the Perth Holiday and Travel Expo held at the Fremantle Ferry Terminal February 10-12, 2006. Consumer interest in Bali was extremely high with many consumers hoping to meet with the Bali delegation having to wait in line for the chance to learn more about the special Bali offers. The Bali presentation was apparently a hit all round with Perth newspaper The Sunday Times naming the "Bali Endless Summer" pavilion the "best of show" at the 3-day event.
The Bali Press Conference
In conjunction with the travel exposition in Perth, the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) organized a press conference led by BTB Chairman Bagus Sudibya, Bali's Chief of Police Inspector General Sunarko, and the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority Gede Nurjaya.
Well attended by both regional and national press, the Perth press conference provided the opportunity for Bali to share new and views on recent developments in Bali, including:
• Following the October 1, 200, Bali bombing attack, the Government of Indonesia has hardened its already firm stand in the war on terrorism. In the days following the October 1, 2006 attack, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said: "Terrorism is no longer considered an extraordinary crime but it is a subversive action that threatens the nation’s integrity."
• The Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) – one of Indonesia's largest and most respected Islamic associations, has consistently and very strongly condemned all terrorist acts that have occurred in Indonesia.
• Indonesia has welcomed and sought multinational support and assistance in combating terrorism and is recognized internationally for its front-line role in this struggle.
• Following a hiatus of nearly 5 years, Australian Special Forces have now resumed training exercises with the Indonesian Special Forces.
• Indonesian police have a record of unrivalled success in capturing terrorists. Bali's Police successful handling of the investigations following the October 12, 2003 terrorist bombing is seen as a "best practice" model of international police cooperation. Since the October 1, 2005 bombing, more than 36 arrests have been made and terror mastermind Dr. Azahari was killed in a police raid on November 9, 2005.
• Since the October 1, 2005 incident, the Government has committed over US$27 million to the police in security enhancements.
• Since October 1, 2005, there has been a 400% increase in the number of Tourism Police Officers deployed in Bali alone.
• Stricter controls are now being introduced in Bali, including: improved national ID card issuance procedures; random road checks and check of local boarding houses; tighter registration procedures for boarding houses, Inns and local hotels; and ID registration now required for the purchase of mobile phone cards.
• The formal establishment of the "Bali Security Council" bringing together police, military, and various government intelligence agencies under a common coordinating umbrella is now in operation.
• Active participation of Bali's traditional Pacalang - the local village volunteer force found in every Balinese community – in intelligence and community policing activities has been introduced.
• The Administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is making significant inroads in restructuring the State bureaucracy to bring fundamental improvements in the lives of all Indonesians. For example, the national immigration and custom's departments, taxation authority, and the national judiciary are all undergoing well-publicized shake ups and fundamental reorganizations.
• The Government recently passed legislation empowering law enforcement agencies to make pre-emptive strikes against suspected terrorist cells.
• Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport is working closely with the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to urgently improve airport security in Bali.
• A sophisticated Emergency Response Centre is now in operation at the airport. Regular drills anticipating a whole range of emergency scenarios have been introduced.
• A police certification system for local hotels, emphasizing safety and security, is now in operation in Bali.
• Substantial additional investment has been made in security hardware including CCTV, boom gates, detection devices, guard dogs and security training awareness for all hotel and restaurant staff.
• Bali’s popular Jimbaran Beach Restaurant area now has CCTV surveillance, security fencing, and access control from both beach and street now in place.
The Bali tourism industry and the larger community as a whole are hopeful that the resurgence in interest in Bali tourism following the Perth Holiday and Travel Expo will be sustained and that Bali will quickly regain its traditional position as Australia's most preferred overseas holiday destination. In the past, Western Australian travelers have accounted for nearly 40% of all Australia visitors to Bali.
Ubud: The Heart of Bali
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Adopts Place – Time – Identity as Theme for 3rd Annual Festival September 30 – October 3, 2006.
October now marks the month in Bali that is destined to become known around the world for one of South-East Asia's greatest literary events. The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has all the trimmings of a world-class writers festival and is well on its way to becoming the equivalent of Brazil's famous [ Festa Literária Internacional de Parati (FLIP)], right here in our own sumptuous backyard.
This year, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will be back once more with four days of literary excitement in one of the world's most magical settings. There will be inspiring discussions, conversations, readings and lunches overlooking a never-ending view of rice fields and coconut trees, bringing together readers and writers from all corners of the globe.
This year's Festival's theme - Desa-Kala-Patra:Time-Place-Identity will address the ties that bind us to place, ancestry and identity in modern times. Selected from suggestions put forth at the 2005 festival, these are the issues that writers from all over the world repeatedly discussed. Desa-Kala-Patra is part of a basic life principle for the Balinese people.
Putu Wijaya Discusses This Year's Theme
Bali's own internationally acclaimed playwright, Putu Wijaya recently shared his impressions of the theme with the Festival committee:
"'Desa-Kala-Patra' refers to space, time and identity that dissolves into one. It is reflected in Balinese behavior, attitude, reactions, actions, speech and even in their mind, contemplation and feelings. 'Desa – kala – patra' is not a verbal teaching. It is a belief in the domain of the sub-conscious. It functions as a converter for Balinese spirituality, as it is manifested in their behavior, attitude and opinions in their daily life in all situations, be it in official discussions or in less formal conversations in 'warungs,' at the market and even within the invincible territory."
"For the Balinese 'Desa' (space) is essential to indicate origins, links and directions. By tracing their space the Balinese discover their linkage to their homes, origins, 'braya-pisaga-semeton' (society, neighbors and family) and even with their guests. The space is also linked to 'kala' (time). Night and day, morning and afternoon, today and tomorrow can change, take form and make those links to time perfect. Finally 'Patra' (identity) also means situation and condition, instigating that space and time can be harmonized with what is taking place."
"'Desa-kala-patra' is a value and at the same time, a universal approach. That it grows in the soul of the Balinese people, does not make it the sole property and right of the Balinese. Bali is only one of its choices, because this island is a meeting place for different races and ideologies from all over the world. 'Desa-kala-patra' comes to life not because it is discussed, taught, and made a doctrine, but because it is practiced. 'Desa-kala-patra' is like a formless soul that freely resides within the bodies of the Balinese without them being aware."
A Most Diverse and Interesting Collection of Talent
This year, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will bring an even more diverse group of authors to Bali as it celebrates writers from Asia and beyond. In an effort to embrace Bali's Pacific neighbors, the line-up will include poets and authors from Fiji to New Zealand.
Award-winning Sri Lankan writers will share their stories alongside Indonesian and Australian writers in a cross-cultural cocktail of unforgettable exchanges. This year will also showcase the brave new voices of Iran, with a line-up of dynamic women writers who are breaking new grounds by dealing with social issues and cultural identity. And once again, Indian writers will return to lead a series of discussions about love, life, food and literature.
Janet de Neefe, Festival Director and Founder, promises that there will be plenty of new faces contributing their talents to this year's theme. As in the past, days of discussion will drift into nights of dazzling, and often hilarious entertainment and Balinese hospitality. Literary lunches in Ubud's elegant hotels will operate alongside a stimulating series of how-to workshops.
Mark your calendar for October 2006 now!
In the words of Michael Ondaatje, Booker Prize-winning author of The English Patient, who attended the 2005 festival:
"It was, and is, and hopefully will always be a wonderfully intimate festival. I have made great friends of writers and readers, heard exciting talks, and eaten meals I did not know existed. Thank you."
Bali Hotels Refusing to Pay Music Copyright Royalties.
The Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali) is remaining steadfast in its refusal to pay music royalties demanded by the Indonesian Copyright Collection Agency (YKCI), claiming ongoing efforts to collect music royalties are premature in the absence of implementing regulations yet to be issued by the Central Government.
On the eve of the annual nation-wide PHRI conference, I Gusti Kade Sutawa, the Secretary General of PHRI-Bali restated his membership's rejection of any efforts by YCKI to collect royalty payments for music played live or via recordings at Bali's hotels and restaurants. YCKI collects payments for musical compositions created by both Indonesian and international composers.
Despite the formal acknowledgement of YCKI by the government, PHRI-Bali is insisting that the mandatory collection of fees by any agency must be preceded by clear implementing rules and laws set out by the Government. According to Sutawa, "until such a time as there are implanting laws, fees levied by a foundation lacking clear statements of responsibilities can only be considered an illegal levy."
Fees being requested by the YCKI from restaurants and hotels can reportedly vary between Rp. 1.5 – 6 million (approximately US$158 -630).
Travel to Bali and the Rest of Asia from the USA for Just US$1299!
Cathay Pacific Airways just made getting to Bali and the rest of Asia very affordable.
Cathay Pacific CyberTravelers now qualify for a US$200 discount meaning people can fly from New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles to more than 18 qualifying Asian destinations served by CX for the very low price of US$1,299.
This special price allows 21 consecutive days of travel in economy class for departures from the U.S.A. from February 1 through May 18, 2005 and between August 21 and December 6, 2006. Those wanting to travel during peak Summer periods between May 19 and August 20, 2006 need only add US$350.
And to make the deal even more irresistible, Cathay Pacific is offering exciting "add on options" allowing extensions of unlimited travel within Asia from 21 to 30 or 90 day; upgrades to Business Class, and add on cities not included in the offer such as Sydney, Delhi or Hanoi.
To learn more about the Cathay Pacific All Asia Pass U.S. originating travelers should contact their travel agent.
Back to Bali in Perth on March 5, 2006
13th Annual Bali Party for Perth, Western Australia, Sponsored by Bali Dynasty Hotel.
The Bali Dynasty Resort is again holding its Back to Bali Dynasty Party at the Higgins Hyde Park Hotel in Perth on Sunday, March 5, 2006, starting from 4.30 p. m. .
This years' event is themed "Celebrating 15 Years of the Bali Dynasty Resort" and marks the 13th consecutive year the party has been held in Perth. In addition to providing a chance for a large contingent of Resort staff to meet their Perth customers, the event is also a major fundraiser for the Bali Dynasty Resort Charity Effort which financially supports the education of over 100 children in East Bali in cooperation with the award-wining East Bali Poverty Project.
Each year's event sees more than 400 former guests of the Bali Dynasty Resort renew ties with selected staff members, enjoy an evening of Balinese food and entertainment, and participate in raffles providing holidays in Bali.
The Back to Bali Dynasty Party is sponsored by Australian Airlines and Garuda Indonesia together with major wholesalers including Asia Escape, Creative Holidays, Freestyle, Garuda Orient Holidays, New Horizons Holidays, Qantas and Viva Holidays.
In conjunction with the Perth party the Resort will launch a special offer offering bonus incentives to all those who book a stay at the resort in 15 days following the event.
Get Your Tickets Now!
Each year's Perth party is a sell out, so don't delay in ordering your tickets available from the Hyde Park Hotel in Perth at telephone ++61-8-9328 6166.
Canggu Club Appoints its Opening General Manager
Barry Le Cornu to Head Life Style and Recreation Club Opening in Mid 2006.
The Canggu Club - a 3.5 hectare private members social, recreational and sporting club near Pantai Berawa at Canggu, has appointed Australian Barry Le Cornu as General Manager.
In charge of all club and member operations, Barry will take over the day-to-day operational responsibilities from Club Chairman, Steve Kenny, who will continue as an advisor.
"Barry brings the knowledge, ability and experience we need in our quest to make the Canggu Club one of the premier private members clubs in Asia," said Steve Kenny.
Le Cornu has a distinguished record of hospitality industry experience, mainly with another private members clubs including the Sedona Town Club in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he held the position of Club and Health Club Manager for six years. In Vietnam he oversaw catering and banquet services for the Club’s 600 members and residents, in addition to running various health and fitness outlets, training and sports programs, special events and member activities.
During his 23 year career Le Cornu has operated a variety of health clubs and fitness facilities including owning and operating the Forbes Fitness Center in Australia, working as a physical and health education teacher in primary and secondary schools, and lecturing in tertiary institutions in Asia and Australia.
A newcomer to Bali with a passion for fitness and sports, his goal is to promote the Club's diverse and multifaceted sporting, recreational and leisure programs and outlets, and to re-enforce the Clubs position as an exciting, fully integrated, lifestyle concept for the islands international and community members and guests.
The energetic 47 year-old says, "I'm excited to be working alongside such an incredible team of dedicated personnel who share the same vision and are passionate about what they're doing for the community and Bali." Adding, "I'm looking forward to meeting our members over the next few months as we move closer to completion."
Barry earned a Bachelor of Education, Physical and Health Education from Wollongong University, NSW, Australia as well as Fitness and Aerobic Instructor accreditations, Rugby Union and Touch Football Coaching Certificates and First Aid and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Certification.
Barry lives in Seminyak with his Vietnamese wife, Linh, and their two boys, Minh (9) and Darian (3).
Major Upgrades Underway at Ramayana Resort & Rama Beach Resort.
Dedicated to the continual improvement of its properties, Rama Hotels & Resorts have announced a major renovation program involving the Rama Bridge Restaurant at the Ramayana Resort & Spa and the superior rooms and spa facility at the Rama Beach Resort & Villa property.
According to Company sources, Rama Hotels' 5 Bali properties averaged 80% occupancy in 2005. Bullish on Bali and certain that the recovery of Bali's tourism fortunes will be rapid, the owners decided to use the current momentary slump in business to undertake construction projects when they will cause the least inconvenience to the least number of guests.
Rama Bridge Restaurant at the Ramayana Resort & Spa
Expected to completed by late July 2006, the renovations and upgrades will see the Ramayana Resort's existing Rama Bridge Restaurant be completely demolished to re-emerge as two storey outlet covering 1,500 square meters and serving 300 guests. With an exterior reflecting modern Balinese architecture using local woods, natural stone and glass features the dining venue will be surrounded by a water pond.
In close proximity to the Resort's pool, the restaurant is being positioned to become a "chill-out" place in Kuta. The final facility will boast a wine cellar, bar and dance floor, and a second floor capable of conversion into two meeting rooms with a separate pre-function area. The menu being designed by the Resort's chefs will emphasize both authentic Balinese cuisine and international selections.
Ramayana Resort & Spa is in the heart of Kuta within walking distance of Kuta Beach, the areas wide range of night-life and entertainment options, and shopping options.
A garden oasis in the midst of Kuta's hustle and bustle, the Ramayana has 200 rooms spread across 5 room categories.
Rama Beach Resort
Another of the Group's properties, the Rama Beach Resort, located in Tuban only 5 minutes from Bali's International Airport, has recently completed lobby renovations including a specially equipped departure lounge complete with showers and locker room for guests leaving after the Resort’s check out time.
The 99-room Resort has also added a new "Resort Club" floor featuring 18 Super Deluxe Rooms. Each room boasts specially designed handcrafted furniture's blending Balinese art and modern accents. Each of the new rooms has a private balcony overlooking either the Hotel's gardens or world famous Kuta Bay.
Rama Hotels & Resorts
On your next visit to Bali be sure to stay at one of the following Rama Hotels & Resorts:
UNWTO Chief: Better Times Just Ahead for Indonesia
Head of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Francesco Frangialli, Meets Indonesian President and Appraises National Tourism Industry's Prospects.
Francesco Frangialli, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), predicted that Indonesian tourism will bounce back and show signs of "definite improvement" by the second half of 2006. Frangialli's comments were made last week in Jakarta during a meeting with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Hudhoyono.
In Indonesia to participate in a tourism conference held in Central Java, the WTO Secretary General gave high marks to Indonesia for it positive response to counteract the "series of shocks" that have damaged the Country's tourism industry.
According to Frangialli, "Indonesia was not able to join in the success of other Asian destinations which achieved an average seven per cent growth in 2005, and the first half of 2006 will continue to be a difficult period for the tourism industry."
Saying the current situation is encouraging, he predicted a strong rebound for the second half of 2006 and very bright prospects for Indonesian tourism in the years to come.
President Yudhoyono welcomed Frangialli's and WTOs support to Indonesia during its current crisis and pledge Indonesia’s continued support to the United Nations WTO in their efforts to achieve the U.N. Millennium Goals.
Jembrana Regent Eager to Complete Feasibility Study for New International Airport Near Negara.
The Regent of Jembrana has announced the intention of his local government to move ahead with plans to complete a feasibility study for a new international airport for the island of Bali located near Negara in West Bali.
I Gede Winsasa, confirmed that the Jimbrana Government has budgeted the funds for the study which he hopes will clear the way for modern airport facility capable of accommodating the new generation of aircraft now being developed. Ngurah Rai International Airport, the current airport of Bali, is limited both in terms of carrying capacity and its runway length which is insufficient to permit take-off by a fully-loaded and fully-fueled B-747.
Projecting that the proposed airport would generate 50,000 jobs, the Jembrana government is reportedly approaching investors from Japan and France to join in the project.
Top Woman Tennis Tour Players to Return to Bali for Popular Annual Event on WTA Tour at Nusa Dua.
Wismilak International Tennis and the Island of Bali will once again join forces for the 13th Bali Wismilak International Tennis Tournament scheduled for September 10-17, 2006 at Nusa Dua.
As in past events, many of the top-seeded woman on the international tennis tour will square off before enthusiastic crowds and an international television audience as they compete for the lucrative prize money up for grabs. Held at the Grand Hyatt Bali, the annual event in Bali follows closely on the heals of the U.S. open.
The Bali Wismilak Tournament Director, Kevin Livesey, has expressed the hope that Lindsay Davenport will make a return appearance in Bali in 2006. No less than seven leading international tennis players including Indonesia's ranked lady player - Wynne Prakusya will be on hand for the 2006 event in Bali.
Livesey Named to WTA Board
Wismilak International Tournament Director, Kevin Livesey, has recently been named to the Board of Directors of the Sonny Ericsson Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour.
Livesey’s appointment represents the first time that the WTA have appointed an Asian-based member to the Board.
Bali Government Plans to Move Ahead with Plans to Install Condom Vending Machines in Hotels and 'Red Light' Areas of Bali.
In a move to stem rapidly growing infection rates for AIDS/HIV, the Government of Bali is lenging its support to plans to install condom vending machines, referred to locally as ATM Kondom, in hotels and the commercial sex areas of Sanur and Kuta.
The Move by the government reflects the recent passage of laws requiring customers of prostitutes, commercial sex workers, and others involved in "at risk" behavior to use condoms or face possible fines and imprisonment. The new regulations have been source of lively debate in local media where questions have been raised on the practical difficulties of enforcing the new law; whether or not the legislation actually encourages promiscuous sexual behavior; and how the government can legislate against specific behavior during activities that are, in fact, already prohibited under the law.
Commenting on the plan for ATM Kondom, Bali's Governor Dewa Made Beratha said the growing number of deaths resulting from HIV/AIDS no longer permitted Bali the luxury of a prolonged pro and con discussion regarding making condoms more accessible to the public. The Governor said that in addition to the dispensers, signs would be posted advising the public and visitors of the law requiring condom's be used in certain situations.
The Governor's plan still requires the final approval from Bali's provincial parliamentarians
The laws on "safe sex" and condom usage also governs blood and organ donation, and the use of sterile syringes. Those found violating the law face up to six months in prison and fines of Rp. 50 million (approximately US$5,260).
January 2006 Arrivals Fuel Cautious Optimism
Bali by the Numbers: Preliminary Arrival Numbers for January Suggest Recovery May be Well Underway.
There are encouraging indications that Bali may be gradually emerging from the business slump following the October 1, 2005, terrorist attack.
Un-audited arrivals figures for January 2006 show 82,575 foreign visitors landed at Bali's international airport during the first month of the year.
balidiscovery.com's take on the preliminary figures suggest:
• Daily arrivals for January 2006 averaged 2,663 - down only -19% from the 3,288 visitors who arrived every day in January 2005.
• January 2006 daily arrivals were, however, a full 26% higher than the 1,962 daily average arrivals recorded in 2003 – the previous January when Bali's arrivals were afffected by an October (2002) bombing.
• Also, in comparing the two post-bombing periods, January 2006 arrivals increased 8.83% over December 2005, contrasting positively with January 2003 when arrivals were still declining and down -4.03% from December 2002 arrivals. If February figures continue to post improvements will determine whether or not Bali has "turned the corner" on its way to recovery or if the surge in January business was a reflection of increases due to last month's Chinese New Year travel patterns.
• Also suggestive that a tourism recovery may be underway is the fact that the decline in arrivals for January 2005 versus January 2004 was only -18.98%. This is a substantial improvement from December 2005 when arrivals were down -36.98% as compared to December 2004 and when also compared with the massuve
-39.71% decline for Q4 2005 versus Q4 2004.
• Similarly encouraging is the fact that January 2005's decline of -18.98% against January 2005, was a substantially better performance than the January 2003 to January 2002 decline of -30% following Bali Bomb I (2002).
In our next edition of Bali by the Numbers we will present a close look at January 2006 arrivals by major markets.
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.