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BALI UPDATE #533 - 27 November 2006

Protecting Bali's Beaches and its Tourism Reputation.
Pollution on Bali's Beaches Hotly Debated in Series of Articles Published in Nusa Bali.

Occupying page-one of the Indonesian language Nusa Bali for the past week have been a series of reports highlighting pollution along some of Bali's main tourist beaches.

According to the report, testing carried out along Bali's Sanur Beach, Pulau Serangan and Kuta Beach over the past several years have identified levels of pollution at levels exceeding government guidelines. The pollution is also blamed for the algae bloom that is in evidence on a number of popular beaches blamed with destroying local coral reefs.

According to Nusa Bali, testing conducted in 2005 and 2006 along Sanur Beach by PT Bahtera Lestari at a distance of 100 meters from the shoreline show worrying levels of nitrates and other chemicals. Dody Prasetia, an employee of the testing firm, pointed out that the level of pollutants identified by the testing did not suggest a very high state of pollution but admitted levels of pollution might be higher if tests were conducted closer to the shoreline.

Source of the Pollution Problem

According to Nusa Bali, the pollution found in the area is due to run-off of chemical fertilizers from local agriculture as well as waste-water and sewerage from local hotels, restaurants and housing compounds. The seaside landfill project (TPA) located near Serangan Island is cited as the source of high pollution levels surrounding Serangan Island where particulate nitrogen and bacteria pathogens of 0.005 ppm have been recorded.

Responding to reports in the local press, Bali's Vice Governor, I GN Alit Kusuma Kelakan, convened a meeting of provincial environmental officials last week who presented the results of studies carried out by Bali's Udayana University showing unacceptable levels of nitrates, ammonia, and e-coli bacteria in Bali's seas.

Seminyak Also Affected

A follow-up page-one report in Nusa Bali reported that not only Sanur beach was affected by pollution, but that pollution levels along Bali's popular Seminyak beach are at least as high. Quoting the Director of the Bali environmental group BaliFokus, Yuyun Ismawati, who said that a number of beaches in Bali were equally polluted "if not worse" than the levels found in Sanur. Recent studies carried out by BaliFokus found nitrates at 0.13 milligrams per liter (mpl), much higher than results in Sanur (0.002 mpl) and Serangan (0.005 mpl). Testing along Seminyak also showed the trace presence of heavy metals including copper, zinc, tin and nickel.

Dodi told Nusa Bali that local hotels and restaurants are major contributors to the pollution of Bali's oceans with many operations directly venting their sewage into the adjacent seas. Claiming his group once found a hotel pumping its septic waste directly into the sea, Dodi said there are many restaurants and hotels committing similar offenses with numerous outlet pipes visible along the shore at low tide.

Meanwhile local parliamentarians have called on the government to take concrete steps to save Bali's beaches and the island's image as a leading tourism destination. I Made Urip and Gde Sumarjaya Linggih called for serious attention to be paid to the problem and the pollution levels which exceed strict guidelines set forth in a decree of the Governor issued in 2000.

Be Open About the Pollution Problem

Ida Ayu Agung Mas told Nusa Bali that in this era of globalization Bali must embrace international environmental standards and should not try to "cover up" its pollution problems. The female legislator active in environmental affairs said: "the results should not be concealed in order to protect the number of tourist arrivals to Bali." According to Agung Mas, if Bali does not reveal the results of these studies, someone else will.

I Made Urip said, "the government must follow-up the analysis (of sea pollution), in order that tourism to Bali is not affected." He added that if the government moves quickly Bali's image as a tourism destination can be preserved, adding: "Bali before had problems with safety and sickness. Both of these were addressed. Now is the time for the local government to handle this environmental threat."

Late in the week of daily page-one coverage of Bali's sea pollution problem in the local press, Denpasar's Tourism Service (Dinas Pariwisata) joined the chorus calling for decisive action to halt the pollution of Bali's beaches.


The Shifting Sands of Sanur Politics
Protests by Sanur Beach Residents Halt Tsunami Tower Construction.Planned Safety Drills on December 26, 2006 to be Delayed.

As reported on balidiscovery.com [ Construction of Bali Tsunami Warning Towers Underway], the government has commenced construction of 6 tsunami warning towers along the island’s southern beaches as part of an emergency preparedness program inspired by the boxing day tsunami disaster of 2004.

No Longer on Schedule?

Plans to have the single Sanur tower in place and operating in time for comprehensive evacuation drills scheduled for December 26, 2006, are now in doubt following protests by local residents in Sanur regarding the location of the tsunami facility in their community. The tower, containing seismic sensing equipment and a large sirens, was in an advanced stage of construction on the beach in front of the Hotel Bali Beach when local leaders complained to the government that the selected site for the tsunami facility was sacred and needed for local religious rituals.

Local Sanur officials admitted signing a statement approving the construction at the Grand Bali Beach location prior to commencement of building if the warning tower, but now claim they were not aware of the size of the facility. The warning tower will measure 5x5 meters and stand 15 meters high including a tower-mounted siren weighing between 300-400 kilograms.

After extended discussions with local officials, a decision was finally made to move the location of the warning tower to the beach at the end of Jalan Matahari Terbit, in front of the present lifeguard station.

Because of the decision to relocate the facility it is now unlikely that a planned emergency drill in Sanur involving the local community and emergency services scheduled for December 26, 2006 will go ahead as planned.


Garuda Offering 'Bali is My Life' Fares ex Australia
Special Savings from 5 Australian Cities on Flights and Holiday Packages from Garuda and Garuda Orient Holidays.

In support of the "Bali is my Life" promotional campaign recently launched by Bali, Garuda Indonesia (GA) and Garuda Orient Holidays (GOH) have released a range of new promotional offers intended to help bring Australians back to Bali.

Grouped in five categories - Family Friendly, Luxury Bali, Summer Fun, Twice As Good As Ever and All Inclusive - the five campaign flyers now being distributed in Australia have been fashioned to cover all markets and all budgets - from luxury villas to family friendly properties, from popular first class resorts to budget hotels.

Bali is my Life - Summer Fun

The "Bali is my Life - Summer Fun" promotion offers a range of Air and Land packages leading in at $AU699 ex Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, $AU529 ex Perth and $AU349 ex Darwin for a four night stay. These special package rates are subject to applicable Australian taxes ($AU258.76 per person ex Sydney; $AU242.16 per person ex Melbourne; $AU243.80pp ex Brisbane, $AU244.33 per person ex Perth, $AU251.99 per person ex Darwin).

Bali is my Life - Luxury Bali

For the more discerning traveler, "Bali is my Life - Luxury Bali" flyer portrays an eclectic mix of luxury resorts and exclusive villa style accommodation, packaged with Executive (Business) Class airfares where available.

Bali is my Life - Family Friendly

The family market is catered to with the "Bali is my Life - Family Friendly" flyer featuring a range of "family friendly" hotel offers and total pricing for the whole family (based on two adults and two children under 12yrs of age). Pricing starts from $AU2639 ex East Coast $AU1969 ex Perth, or $AU1345 ex Darwin) for a family of four and all budgets are catered to from moderately priced family friendly hotels to luxury resorts and exclusive villa style accommodation. Bali is my Life - Twice As Good As Ever

For real value, the "Bali is my Life - Twice As Good As Ever" flyer features ten different properties where fantastic "2-for-1" offers (i.e. every second night free) are available. All packages include daily breakfast and most hotels also offer a range of free inclusions.

Bali is my Life - All Inclusive

The "Bali is my Life - All Inclusive" flyer features the Hotel Sanur Beach and the Club Bali Mirage in Tanjung Benoa. Both resorts offer an "all inclusive" stay where all meals and beverages, and a variety of guest activities are included in the nightly rate.

Special Incentives to Australian Travel Agents

In further support of the "Bali is my Life" campaign, Garuda Orient Holidays have also launched a consultant incentive in which every consultant depositing a new Air and Land Bali booking prior to December 31, 2006 (for clients traveling up to March 31, 2007) will earn a $AU5 per adult incentive reward. By mid-January a Coles Myer Gift Card for the total incentive reward earned by the consultant will be issued.



Sweet Coffee – An Exhibition by Ida Bagus Indra
Leading Indonesian Young Artists in Solo Exhibition at Four Season's Ganesha Gallery December 6, 2006 - January 5,2007.

In possession of a unique artistic vision, up-and-coming Balinese artist, Ida Bagus Indra passes through various "thematic periods" reflected in the art produced along the way. Some, like his paintings of children mimicking adults, are striking for their beauty but also for their good natured social criticism of contemporary Balinese society in transition.

In his latest exhibition - "Sweet Coffee" Indra's view of the world is far more ambiguous as he explores the nighttime world of the simple warung and cafes that dominate Balinese village life. Excelling in the rendering of moonlight and oil lamps, Indra shows us a side of life rarely seen as young Balinese girls and boys flirt on hard wooden benches or engage in gossip. Women, with mask-like faces painted white with luscious red lips dominate Indra's paintings with men sitting in the shadows like anonymous voyeurs.

Like many artists before him, Indra is attracted to the sensual undercurrents of his theme, while at the same time repelled by some of its implications and associations. This is best demonstrated in "Low Cost Perfume & Gasoline", a thought provoking and appropriate title for Indra's painting of a pretty village girl in a red kebaya squatting on an earthen floor as she lights a petrol stove.

One can speculate that Indra, influenced by the Hindu belief that all things, including beauty and youth, must fade and perish and he therefore wishes to distance himself from these temptations. While the question or morality may weigh heavily on his mind, in the meantime we are able to view the creations produced along the progress of the career of one of Bali's most talented young artists.

"Sweet Coffee" - an exhibition of art by Ida Bagus Indra at the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay from December 6, 2006 through January 5, 2007. The Exhibition is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m..


Where You Gonna Run To? Bali or London?
When Governments Decide Which Countries to Label 'Safe' or 'Dangerous' for Foreign Travel, Practical Politics Outweigh Genuine Security Considerations.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald by Tom Allard, National Security Editor, of the paper has underlined both the futility and half hazard way in which governments construct international travel advisories.

Quoting Australian tourism figures and security experts, Allard declares "travel to London 'riskier' than Bali" with "London is now seen as the prime western target for jihadists, especially after Britain's spy chief revealed there were 30 active terrorist plots and 1600 suspects."

Lacking Both Rhyme and Reason

Supporting widely held suspicion that government travel advisories have more to do with politics than with any objective reference to actual threats, the 900,000 Australians that travel to Britain every year are only advised by their government "to exercise caution and monitor developments." Surprisingly, on a warning scale of one to five, Britain sits at the second lower category of risk. According to Allard, "Indonesia, by contrast, is in the second highest category, below only a few countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.”

The Sydney Morning Herald explains: "While the threat from Islamic extremism remains in Indonesia, the country has not suffered a large-scale terrorist attack in the past 12 months, the first time for more than five years."

On the other hand, London, which does not warrant an extreme caution from the Australian government, has suffered suicide bombings by Islamic extremists on the City's transportation system with British authorities saying they have "narrowly" thwarted at least 10 plots to attack aircraft leaving Heathrow Airport.

Despite Britain's more recent experience with terrorisms than Indonesia and a worrisome prognosis of future attacks by both Australian and U.K. security experts, Indonesia remains on the short end of the stick when it comes to travel advisories.


Bali's Triathlon 2007
Inaugural Swimming-Cycling-Running Event Debuts June 24, 2007.

Bali International Triathlon, LLC has just announced that the first triathlon race ever to be held on the island of Bali will take place on June 24, 2007 at Jimbaran Bay. The Olympic distance course, consisting of a 1.5-kilometer swim in the warm waters of Jimbaran Bay; a 40-kilometer bike course through the Nusa Dua area of the island; and a 10-kilometer run through Jimbaran Village with a picturesque beach finish, will provide participating athletes with both a challenging and scenic race.

Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay, one of the leading race sponsors, is offering a first-prize package consisting of a three day, two night stay in one of their world famous luxury villas. Awards will also be given to the first three finishers in each age group category. All athletes will be provided with high quality race T-shirts made by Sport Science, entrance to a pre-race party, and unique finisher's award handcrafted by local Balinese artists.

"Our primary goals in arranging the initial Bali triathlon are to promote tourism on the island and to create a long lasting quality race that will attract both professional and top age group athletes" says Robb Strom, one of the principals involved in the organization of the race. Race organizers also include Brennan Lindner of Generic Events in Los Angeles, and Bali Discovery Tours in Bali

Athletes participating in the race are expected to from all over the world to take advantage of this unique destination race. While in Bali, they can take advantage of the wide range of activities available, including scuba diving, elephant riding, white water river rafting, parasailing, and jet skiing. Bali is famous for its spa properties, and athletes will be treated to post race massage by local Balinese therapists.

Special hotel and tour packages for athletes and their families can be arranged by contacting Bali Discovery Tours. [Bali Triathlon 2006 Packages]

Further information concerning the race can be found at [Bali Triathlon 2006 Official Website]. Event questions and media inquiries can be directed to Brennan Lindner at Generic Events by calling him in Los Angeles, CA. USA at +011 310-260-7898.


'Made in Bali' Christmas Expo
Just in Time for Holiday Shopping – An Exhibition by Bali's Leading Manufacturers and Artisans December 8-17, 2006.

The Bali Export Development Organization (BEDO) is holding the First Annual "Made in Bali" Christmas Expo from December 8-17, 2006, at the Mal Bali Galeria, Dome Area – 2nd Floor, near Simpang Siur and the Dewa Ruci Monument.

Open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., over 40 Bali-based designers and manufacturers will be displaying:

• Home Dιcor items

• Jewelry

• Fashions

• Gift Items

• Spa Products

Held as a follow-up to the recent Bali Design Festival, operated in conjunction with the Kuta Karnival, the long-term goal of the organizers is to establish an international trade fair in Bali.

BEDO aims at capacity building of Indonesian manufacturers and designers, quality and design development and innovation, as well as proactive promotion for exports through exhibitions and matchmaking tools. Additionally, BEDO seeks to establish two-way market access between the European Union and Indonesia via the Global B2B Europe Network Center in Bali.

BEDO is a membership organization for export-oriented manufacturers and designers. For more information please contact Tel/Fax++62-(0)361-759282 or ++62-(0)361-7909697.

More information: Visit the BEDO Website


Winning Awards for Empowering Bali's Poor
East Bali Poverty Project: Making a Difference in the Life of the Balinese – EBPP Wins More Well-deseved International Recognition.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary Indonesia's Bank Danamon recently presented the prestigious Danamon Award 2006 to individuals and organizations who have made the greatest contribution towards empowering others in their respective communities.

After considering more than 2,000 entries, five final winners were recognized, including:

• Septi Peni Wulandari - a young woman who has pioneered a mathematics teaching method for young children employing the creative use of fingers for reckoning. This unique method of teaching has resulted in a number of courses run by community women to enhance the mathematics skill of children across Indonesia.

• Achmad Fanani – CV Percetakan Fajar - a printing entrepreneur who has fostered and encourage employees to create "start up" companies capable of providing a better future and creating much needed additional employment.

• Yahya Mustofa – PT Putra Dunia Baru - A young man who has recruited, trained and provided capital to local farmers to create handicraft items for sale to the general marketplace.

• PT Pertamina Unit IV – Balongan - An Indonesian corporation that has taught local farmers to become entrepreneurs through the improvement of production methods, enhancing the marketing of their produce, and effective strategies to anticipate market demand. This company has also loaned capital to worthwhile new ventures in the local community.

• The Fishing Community of Samataru - a local community group that has organized economic activities to help fishermen avoid debt and unemployment during the "off-season."





East Bali Poverty Project

Although only 5 awards were granted, the selection jury was so impressed with the work of the East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) headed by Englishman David J. Booth, that a special recognition award was granted to the Bali based organization that has provided water supplies, opened schools and health centers, established roads and sponsored community education projects that have made a critical difference in the lives of Bali's most remote and poverty stricken villages. In awarding the recognition to Booth and the project he has led since 1998, EBPP was cited for reducing the isolation of the people of the village of Ban in East Bali and empowering the local community to escape their lack of education and poverty through the building of schools and other infrastructure projects.

During the course of the selection process, Tempo Magazine, a co-sponsor of the award, dispatched a representative to Ban for a site inspection. In a trip lasting more than 9 hours and covering over 40 kilometers of unimproved roads using 4-wheel drive vehicles that inspection included four schools; review of creative art projects done by students; joining in a physical education class for local children; receiving hands-on training in plant agriculture at a class taught by local children; treks across dusty hills to view vertiver grass and Garuda Bamboo grass growing projects; and tasting the pure mountain water of the community built reservoirs.

The awards were presented by Bank Danamon's President Director, Sebastian Paredes on November 6, 2006 at an "Empowerment to Accelerate Development" seminar.

An Award from the King of Thailand

At the 4th International Conference on Vetiver, (ICV-4) held in October 2006 in Venezuela, the EBPP received another recognition in the form of a Certificate of Excellence in the The King of Thailand Vetiver Awards for a paper entitled "Vetiver's Role in Poverty Alleviation Propels its Dissemination in Indonesia" by David Booth MBE, Nengah Ardika Adinata and Dr. Scott Younger OBE.

To lean more about The East Bali Poverty Project and Vetiver Grass, follow the link provided.



The 'Bali Fun Ship' to Nusa Lembongan
Island Explorer Cruises Launches New Day Boat Outing with a New Vessel - The Fun Ship.

Sometimes, more than half the fun is getting there!

That's almost certain to be the case with the launching on December 3, 2006, of Island Explorer's new 150-passenger 26-meter catamaran christened the Bali Fun Ship.

In fact, the 1.5 hour sea journey from Bali to its nearest island neighbor will hardly provide time enough to enjoy the fine refreshment, troll fishing experience, on board Jacuzzi, sun bathing areas, and water slide (when at anchor) that form just some of the special features offered on the latest addition to Bali's growing fleet of day boats.

Special Introductory Price are on offer during the first four months of operation of the "The Bali Fun Ship" starting from December 3, 2006.





Bali – The Winner Again
Time Magazine Readers Name Bali as their Favorite Holiday Destination.

The October 26, 2006 edition of TIME Asia announced the results of its annual Reader’s Travel Choice Award for 2006. Bali, repeating the success of being named the favorite island by SmartAsiaTravel.com [See: Bali Voted Best Holiday Destination] and Travel + Lesiure [See: Say it Again and Again, Bali's the Best!] – Bali was named "Favorite Holiday Destination" by the readers of the world's largest news weekly.

Time Magazine’s Readers' Asia Travel Choice Awards 2006

For those who didn’t see the results, here they are again:

• Favorite Holiday Destination - (1) Bali (2) Phuket (3) Bangkok

• Favorite Business City - (1) Hong Kong (2) Singapore (3) Tokyo

• Best Meeting/Convention/Exhibition Facilities - (1) Singapore (2) Hong Kong (3) Seoul

• Favorite Asia Airport - (1) Incheon, Seoul (2) Changi, Singapore (3) Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong

• Preferred Airline - (1) Singapore Airlines (2) Korean Air (3) Cathay Pacific

• Best First/Business Class - (1)Korean Air (2) Singapore Airlines (3) Cathay Pacific

• Best Frequent Flyer Program - (1) Skypass (Korean Airlines) (2) Kris Flyer (Singapore Airlines) (3) Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)

• Preferred Hotel/Hotel Chain (1) Hyatt Regency (2) Hilton (3) Shangri-La

• Favorite Business Hotel - (1) Imperial Palace Seoul (2) Shangri-La Singapore (3) Grand Hyatt Seoul

• Preferred Credit Card - (1)Visa (2) Master Card (3) American Express


'Glocalization' – A 3 Hour Seminar by Anand Krishna
How Bali Can Survive Globalization with its Native Culture Intact - A Seminar by Anand Krishna in Bali on December 17, 2006.

One of Indonesia's most provocative thinkers and author of "Indonesia Under Attack", Anand Krishna will deliver a 3 hour workshop on Sunday, December 17, 2006, at the BTDC Hall at Nusa Dua's Bali Tourism Development Corporation.

Thomas L. Friedman, author of "The World is Flat" introduced the term "glocalization" to describe the need for a country to preserve its local traditions even as it globalizes. Indonesian spirtual figure and new-age thinker Anand Kirshna uses Friedman's work as a point of departure to explore the special challeneges posed by globalization for the people of Bali.

Conducted in Indonesian, Krishna promises to present information essential for Balinese business wishing to survive and prosper in the modern era.

Date: Sunday, December 17, 2006

Time: 16:00 – 19:00

Place: Aula BTDC, Nusa Dua

Love Offering: Rp. 450,000 (approximately US$49) per person.

Anand Krishna's appearance in Bali is supported by the L' Ayurverda Bali, National Integration Movement (NIM), Anand Krishna Centre, Forum Kebangkitan Jiwa (FKJ) and The Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC).

Fees collected in connection with Anand Krishna's appearance in Bali will be donated to the National Integration Movement and their activities in support of Indonesian national unity.

Registration and More Information

For reservations or more information on this seminar (conducted in Indonesian), contact

L' Ayurveda Bali - Jalan Pura Mertasari 27, Sunset Road Area, Simpang Dewa Ruci, Kuta. Telp ++62-(0)361-7802595 or ++62-(0)8179709243.


Signs of a Turnaround in Progress?
Bali by the Numbers: October Arrival Figure Demonstrate Strong Improvement in Foreign Arrivals.

October 2006 foreign arrival totals for Bali hit 112,629, providing concrete evidence that Bali's tourism figures may be on the rebound.

Better Times Ahead?

Why the enthusiasm? Note the following when considering Bali's latest arrival figures:

∙ While month-on-month comparisons for October 2006 (112,629) versus October 2005 (81,109) show a +38.86 improvement in total arrival numbers, that development is hardly surprising given the exodus of visitors to Bali in October of 2005 following the second terrorist attack



Click to enlarge


∙ However, when seeking a more representative basis of comparison for October 2006's foreign arrivals, we should use the month of October 2004 when Bali's recovery was in full bloom following the October 2002 terrorist attack. That comparison (October 2006 versus October 2004), shows a gap in current arrivals of only -14.00%; a number suggesting a very substantial improvement in the arrivals gap which hovered in excess of -20.00% for the months of July-September 2006.

Bali's October Foreign Arrivals 2001 thru 2006



∙ That the shortfall of overall arrivals (corrected for the October 2005 exodus) suggest the gap is now on the order of -14% provides a basis for optimism that Bali may finally be turning the corner in its march towards recovery

∙ Also worthy of note, total foreign arrivals for the year 2006 January – October passed the 1 million mark reaching 1,023,625 meaning Bali is well on the track to meeting or even exceeding balidiscovery.com's projected total foreign arrivals to Bali for 2006 of 1.18 million.

∙ When comparing October 2006 to October 2004 (as shown on the accompanying graphic on www.balidiscovery.com), it can be seen that Bali's major markets of Japan, Australia and Taiwan continue to lag, while improvements are being tracked from S. Korea, Europe and The Americas.






 
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Bali Update #395
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Bali Update #394
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Bali Update #387
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Bali Update #386
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Bali Update #385
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Bali Update #384
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Bali Update #382
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Bali Update #381
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