"I would like to thank all at Bali Discovery Tours for providing such great service to Aurora and her passengers. The day was a real success - thanks to the detailed pre-planning from Jack and the team."
Marketing Legend Harry Miller Votes Bali as 'Top
Rate' and Questions the Role Australian Media
Play in the Island’s Fortunes.
Australia's foremost entertainment, marketing
and personality management entrepreneur Harry
M Miller recently returned from his first-ever
trip to Bali singing the praises of its people,
products and professional hospitality standards.
"I just had the best time – it was
absolutely fantastic. This wonderful place and
wonderful people do not deserve the negative
treatment they so often get in the mainstream
Australian media, which is often unfair and
stupid," he said.
Miller and Sydney-based fine-food entrepreneur
Simmone Logue visited Bali on a trip organized
by Garuda Indonesia in conjunction with Conrad
Bali Resort and Alila Hotels to enjoy some of
the many rest, relaxation and fine food experiences
the island has to offer.
As a former Director of Qantas – and
as the representative of Australian fashion
and style leaders including Maggie Tabberer,
Deborah Hutton and Ita Buttrose - Miller is
well positioned comment on the quality of services
encountered over a stay of more than two weeks.
Miller and Logue shared their very positive
Bali holiday experience with the estimated 2.6
million readers of the September 2, 2006 edition
of New Idea Magazine.
The Bali Travel Experience
"Right from the outset, the Bali experience
was world class," says Miller. "I
was fascinated by the leg space in Garuda's
Executive class and by the gracious staff attitude
and service. The trip up there was just amazing.
"Then when we arrived at the Conrad Bali
Resort, Tanjung Benoa, we were delighted again
by the quality of experience. The staff training
there was the best I have ever seen," said
Miller, who has more than a decade’s experience
advising on international hotel chain hospitality
"The Alila Ubud was just wonderful, as
was the Alila Manggis, where Simmone and I were
immersed in the local organic cooking culinary
experience, starting with a trip to the market
and going through private tuition for the both
of us. This was very well done and has great
tourism potential. The Alila's organic gardens
on the beachfront property were fantastic."
"The total resort experience in Bali was
wonderful – I do't think I have ever had
so many massages and such good massages, it
is just such a relaxing place."
Bali's Greatest Asset is its People
"But the thing that makes it truly memorable
for us is the people. They are the best thing
of all about Bali. They are amazing. They have
no hidden agendas – they are just genuinely
delighted to serve you and to see to your comfort."
"We were trying to think about what it
is that makes the people so wonderful and different
- perhaps it is the cultural and spiritual Hindu
influence," says Miller, who practices
"Whatever it is, it is delightful, and
I get annoyed when I see our Australian media
warning people off Bali. It is so unfair to
single out Bali."
What is the Australian Median on About, Anyway?
"When London had a major terrorist alert
(in August) no-one was warned to stay away from
the UK, just advised to exercise sensible caution."
"Whenever there's anything in the news
about Indonesia or Bali, however, you get a
warning missile from Foreign Affairs shouted
out through the media saying don't go there
- avoid the place for all but essential travel."
"The media is not full of warnings about
all the other places where there have been terrorist
issues – terrorism is a worldwide problem
- so why do we single out our friends in Bali?"
"The Australian media is a real problem.
Often they have only negative things to say.
It is one thing to counsel caution when it is
appropriate, but in Australia the overwhelming
daily media coverage is negative."
The Need for Ambassadors of Travel
"The issue is one of a lack of leadership.
It would be wonderful to see some prominent
Australians stand up as Ambassadors for Bali,
and speak out for them.
"Perhaps the industry in Bali should look
at appointing, say, a half a dozen prominent
Australians as Ambassadors for Bali. They could
project their message straight to target audiences
by way of picture theatre presentations, for
example, where you can show the real beauty
and the real people that people aren’t
seeing in media headlines."
"The industry in Bali has such a wonderful
resource to work with, that it just has to cut
through the negative perceptions and show people
how Bali really is," he said.
The visit by Harry M Miller and Simmone Logue
to Bali is one of a series of visits by high
profile individuals and editors of high-profile
lifestyle publications organized by Garuda Indonesia
to broaden Australia's perceptions of Bali and
promote positive coverage of the destination.
Shown on balidiscovery.com are, left to right,
Simmone Logue and Harry Miller receiving their
Garuda Boarding pass at Sydney Airport.
of Culture and Tourism Ardika Calls for an End
to Talk of Bali’s 'Recovery.'
Gede Ardika, Bali's former Minister of Culture
and Tourism, has apparently had enough of talk
about the "rebuilding" or "recovery"
In comments made during the recent Sanur Beach
Festival, Ardika said he "did not agree"
with terminology calling for "Bali's Recovery"
which incorrectly suggests that the island is
downtrodden and on the edge of collapse.
As quoted in the Indonesian language Bisnis
Bali, the former Minister called on the public
to "stop using the terminology 'Bali's
Recovery' or 'Bali Rebuilds' which only serve
to frighten the public and provide a negative
image of the island. Such terms have a negative
influence on Bali tourism. Tourists will not
want to come to Bali if they are constantly
bombarded with worrying news."
Ardika called on Bali's tourism industry to
provide concrete proof to the world that Bali
is safe. Saying that the last Bali bomb is now
almost a year in the past, he contends that
it serves little purpose to continue to dwell
on that event. The former Minister added: "As
long as the people of Bali can still smile,
create and carry on their culture – tourists
will certainly return. Stop using these negative
A Crisis of Confidence
The popular former head of Indonesian tourism
said that Bali's greatest strength is its people.
If the people believe in themselves, then Bali
will advance. On the other hand, if Bali wallows
in fear, then the island will never progress.
Continuing, Ardika said he hoped that all parties
would stop dedicating all their time and energies
in the fight for funding from the Central Government.
Ardika said it is most important that Bali
undertake concrete steps for the island based
on the innate strength of the Balinese people.
While funding is important, if we only squabble
over money the true focus of what must be done
will be lost.
"The people of Bali must keep faith with
God and carry on with their traditions,"
They are a Changing
Bali by the Numbers:
The Graying Inbound Markets to Bali.
According to the Indonesian language Bali Post,
a dramatic shift is underway in the demographics
of the average foreign visitor to Bali.
Quoting a Bank Indonesia (BI) report, tourists
aged 65 or above now represent 4.8% of all visitors
to Bali, a figure 20% higher than previously
reported 4% market share for senior citizens.
Conversely, there are worrying signs that Bali
may be losing its luster as a family destination
with foreign visitors aged between 0-14 years
now representing only 4.2% of all visitors,
a -53% drop for its former 9% market share.
Worthy of further investigation, this significant
drop could suggest that security concerns and
the failure of the Australian market to rebound
underline a somewhat diminished appeal of Bali
for family holidays.
Villas as Villains
of Bali's North?
Lack of Tax Revenues
and Building Code Violations Bring Villas in Buleleng
Regency Under Local Government Scrutiny.
During a recent survey of local villas conducted
by members of Commission B of the Buleleng Regional
Consultative Assembly (DPRD), a number of projects
were found to have been built without the mandatory
building permit. The same inspection survey,
as reported in the Indonesian language Bali
Post, also discovered a number of villas and
restaurants in violation of the set back rule
which require a minimum distance of from 50
to 100 meters from the high water mark.
According to Commission "B" Chairman,
Made Agus Yudiarsana, villas that violate the
set back rules and do not posses the necessary
building permits are seriously damaging the
public interest. The local legislator pointed
out for Balinese villagers are increasingly
unable to gain beach access during religious
rites due to illegal villa construction. In
some areas, according to Yudiarsana, local fishermen
are also prevented from landing their vessels
due to the "illegal appropriation"
of shore line areas by villa operators.
Citing the matter as fundamental to Bali's
culture and image, Yudiarsana called on authorities
to take stern action against building code violators
and illegally constructed villas.
Little or No Tax Contribution
Meanwhile, Buleleng's local tax authorities
are blaming the lack of a contribution from
villas in their regency for the continuing shortfall
in public funds available to local government.
To correct the situation, Buleleng officials
are surveying villas operating in the region
in preparation for enlarging the local tax base.
Using the Internet
In a new departure by local tax authorities,
the Indonesian-language Bisnis Bali reports
that Buleleng tax authorities are using the
Internet to collect information on the number
of villas operating in their region together
with their pricing structures.
The Head of the Buleleng revenue office, Nyoman
Pastika, told Bisnis Bali that villas are generally
failing to make a meaningful contribution to
public revenues via taxation while causing tax
revenues normally earned from hotels and restaurants
An Uneven Playing Field
Pastika suggested that the uneven playing field
between tax-paying licensed hotels and restaurants
in contrast to the unregulated villa industry
is causing jealousy on its way to becoming a
growing source of social friction in Buleleng.
The man charged with seeking revenue sources
for Buleleng, Pastika, blamed the lack of clear
regulations governing villa operations for the
failure of that sector to make a contribution
to local tax coffers. He went on to explain
that once area villas have been quantified and
recorded, his office will draft regulations
on villa operations for local debate.
To date, 50 Buleleng villas have been recorded
in the survey. Of that total, a number are rented
out on a yearly basis with some being sold to
tourists. Bisnis Bali reports that tax authorities
are now moving their efforts to the eastern
region of Buleleng in an effort to increase
annualtourism tax revenues to Rp. 23 billion
(approximately US$2.5 million).
Fraud Complaint Against Garuda in Bali
Bali Police Said
to be Preparing Charges Against Garuda Employees
Engage in Ticket Manipulation Scheme.
Following a complaint by Garuda Indonesia's anti-corruption
unit on July 3, 2006, Bali police have been intensively
investigating possible malfeasance involving members
of the national air carrier's Denpasar sales office.
As reported in the Indonesian language Bali
Post, Police are pursuing leads involving employees
and outside agents involved in tickets sales
who purchased tickets from from Guam –
Bali – Surabaya denominated in U.S. dollars
that were eventually refunded in Indonesian
Rupiahs. Using a loop hole in the administrative
process, those involved in the scheme obtained
a handsome exchange rate profit while causing
a substantial loss for Garuda.
Bali police are keeping tight-lipped on the
case in which no less than 8 Garuda employees,
from both Bali and Jakarta, have been interrogated.
As part of Garuda's ongoing efforts to rationalize
and streamline its operations, an internal Committee
to Handle Corruption is in place at the airline,
headed by Captain Ari Sapari. Captain Sapari,
who reported the case of malfeasance in the
Bali ticketing office to Bali's Chief of Police,
has focused his attention on 4 main cases of
corruption at the Airline:
• Corruption within Garuda's Cargo Unit
involving outstanding transactions of approximately
• The disruption in funds from the Foundation
for the Welfare of Garuda's Employee (YKPGA),
estimated to have cost the Nation Rp. 28 billion
(approximately US$3 million).
• Indications of illegal mark-ups in
the purchase of A-330 aircraft by the Airline
which form a large portion of the Airline's
massive debt owed to European creditors.
• Illegal practices in the sale of tickets
by Garuda's Bali branch.
Bali Hotel Association
Awards Local Scholarship
Eleven Tourism Students
Receive Scholarships and One-on-One Guidance from
The Bali Hotel Association (BHA) has announced
another eleven students to receive the BHA Hospitality
Scholarship Awards for 2006/2007. The scholarships,
sponsored by the Ketut Tantri Foundation and the
Annika Linden Foundation which honors the memory
of Annika Linden, who died in the Bali Bombing
in October 2002.
An ongoing program between BHA and Bali's Tourism
University (Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata Bali),
a number of past award recipients are now working
in Bali hotels while another 8 are still pursuing
Among the benefits included in the awards are
full coverage of schooling fees and a mentoring
program involving General Managers who are members
of BHA. This program provides for students and
their Mentors getting together on a regular
basis to discuss school-related concerns or
The most recent scholarship recipients are:
o Ida Nyoman Jelantik Subawa, The Legian Bali
Diploma 4 Hotel Administration.
o Ni Putu Wahyuningsih, Bali Hyatt
Diploma 4 Tourism Management
o Ni Wayan Budi Purnama Dewi, The Patra Bali
Diploma 3 Food & Beverage Service
o Putu Shinta Rahayu, Four Seasons Resort Bali,
Diploma 4 Hotel Administration
o I Gusti A. Agung Puspita Pringga Dewi, Grand
Diploma 3 Hotel Management.
o Ida Bagus Dwi Budiartha, Melia Bali Villas
Diploma 3 Hotel Management
o Ni Luh Putu Ika Kutari, Amanusa
Diploma 3 Tourism Accounting.
o Luh Ari Padmayani, Four Seasons Resort Bali,
Diploma 3 Hotel Accounting.
o Ni Putu Helda Silpia Apriyani, The Ritz Carlton
Bali Resort & Spa
Diploma 4 Hotel Administration.
o Dewa Made Tirta Yadnya, Alila Manggis
Diploma 3 Hotel Accounting
Bali Hotels Association is a professional association
of star-rated hotels and resort in Bali. Members
include general managers from 72 hotels and
resort,representing 13,808 hotels rooms and
21,578 employees in the Bali hotel sector.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is a photo of the
latest batch of BHA sholarship recipients.
Bali Conference on
the World Media
Leaders Gather in Bali to Foster Greater Understanding
Tempo Interaktif reports Bali is the scene for
a meeting of 76 leading journalists from 51 countries
to discuss issues related to press freedom in
a multi-cultural world setting.
The meeting opened by Indonesia's President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Saturday, September
02, 2006, at the Hotel Laguna Nusa Dua, Bali
features participation by representatives a
number of leading national and international
media, including CNN, Aljazeera TV and the leading
Indonesian newsweekly Tempo.
Chaired by Desra Percaya - who is also the
spokesperson for the Indonesian Department of
Foreign Affairs, the conference was prompted
by the growing recognition of the need for mutual
understanding and appreciation among nations
and their mass medias. Desra explained, "(this
need) was particularly evident following the
recent publication of the cartoons of the Prophet
Muhammad in the Danish media."
Percaya said that it was hoped that the Bali
meetings will study and explore the role of
the media in advancing understanding between
differing cultures as well as establish global
ethical standards to support freedom of expression.
Bali Bombing Memorial
for Central London
Prince Charles to
Inaugurate Monument for Victims of 2002 Terror
Britain's Prince of Wales will preside over a
ceremony in central London on October 12, 2006,
to mark the 4th anniversary of the tragic Bali
terrorist attack that claimed 202 lives, 28 of
which were British subjects.
The ceremony will mark the unveiling of memorial
sculpture located on Clive Steps, near St. James'
Park, built in the form of a marble globe surrounded
by 202 carved doves – one for each of
the victims of the blast.
The monument represents the culmination of
efforts by the UK Bali Bombing Victims Group
who have lobbied the UK Government for a fitting
tribute to those who died in Bali. Quoted by
the BBC, a spokesperson for the group said,
"This is a significant moment for all those
affected by the bombings and in particular those
who lost loved ones in this terrible outrage."
Families and relatives of the victims together
with those who survived the bombing are expected
to attend the memorial's unveiling.
Wismilak Tennis Accomodation
Grand Hyatt Resort
Offers Accommodation and Ticket Options for 13th
Wismilak Tennis Tournament September 10-17.
The world's top women tennis players will be
in Bali September 10-17, 2006 competing for more
than lucrative cash prizes at the 13th Wismilak
International Tennis Tournament. Among the top
tennis stars scheduled to appear on the Courts
at Nusa Dua are Lindsay Davenport, Francesca Schiavone,
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Patty Schnyder, Ana Ivanovic
and Daniela Hantuchova.
Special Accommodation Offer from Grand Hyatt
To allow guest to be close to the action at Center
Court, Grand Hyatt Bali is offering a special
rate of US$145 ++ (US$175.00) per night which
• Newly renovated Grand Room overlooking
lush tropical gardens and lagoons
• Welcome flower garland and scented towel
• Daily American breakfast for maximum
• Fruit platter arrangement upon arrival
• Round trip airport transfer
• Entrance ticket to Wismilak WTA Tennis
Tournament at Grand Hyatt Bali (maximum 2 tickets)
• Free access to newly renovated Bay Club
Health & Fitness Center
• Alcoholic/Non Alcoholic cocktail for
2 (two) adults at Salsa Bar
• Shuttle bus service between Grand Hyatt
Bali and Bali Hyatt
• Cross signing privileges at the Bali
Hyatt in Sanur
Offer is valid only during the period September
10-17, 2006; available only for 2 adults and 2
children under 12 years of age staying in one
room; and prior reservation is required.
Minister of Forestry
Tags Captive-Born Bali Starling at Bali Bird Park
for Eventual Repatriation to the Wild.
of Forestry, MS Ka'ban visited the Bali Bird Park
in Singapadu on Monday, August 28, 2006, to view
first-hand the operation and captive breeding
program underway at the popular tourist attraction.
During his brief visit to the Park, the Minister
paused to personally attach a gold identification
leg band on a 20 day-old Bali Staring (Jalak
Putih or Leocopsar Rothschild) born at the facility
as part of its captive breeding program for
endangered species. The number on the leg band
attached to the rare bird, a species now almost
extinct in its natural habitat of West Bali,
has been recorded in a data bank maintained
by the National Conservation Office (KSDA).
The future movement of the bird, together with
the growing numbers of other Bali Starlings
raised at the Bali Bird Park and slated for
eventual release back into the wild, can now
be monitored and scientifically studied.
In addition to taking the opportunity to tag
the baby Bali Starling, Minister Ka'ban inspected
the entire Park complex stopping to enjoy the
free-flight show performed by star birds, including
hornbilsl and an eagles.
Currently housed in the Bali Bird Park's nursery
are 15 baby birds, including cockatoos and rare
Cendrawasih that may someday be returned to
a natural habitat.
The Bali Bird Park is home to more than 250
species of birds numbering more than 1,000 birds
to Reforest Some of Bali's Vanishing Forests.
The Bali branch of the
National Movement for the Rehabilitation of Jungles
and Pastures (Gerhan) hopes that a recently allocated
government fund of Rp. 12 billion (approximately
US$1.3 million) can be used to restore some of
Bali's jungle and natural pasturelands.
Members of Commission IV of the People's Consultative
Assembly (DPR), Made Urip and Gde Sumarjaya
Linggih, told the Indonesian language Bali Post
that they "hoped the above funds could
be supported by additional funds from the State
Linggih said that part of the US$1.3 million
has been allocated for rehabilitating depleted
areas of Bali that now total 6,000 hectares.
Both legislators termed Bali’s land use
as being in a critical state, with wild land
reserves now at 30% less than stipulated minimums
due to diversion to agricultural purposes. As
a result, Bali is suffering significant drought
conditions as seen by former lake bottom at
Danau Buyan now being used as a soccer field.
Meanwhile, legislators are promising to continue
their efforts to urgently lobby for more funds
to be allocated to jungle and natural pastureland
Taking Kids to Court
Sourcing Bali Installs
Basketball Court for the Kids at a Tabanan Orphanage.
Sourcing Bali, a company
that provides supply and purchasing services for
Indonesian products, has been an active supporter
of Panti Asuham Salam, a Christian orphanage located
in Tabanan that cares for 46 children, ranging
in age from 4-17.
Since 1998, Sourcing Bali, with the help of
generous donors from around the world, has helped
the orphanage construct new bathrooms, a kitchen,
a dining area and undertake general renovation
projects at the facility.
Due in part to Sourcing Bali's interest in
the orphanage and the publicity this has generated,
the list of those supporting the children has
In July of 2005, Desmond James and his Sourcing
Bali team set the ambitious goal of undertaking
a Rp. 120 million project (approximately US$
13,000) at the orphanage that include a renewal
of the sewage system, drainage system, laundry
facility and the installation of a basketball
court. Over half the required funds were covered
by donations with the balance covered by Sourcing
The Court was officially "inaugurated"
on Friday, September 1, 2006, in a series of
friendly matches between the 60 staff of the
company and the children of Panti Asuham Salam.
On the day of the game the "angels"
of Sourcing Bali arrived with t-shirts and basketballs.
We're uncertain of the final score in the games
that followed. We are, however, firm in the
knowledge that the kids came out as the final
Good one, Desmond!
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.