Search Begins for Chief Executive Officer to Head Bali Tourism Board.
With the election of a New Chairman and Vic-Chairman for the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) on February 12, 2007, ([See: Management Shake Up at Bali Tourism Board]), a search has commenced for a suitable Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to head the organization on a day-to-day basis.
The new BTB CEO, who will form the centerpiece of a new management structure for the organization, will answer to BTB's Chairman who will coordinate working requirement of the nine stakeholder organizations comprising the grouping.
Tough Challenges Ahead
Seen as essential to the success and survival of BTB, the new CEO will have to somehow be able to meet a number of perplexing criteria, including:
▪ He or she will have to meet a fit and proper test - meaning they must be a respected and experienced senior tourism professional able to accommodate the diverse aspirations of the nine-stakeholder organizations who "own" BTB.
▪ Ideally, he or she should be prepared to work for little or no money until funding sources can be generated to pay a salary.
▪ He or she should posses excellent fund-raising capabilities to secure the funds needed to eventually run, staff and finance BTB's activities.
▪ The ideal candidate will have an extensive understanding of Balinese history and culture, able to implement the organization's commitment to "cultural tourism" and "people-based tourism."
Interested parties, prepared to work for minimal wages (at least initially) and possessing a strong commitment to play a central role in the recovery of Bali's tourism industry may apply to the Bali Tourism Board.
Indonesia to Open 12 Tourism Promotion Offices in 2007?
Vice-President Pledges More Promotional Funds and Overseas Promotion Offices in Campaign to Add 1 Million More Foreign Tourists Every Year.
The Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia reports that Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has ordered the reopening of 12 overseas tourism promotion offices in support of his call for 7 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2008.
"In a limited coordinating meeting involving various agencies connected with tourism, the target for foreign tourists is now 7 million," the Vice-President told Bisnis Indonesia.
Admitting that the 7 million target is still far below the performance of competing destinations in the region, Kalla said that intermediate targets must be kept realistic, given the current state of the national tourism industry. "Each year we will target to add at least one million more tourist arrivals, so that by the end of 2006 we will achieve six million and by the end of 2008 seven million visitors," he added.
For such targets to be realized Kalla said that there were many other related activities that must be undertaken by the Government. In this context, the Vice President ordered Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, and the Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, to urgently recalculate the national tourism promotional budget.
Kalla also promised that the Government would implement the necessary steps to improve security and national disaster preparedness.
Two Week's Deadline
The Vice-President has called for a revamped promotional budget to be in hand within two weeks and for the relevant government agencies to urgently sit down and discuss national aviation policy as it impacts on tourism policy. At the same time, he requested the Minister of Trade to explore joint promotion opportunities with the tourism industry.
12 Tourism Promotion Offices to be Reopened
The Vice-President promised that within the year 12 overseas promotion offices for tourism would be reopened in major overseas markets in order to champion the branding "Visit Beautiful Bali Indonesia," recently declared by his office.
Hotel & Restaurant Association Comments
Reacting to the Vice-President's plan, the Chairman of the Indonesian Restaurant and Hotel Association (PHRI), Yanti Sukamdani, welcomed the higher targets while cautioning that the Government must create work synergies with the private sector in order to succeed.
Sukamdani underlined that air access by airlines other than Garuda Indonesia were essential to achieving the declared targets. She also called for a well-developed master plan, work program and promotional scenario involving the private sector to be put in place if the ambitious target are to be realized.
The PHRI Chief also expressed doubts as to whether the Vice-President's branding of "Visit Beautiful Bali Indonesia" will be enthusiastically embraced by other provincial governments across Indonesia.
In a related statement, Feisol Hasyim, the Chairman of the Association of Marine Tourism Operators (Gahawisri), called on the Government to set aside at least 1.5% of the foreign exchange produced by tourism for promotional activities.
Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne Rendez-vous in Bali
Lausanne Hotel School Alumni to Gather in Bali April 12-15, 2007.
Graduates and alumni of the prestigious Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne will gather in Bali for 3-days of socializing and professional networking April 12-15, 2007.
A busy program of informative discussions and seminars will be intermixed with relaxing programs of socializing among graduates the renowned Swiss Hotel School and their accompanying family and friends at several venues across Bali.
Organized by Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne alumnus Jean-Charles Le Coz, who works as the General Manager of the Bali Hai Resort, complete program and registration details are available via the website link provided below.
Reto Torriani Returns to Bali to Head Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, While Maria Sitanggang Leaves Bali Hyatt for Top Marketing Job at Hyatt Regency in Phuket.
Maria Sitanggang Posted to Hyatt Regency Phuket
Maria Sitanggang, Director of Sales at the Bali Hyatt in Sanur since September 2004, has accepted a promotion as Director of Marketing at the Hyatt Regency Phuket, Thailand, effective March 2007.
Joining the pre-opening team at Hyatt Regency Phuket, Maria will be responsible for the new property's business development as well as overseeing all aspect of Sales & Marketing.
Representative of a growing trend that sees talented young Indonesian Hoteliers being posted to international positions abroad, Maria is the third Indonesians from the Hyatt Corporation to accept a Thai posting. She joins the ranks of Sammy Carolus who is working at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and Edwardo Iswandi at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin.?
Reto Torriani at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa
After an absence of several years, Reto V. Toririani has returned to Bali to serve as General Manager of the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa.
An American, French and Swiss national - Torriani was educated in Switzerland at the Lucerne School of Hotel Management. His hospitality career started in the late 70s and he has held General Manager's positions in United States, North Africa, French Polynesia, Indonesia, The Caribbean and Hong Kong.
Fluent in English, German, Italian and French, Torriani was most recently the Resort Manager at Cheeca Lodge & Spa in the Florida Keys (USA).
His previous Bali posting was as the opening General Manager at the The Chedi Ubud (now the Alila Ubud) in 1996.
120-Day Visas for Indonesia?
Vice-President Indicates 4-Month Visas-on-Arrival May Soon be Available To Indonesia's Foreign Visitors.
Both the National news Agency Antara and Agence France-Presse have quoted Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla as promising that the current 30 day visa-on-arrival facility will be extended to 120-days in an effort to boost tourists numbers.
According to Agence France-Presse, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the visa facility for an extended 120-day stay. "It is now being processed, that tourists get four months," said the Vice President.
In recent weeks Vice-President Kalla has increasingly turned his attentions to the tourism sector, urging liberalization of visa policies, more funding for visa promotion and more ambitious arrival targets.
The shorter visa policy introduced on February 1, 2004, is largely seen to have added to the declining number of Indonesian arrivals while acting as a deterrent to travel to Indonesia's secondary destinations, formerly included on the extended itineraries of backpackers and retired travelers under the old 60-day visa free policy.
Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotels Upgrades its Executive Suites.
Bali's Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel have launched 13 refurbished Executive Suites within their inventory of 329 rooms and suites. Each of 65 square meter units have been renovated in a style the Hotel dubs "refreshingly different" with the emphasis on "warm" colors and contemporary Balinese stylings.
Each of the refurbished units features a large living room, separate bedroom, marble floors and minimalist Balinese furnishings.
Cognizant of the large number of business and conference clients served by the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel, the suites offer high-speed Internet broadband, a good-size work table and a separate meeting area.
Whether on business in Bali or enjoying a relaxing holiday, the new suites' oversized bathtubs, rainforest showers, cotton bed duvets and views overlooking the resort pool or a private courtyard means guest will make these suites a welcomed oasis of relaxation.
The renovation of the 13 units represents an investment of over US$ 250,000 and is part of the Hotel's ongoing renovation and upgrade program.
The hotel is part of Prime Plaza Hotels and Resorts which currently owns and manages 6 hotels in Indonesia.
Regular Schedule of Government Safety Audits Accelerated for Indonesian Airlines with Poor Safety Records.
The Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia reports that Indonesia's Department of Transportation will undertake a complete audit of Adam Air and a number of other national carriers who have suffered mishaps in recent months.
Following a series of incidents, including the recent loss of an aircraft claiming the lifes of 102 passengers ([See: Flight KI-574 Where are You?]) and an earlier aircraft going astray and landing some 800 miles away from its planned destination ([See: Adam Air Offers Surprise Bonus Destinations]), the award-winning low price airline has come under increasingly severe safety scrutiny by both the Government and the flying public.
According to Yurlis Hasibun, the Director of the Airworthiness Certification Directorate at the Department of Transportation, the extraordinary audit planned for March 2007 will review all national carriers who have experienced accidents. "Audits are usually done once every two years, but because of the Adam Air crash, the audits have been moved up for March."
Each audit will involve 6 inspectors from the Airworthiness Directorate and is expected to require two weeks to complete. The audit, comprised of 34 subsections, will address both flight operations and general airworthiness, touching on all aspects of passenger safety.
Hasibun told the press that any aircraft that fails to pass the audit will be grounded by the Government until the safety deficits are addressed. Additionally, if the management of the airline fails to pass the safety audit a deadline of 6 months will be given to correct any managerial shortcomings or face closure.
Own A Share of Nirwana
If You Have a Spare US$169 Million, You, Too, Can Own a Majority Share of the Le Meridien Nirwana Golf and Spa.
The financially troubled PT Bali Nirwana Resort, the owner of the Le Meridien Nirwana Golf and Spa, is seeking to sell 70.5% of its assets and debt valued at Rp. 1.54 trillion (approximately US$169.23 million).
According to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, PT Perusahaan Pengelola Asset (PTPAA), a Government-owned company charged with sorting out the financial affairs of the Company, plans to sell the 70.5% share in the Resort within one year.
Seeking a Financial Consultant
According to the President Director of PTPAA, Mohammad Syahrial, financial and legal consultants are now being appointed to assist in the planned sale. PTPAA will reportedly also grant permission to the Resort to seek US$9 million in outside funding to undertake needed repairs and renovations at the Resort.
Control of 70.5% of the shares in the Resort was transferred to PTPAA from the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (BPPN) when the owners defaulted on loans held to Indonesian banks. The remaining shares in the company are held by the family of Abdul Rizal Bakrie, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for the People's Welfare.
A Fair Price?
Efforts four years ago by the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (BPPN) to sell the 70.5% share in the Resort to a Japanese and Singapore consortium floundered when the investors failed to come to terms on price and various conditions of sale.
The proposed price of a 70.5% share of the Resort suggests that gross the value of the 100-hectare golf resort and 278-room hotel complex is US$ 240 million – a figure based on the owner's expectations and outstanding loans on the books incurred during the course of developing the property. Reportedly many potential investors are wary of the value placed on the Resort, claiming the PT BNR's asking price cannot be jutified by calculations based on the property's replacement value or its current income-generating potential.
Management Shake Up at Bali Tourism Board
Stakeholders Replace Chairman, Declaring New Management Structure for Body Charged with Promoting Bali Tourism.
In a prolonged and sometimes heated extraordinary meeting of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) held in Ubud on Monday, February 12, 2007, the 9 stakeholder organizations comprising the BTB reasserted their control by replacing the leadership and setting a new path for how business will be conducted in the future.
Ngurah In, Bagus Out
The Chairman of BTB Bagus Sudibya saw his term of office cut short with the election of two local hoteliers, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya and Cokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, for the period 2007-2009. Wijaya is currently the Chairman of Bali Village, while Cokorda serves as the Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI).
In an initial vote to seek a pool of candidates to serve as Chairman for the BTB, Wijaya obtained 6 votes; Sudibiya 2; and the current Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agents (ASITA), Al Purwa, 1 vote. In the election that followed, Wijaya obtained 8 votes and Purwa 1 vote with Sudibya failing to gain a single vote of support.
New Management Set Up Ahead
Under new rules and by-laws now adopted, the BTB will be run as a consortium with the Chairman acting as a coordinator. Handling the management of the BTB on a day-to-day basis will be a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), yet to be named by the stakeholders.
Plans are also underway that will eventually expand the membership of BTB to include a more diverse cross-section of the community.
Interview: Jusuf Kalla on Tourism Targets
Indonesian Vice-President Tells Bali Post Why He's Pushing for Higher Tourism Targets.
The February 13, 2007 edition of the Indonesian-language Bali Post carried a brief interview with the Vice-President.
The Interview: Vice President Jusuf Kalla
Bali Post:What is the reason for increasing the visitors target foreign tourists?
Jusuf Kalla: It's like this. The situation in Indonesia continues to improve, stability and security are now more conducive. Because of this the target for foreign tourists for 2007 must be increased to become 6 million. After that, in 2008, the target should be 7 million foreign tourists.
Bali Post:Other reasons?
Jusuf Kalla: This has a connection with the earlier target. The problem is that for the past ten years arrivals have averaged around 5 million foreign tourists. What's more saddening, in 2006 foreign arrivals dropped to only 4.8 million. The target for foreign tourist arrivals must be increased in order that the working synergy between the Department of Culture and Tourism and the tourism industry can be escalated.
Bali Post:Is this limited to just increasing targets?
Jusuf Kalla: Of course not, more must be done. With a higher target in hand a number of other steps can be pursued. One of these is seeking a larger promotional budget so that sub targets for main international source markets, traditional source markets and new markets can be realized. The Department of Culture and Tourism must seek additional funding from the Department of Finance; while the Minister of Transportation must ensure air access and (airline) seat availability is oriented towards Indonesian tourist objects already known internationally.
Bali Post: Other steps?
Jusuf Kalla: Yes . . .the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department Justice and Human Rights need to also make visas-on-arrival process easier for foreign tourists coming to Indonesia.
Bali Post:Is there a guarantee of security?
Jusuf Kalla: This is most important. The Chief of the National Police Force has to be prepared to secure the Country and keep it conducive so tourists are not worried about coming to Indonesia. The tourism industry must also work together again to handle the growing number of foreign tourists.
Garuda Allocates US$ 54 million To Overhaul its Wide-Body Fleet Serving International Routes.
PT Garuda Indonesia is taking a number of steps to restructure its reputation and its operations via a remapping of its international flight routes, mechanical overhauls of its mechanical plants and a total refurbishment of the interiors of its wide-body fleet.
To this end, Garuda has allocated US$ 54 million for the repair and overhaul of three Boeing 747-400 and six Airbus 330 aircraft used on its international routes. According to Garuda's Finance Director, Alex Maneklaran, quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, "we are beginning this year with the allocation of US$ 6 million for every aircraft."
Alex told the press that the overhaul and refurbishment program was part of the Airline's restructuring of its international services. The man in charge of finance for the National Carrier said explained the continuing losses suffered by the airline on its international routes, saying, "the losses are due to the condition of our airplanes which are no longer competitive, forcing us to sell tickers below market levels."
He explained that of the Rp. 191 billion (approximately US$ 21 million) loss racked up the Carrier in 2006, the international routes operated by Garuda loss US$ 30 million while the domestic routes contributed around US$ 10 million in profits to the balance sheet.
The Business and Marketing Manager of Garuda, Agus Priyanto, defended the need for an urgent refurbishment of interiors on board the Airline's wide-body aircraft, saying television screens and seats would be repaired. By upgrading tired interiors on its international fleet, Priyanto said, "we hope that our international routes will begin to be profitable this year."
Strong Start to 2007
Bali by the Numbers: January 2007 Foreign Arrivals to Bali Set New Records.
Foreign arrivals to Bali for January 2007 hit 109,504 – the best January on record; fuelling hopes that the remainder of the year will see Bali regain much of the momentum lost over the past decade.
January improved +7.6% over the same month in 2006 (101,776) and ended slightly ahead of January 2001 (108,857) the previous record holder as "best January" for Bali tourism.
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Bali's Top Four Markets
Further cause for optimism, suggesting that Bali's recovery is in full swing, can be found in the performance of the top two markets of Japan and Australia. Japan's arrivals were up +36.3% in January 2007 versus January 2006, operating at levels, that if sustained, demonstrate a near complete recovery from that market.
The long-troubled Australian market made important strides forward in January hitting 12,716 – improving 35% over January 2006. While it's becoming problematic to ascertain "normal" levels for the Australian visitor levels, the latest January arrivals are only 35% less that the excellent performance of January 2005 (19,840). By extrapolation, these figures encourage the view that Australian arrivals to Bali have turned the corner on the road to recovery – operating at levels considerably improved over the gap of more than -50% experienced for most of 2006.
Similarly, South Korea arrivals in January 2007 (11,045) improved +30.47% over the same month in 2006 managing to set a new all-time month-to-month record for January.
Worthing of further investigation and the cause of some concern, Taiwanese arrivals dipped in January 2007, decreasing -35.49% against 2006.
Click Images to enlarge
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