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Bali Guide Association Complains that Unlicensed Guides are Operating in Great Numbers Across the Island.
The Head of the Bali Tourism Authority (BTA), Gede Nurjaya, has promised that he will soon convene a special meeting to discuss how to curb the presence of numerous unlicensed and illegal guides operating at tourist sites around the Island.
The meeting is in response to formal complaints made to the Government by the Indonesian Association of Guides (HPI), following the discovery of numerous gypsy guides working near Bali's popular Tanah Lot.
Nurjaya, the highest ranking government official charged with overseeing tourism in Bali, said he would call a meeting and include representatives from HPI, the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA) and other concerned agencies to discuss the problem. Nurjaya told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Bali that prior to receiving the report from HPI his office was already aware of the growing presence of unlicensed guides in Bali.
During a recent sweep of the Tanah Lot complex conducted by the HPI, 30 unlicensed guides were netted, some in the employment of local travel agents.
Form a Team and Join the 1st Bali International Triathlon on June 24, 2007.
The 1st annual Bali International Triathlon will take place on June 24, 2007 at the site of the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay. This Olympic distance event, the first triathlon ever to be held in Bali, is a unique destination race combining a luxurious race setting with a challenging course.
Organized in combination with attractively priced travel packages, the Bali International Triathlon is headquartered on the beach at the internationally famous Four Seasons Resort and is comprised of a 1.5 kilometer swim in Jimbaran Bay, a 40 kilometer bike ride through Nusa Dua, and a 10 kilometer foot race through a picturesque Bali village.
Form a Team and Join Us in Bali!
Suitable to keenly competitive triathletes or the laid-back athlete more interested in merely finishing the course and participating in the range of fun-filled pre and post race activities – the Bali event also features a corporate team challenge option in which 3 athletes can do the race in relay, dividing the work and the fun of participating in a Bali triathlon.
Suitable for employees of companies or clubs who wish to sponsor a team to Bali the cost of registration for each team is only US$275 and covers:
▪ High Quality Race T-shirt by Sport Science featuring patented dri-release® fabric
▪ Swim Cap
▪ Finisher's medal uniquely designed by world famous jeweler, John Hardy
▪ Ticket to pre-race dinner event hosted by Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay
▪ Access to post race awards party and follow up lunch on the beach with local musicians
▪ Opportunity to participate in discounted tours and watersports activities throughout Bali
▪ Discounted hotel rates for athletes and their families.
For more information, visit the Bali International Triathlon Website.
National Sea Tourism Figure Bemoans the Lost Opportunity Represented by Current Policies which Deter Yacht Visits to Indonesia.
Yacht-based tourism provides a ready source of potential foreign exchange earnings for Indonesia, a country comprised of 17,508 islands.
Raymond T. Lesmana, the Chairman of the Cinta Bahari Indonesia Foundation estimates that each year some 2,000 sailing yachts sail pass Indonesian water without bothering to visit a single port. Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Lesmana said: "In fact, a single sailing yacht with three crew can spend as much as Rp. 17.5 million (approximately US$1,920) each week. This is just for food, drink, shopping and does not include berthing fees."
Pointing to the growing number of pensioners who spend their time sailing the world, Lesmana said that the 50 yachts calling on Langkawai in Malaysia spend an estimated Rp. 37.5 million (approximately US$4,120) each week , not including charges for water, electricity, permits, boat services and other purchases.
Lesmana, who heads a foundation dedicated to promoting a love of the sea, said that if the Government is serious in increasing foreign exchange earned from tourism it needs to clarify its policies on tourism investment. He complained that sea tourism was still viewed by the Government as a niche market, not worthy of high priority in developing national tourism.
Lesmana said that the Indonesia's waters offer the widest and most beautiful single area in the world for yachting, but fails to get its fair share of the market due to a lack of promotion and international standard marina facilities. He also pointed out that the large size of Indonesian territory in combination with an average speed of only 5 knots for a sailing yacht means a minimum of one year's visa is needed to sail through the archipelago. This is in stark contrast to the current three month clearance granted to yachts wishing to visit the Country.
Fruther complicated by the current limitation of 30 days for a visa-on-arrival, Lesmana also called for a new one-stop-service approach to issuing sailing permits, combining under a single roof the current plethora of permissions required from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate of Sea Communications, the National Police and State Intelligence Board.
Indonesian Feature Film Surrounding the October 12, 2002 Bombing Gets Thumbs-Down from Local Sensors and the People of Bali.
The Bali Film Board has ruled that an Indonesian-made feature film "”Long Road to Heaven" depicting the events surrounding the October 12, 2002, bombing attack on Bali night spots cannot be shown or sold in Bali.
In taking the decision the Film Board determined that the film might wound the feelings of the people of Bali still traumatized by the terrorist attack that killed 202 people and injured scores of others. It was also determined that the film, although readily available outside of Bali, was counter-productive to efforts to rebuild the Island's tourism.
The decision was taken after showing the film to local community leaders and holding hearings on the subject at which members of Bali society and government officials were allowed to express their views on the film.
According to press reports, local opinion was almost uniformly opposed to allowing the film to be shown in Bali.
The film, produced by Indonesian film-maker Nia Dinata, explores the events leading up to the 2002 bombing without glorifying the perpetrators of the outrage. Nia, who attended the hearings in Bali, accepted the decision to ban the film locally, saying she is able to empathize with the trauma still felt by the people of Bali.
The Blobs that Attacked Kuta Beach
Officials Blame Algae Growth for Foul Smelling Globules Along Kuta's Main Beach.
Following the recent wash up of thousands dead fish on Bali's beaches
[See:'Red Tide' Hits Bali's Western Shore], beachcombers along Bali's famed Kuta Beach were greeted by another disagreeable gift from the oceans on Friday, February 23, 2007.
According to reports in the Indonesian-language DenPost, gelatin-like, malodorous globules washed up along a 4 kilometer stretch of beach.
While local communities joined forces to bury the foul smelling gray and yellow "balls" of organic matter along the beach, speculation raged that the offensive material were linked to raw sewage, discarded industrial waste or even animal feed.
Officials from the Provincial Environmental Agency (Bappedal), however, who were dispatched to the beach, formed the preliminary conclusion that the material was comprised of algae-like material somehow shaken loose from the ocean's floor by unusually strong currents in the surrounding seas.
Ir. Anak Agung Wila Kusuma, Bappedal Secretary for Bali, said that while samples undergo testing in local laboratories, his preliminary conclusion was that while the material was unpleasant it most probably posed little threat to human health and because it was cyclical in nature the shoreline would quickly recover.
Shown on baidiscovery.com are photos taken on Saturday, February 23, 2007 of the bad-smelling blobs washed ashore along Kuta's beach.
Click Images to Enlarge
A New Broom Must Sweep Clean
Editorial: Too Many Questions Remain Unanswered in How US$7.3 Million Allocated to Bali Tourism Recovery in 2006 Was Spent.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [Management Shake Up at Bali Tourism Board], the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) ended months of bitter internal criticism in early February when it replaced its Chairman, Bagus Sudibya, and revamped its organizational structure to provide for a CEO to run the organization on a day-to-day basis.
While we welcome the appointment of Ngurah Wijaya as the new head of the BTB and look forward to supporting programs to promote Balinese culture and develop a tourism economy that ensure opportunities for the Balinese people, we remind 'Pak Ngurah' that steps must be taken to bring BTB into line with current trends demanding transparency and accountability in how business is now done in Indonesia.
The events that led up to the extraordinary meeting of stakeholders and the recent changes at BTB are still very much in the minds of those who work in Bali's tourism industry:
• During much of 2006, people across the island watched their businesses decline and their workers lose their jobs as they waited in vain for decisive recovery steps promised from a special US$7.3 million Bali Recovery Fund.
• While a number of high-profile delegations were sent to key markets to rebuild confidence, many programs budgeted for in the Recovery Fund, including a dedicated Bali Press Center, remain unrealized.
• The resigation last November of 5 members of the supervisory board at BTB, no longer prepared to share responsibility for the decisions being taken by the organization.
• Numerous allegations, carried in the local press, stating that major tourism recovery projects were not put out to bid, but were, instead, distributed to companies owned by a BTB Executive.
A New Broom Must Sweep Clean
If the new Chairman of the BTB, Ngurah Wijaya, and his incoming CEO are to have any hope of rebuilding the badly eroded confidence in their organization and gain the necessary support to deal with the many challenges ahead, a final and complete airing of what may have gone wrong with efforts to rebuild Bali tourism in 2006 is mandatory.
On a small island, where everyone is a friend and colleague, the reluctance to shake skeletons in the closet is somewhat understandable. However, at the same time, the overwhelming central role tourism plays in the lives of the people of Bali demands that a blue-ribbon independent panel be urgently appointed by BTB to prepare a white paper that traces what happened to the US$7.3 million designated by the Central Government for Bali tourism's recovery.
How much of the US$7.3 million actually made its way to Bali? What portion of this amount was disbursed in Jakarta by the Department of Culture and Tourism on Bali's behalf? Is a portion of the recovery budget still undisturbed and possibly still available to assist Bali tourism? Has the money spent from the fund, both on a local and national level, been adequately accounted for? Were guidelines on tenders properly followed on both the local and national level? How effective were the programs undertaken with monies spent from the recovery fund? Are those results quantifiable?
These are just some of the questions that remain unanswered in connection with Bali' Recovery Funds and must be addressed the "new" management of the BTB, less it be accused of only continuing "business at usual."
While a witch hunt seeking to lay blame goes against the grain of local cultural norms, Bali's international reputation as a leading holiday destination and the professional reputation of those charged with helping to recover lost ground following the 2005 terrorist attack allow no compromise with demands for an urgent, frank, impartial and open review of how Bali's tourism was managed during 2006. Only then will those who continue to insist that they were working with only Bali's best interests in mind be vindicated or, alternatively, found wanting.
For, in the words of the philosopher, poet, literary and cultural critic George Santayana:
"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it."
Boeing . . .Boeing . . Bong!
Adam Air's Entire B727-300 Fleet Grounded as Troubled Airline 'Breaks' a Plane in Surabaya.
Once ambitious plans to become a player in the international airline market are now very much in doubt for Indonesian low-cost carrier Adam Air, following yet another mishap on Wednesday, February 21, 2007, the latest in a string of embarrassing and sometimes tragic incidents that have plagued the self-proclaimed "boutique" carrier.
The latest episode, in what may prove the eventual demise of Adam Air, occurred when a fully-loaded Boeing 737-300 with 148 passengers and crews "slapped" hard onto the main runway in Surabaya shortly after 3:54 p.m. on Wednesday. Landing in heavy rains, the passengers reported turbulent winds on final approach followed by a sudden downdraft on touchdown. Such was the intensity of the impact that two of the aircraft's wheels exploded and the fuselage "cracked" just rear of the wing section, leaving the entire rear section suspended only inches above the ground.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the latest accident. The plane came to a halt on the main runway of the airport for more than an hour while passengers evacuated and before the flight could be towed to an apron area.
The latest incident to affect Adam Air - once cited with a merit award for "Low Cost Airline of the Year" from the Center of Asia Pacific Aviation, follows the loss of a Boeing 737-300 on January 1, 2007 in which 102 souls were lost, and the February 2006 flight of an Adam Air Boeing 737-300 that went missing for hours before landing 800 miles to the southwest of its intended destination.
Government Grounds Adam Air's B-737 Fleet
With the Airline already scheduled for a complete safety audit by the Government in March 2007, Civil Aviation authorities wasted no time following the Surabaya "crash" and immediately ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737-300s operated by Adam Air pending the completion a safety review. The order affects seven aircraft flown by Adam Air and effectively curtails many of its flight operations until further notice.
More Seats Promised on Australian and Regional Routes Together with New Boeing 737-800 NG Aircraft.
Garuda Indonesia is targeting to carry 2.53 million foreign passengers in 2007, an increase of around 15% from the estimated 2.2 million carried in 2006.
Garuda's President Director, Emirsyah Satar, told the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia that he is confident passenger targets will be met as the Airline is once again evaluating the viability of all its domestic and international routes.
"The route which lose money will be restructured, including those losses caused by the high leasing and maintenance costs of the Airbus 330, " Satar explained on February 20, 2007 to a hearing of National legislators. In the same meeting, Satar complained that the commercial momentum lost in the Japanese and Australian markets following the second Bali bombing of October 2005 had yet to fully recover.
Of the 24 international routes flown by Garuda in 2006, only 9 (37.5%) were considered profitable by Garuda. In 2005, Garuda managed to register a profit on 16 (55%) of the 29 international routes it operated.
On its domestic routes Garuda managed to sustain higher rates of profitability. In 2006, 21 (77.8%) of the Airline's 27 domestic routes proved profitable. This was an improvement over 2005 when only 9 (36%) of 25 domestic routes turned a profit.
The Airline reportedly plans to increase capacity on those routes that have proven profitable in 2006. This will likely include flights to Australia, China and regional destinations within ASEAN. "In addition," Star said, "Garuda will commence flights to India this year as that country appears to have strong tourism potential for Indonesia."
Boeing 737-800 New Generation Aircraft
The Garuda boss also said that 2007 will see two Boeing 737-800NG added to its fleets under leasing agreements costing US$1.6 million.
The sophisticated "new generation" Boeing aircraft, able to operate on medium and longer haul routes, are scheduled to arrive in the third and fourth quarters of 2007.
In the future, Garuda has announced plans to introduce 25 B737-800 NG aircraft within the context of ongoing efforts to improve efficiencies and rationalize its fleet.
Initially, the financially troubled Airlines will find money to pay the new aircraft's charter fees from a US$52.5 million capital injection from the Government. The "fresh" capital will also be used to service existing debt and retrench some of its employees.
Popular Bali Recharge Nights are Back with a New Name. Recharge, Revive, and Now Recover – Anyone Got an Aspirin?
The brainchild of Goestamar Ardibrata ("Tam-Tam") and his hard-working team at Bali & Beyond Magazine monthly Recharge Parties at which members of the local travel industry get together and "party hard" were an important part of the local social calendar for the past several years. Lively entertainment, free food and drink, fashion shows, exciting door prizes and the chance to let your hair down with industry colleagues always meant each night would fill to overflowing.
After taking a brief sabbatical since the end of 2006, Tam-Tam and his crew are again delighting co-workers in Bali with the re-launch of the monthly party with a new name and slightly different bent.
Now called "Revive Nights" the monthly parties will be permanently fixed at Bali's popular Hard Rock Café. The sponsored gathering is a collaborative entertainment event of the MRA Group of companies which include Bali & Beyond Magazine, Hagen-Daz Ice Cream, Hard Rock Café, Bali's Bulgari Resorts, Harley Davidson Motorcycles in Indonesia and numerous leading national magazines publications. "Revive Night" also now welcomes all marketing executives working in Bali, both within and outside the travel industry.
Oh, These Bali People Do Know How to Party!
As the pictures shown on balidiscovery.com demonstrate, the return of "Revive Night" on February 23, 2007 was a roaring success.
Now where are those aspirins?
Click Image to Enlarge
Garuda Increasing Seats Between Bali Perth
Twice as Many Seats and Business Class Seating Available Between Bali and Western Australia Starting March 2007.
In response to increasingly strong demand from the West Australian holiday market for airline seats to Bali, Garuda Indonesia has announced that they will increase seat capacity from Perth to Denpasar commencing in March 2007.
The move follows a doubling of the Airline's capacity to Indonesia in December last year, when daily services to Jakarta were introduced to supplement the existing daily Bali services.
From March 1, 2007, three of the existing Jakarta services will be redirected to Bali in order to meet the strong demand for the popular holiday destination.
The additional Bali flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with evening departures times from Perth complimenting the daily morning flights, providing even greater flexibility to Perth holidaymaker.
The direct Jakarta services depart on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, also with an evening departure time.
The extra inbound flights depart Bali around 11.00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving in the early hours of the following morning. Jakarta flights depart Cengkareng Airport at 9.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, also arriving early hours of the following morning.
While timings will vary slightly, days of operation will remain the same when new Northern Hemisphere Summer Schedules take effect on 25 March.
All services from Perth to Indonesia are operated with Boeing 737-800NG aircraft which, from February, has been newly configured to offer both Executive Class and Economy.
"The re-establishment of a business class product from Perth means that this premium service is now available from all Garuda Indonesia’s Australian ports including Darwin," said the Airline's Regional Manager, South West Pacific, Suranto Yitnopawiro.
A Bali-Built Home in Any Corner of the World
Pioneering Bali Company Shipping High-Quality Timber Tropical Buildings to All Parts of the World.
Bali Prefab is an island-based company creating prefabricated buildings in Bali and shipping them to an increasingly larger circle of satisfied customers worldwide.
Using the highest quality tropical woods, such as termite resistant Merbau and Bankirai/Balau, together with iron wood for roofing, Bali Prefab's tropical buildings form part of the exclusive Four Season’s Resort in Tahiti, private residences in Hawaii; exotic bungalows in New Caledonia and structures in far-away Japan and Italy.
That's only a partial list of clients who have discovered the beauty and savings available by using the knock-down approach to building available from this innovative Bali firm.
Built in Quality
In addition to using the finest-quality renewable wood resources, Bali Prefab buildings also:
• Use double wall systems for better insulation and aesthetically pleasing installation of plumbing and electrical wiring.
• Join wood structures, wall panels and roof structures with bolting systems for better structural integrity.
• Insulate roofs with double aluminum foil to reduce heat radiation to the building, using attractive iron wood shingles as the final covering layer.
• All woods used are kiln-dried and finished with 4 separate layers including UPT as a wood preparation, 2 layers of coloring and a final sanding seal for a smooth finish and durability.
Superior by Design
Bali Prefab is able to create designs to any owners specification, working with either their in-house teams of talented architects, civil engineers and master-carpenters or with design experts from the prospective owner's home country. One a final design is agreed, Bali Prefab also compiles a detailed client manual coded to facilitate final reconstruction at the final destination. As a further assistance the client also receives an education DVD and weekly construction progress reports including on-site photographs.
As a visit to the Bali Prefab website demonstrates, no job is too big or too small for their team who incorporate world-renowned Balinese craftsmanship into every home they build and ship.
My Eyes are Your Eyes
Photos by Carlos de la Rua at the Meliá Bali Villas & Spa Resort March 24 – May 1, 2007.
My Eyes are Your Eyes comprised of 131 black and white images by Carlos de la Rua will be presented during a one-and-one-half month exhibition the Meliá Bali Villas & Spa Resort.
Carlos de la Rua, a Spanish artists who has worked in paint, photography, plastic art, restoration and decoration arrived in Bali in 2002. Seduced by the discovery of an island paradise, Carlos saw photography as the perfect medium to translate what he sees of Bali.
An artists who cares deeply for the people of his adopted home, Carlos has allocated 20% of all sales proceeds from his current exhibition to be given the Bali Community Care, an organization that supports children whose parents are affected by HIV/AIDS.
My Eyes are Your Eyes will run daily from March 24 through May 1, 2007 at the Meliá Bali Villas & Spa Resort. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m..
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.