Gaia Oasis Offers Special Package to Celebrate its 9th Anniversary May 14-16, 2007.
Can't decide between some quite time in Bali's mountains or some quality time on one of Bali's sandy beaches? Why not enjoy both and take advantage of the two impressive locations offered by Gaia Oasis near Tejakula in Bali's North.
Located less than an hour from Singaraja - the former capital of Bali, the resorts offers a one - hectare 16 bungalow resort on the beach at Tejakula or a four hectare retreat with only six bungalows in the nearby hills.
Celebrating a Birthday in Style
To mark 9 years of making customers happy, the Gaia Oasis is offering a special 2 night/ 3 day package from May 14 – 16, 2007 to help celebrate their official birthday on May 15th.
Special pricing starting of 89 € per person based on twin share or 109 € single occupancy covers:
• 2 nights accommodation in a double bungalow.
• 3 buffet meals per day.
• Dolphin sunrise tour in a local fisherman's boat.
• A traditional Balinese gamelan orchestra performance with a rare dance performance by Tejakula's senior dancers
• Yoga classes twice each day
• A special wellness spa treatment
"Click" the email link for more information or to book the special birthday celebration at Gaia Oasis or for more information on the Resort [See: Gaia Bali Oasis Resort].
The Kuta Karnival Organizing Committee and the Kuta Small Business Association have announced the dates for the 5th Kuta Karnival as September 1-9, 2007.
While final plans are still in the works for the event - past years have featured street parades, fun fairs and bazaars stretching the length of Kuta Beach, and sporting events which have drawn thousands of people to visit Kuta and adjacent areas during the course of the Karnival.
Stay tuned to www.balidiscovery.com and [www.balicalendar.com] for details as they become available.
Kids Can Write Why They Love Their Mom and Win Prizes and a Free Lunch at the Hard Rock Hotel, Bali on May 13, 2007 - Mother's Day.
Love your Mom? Then feed her well at a special Mother's Day luncheon set for Sunday, May 13, 2007 at Hard Rock Hotel, Bali.Affectionate kids or a Dennis the Menace's seeking to mend their ways have a chance of winning a free lunch for themselves and their mom by entering a essay contest conducted by the Hard Rock Hotel Bali.
The competition is divided into two categories: one for 5-9 year olds and the other for 10-12 year olds. To be eligible to win all the kids need to do is write a 100-150 word essay beginning with "I love my MOM because . . ." and send it to the Hard Rock Hotel, Bali before May 10, 2007.
All envelopes should be directed to the Marketing Communications Department, Hard Rock Hotel Bali, Jalan Pantai, Banjar Pande Mas, Kuta – Bali.
Entries are welcome in both English or Bahasa Indonesia.
Among the prizes to be won are a 2 nights stay in a Family Suite; a 2 nights stay in a Deluxe Room; and a 1 night stay in a Deluxe room. All winners will receive complimentary Mother's Day Lunches for winner and their Moms on May 13th. Winners will be announced at Starz Diner, 3rd Level, Hard Rock Hotel Bali, on 13th May 2007, during the lunch.
Win or lose, all are invited to enjoy Mother's Day Lunch for only Rp. 120.000,-++ for adults (approximately US$15.80); Rp. 60.000,- ++ for children under 12 years of age (approximately US$7.80).
Lunch on Mother's Day will also include a children's fashion show by Kids A Go Go.
For more information or reservations, telephone ++62-(0)361-761869 extension 8163/4.
Illegal Villas in Close Concert with Illegal Transport Operators?
Local Transport Operators Calls for Closer Scrutiny and Crackdown on Unlicensed Tourist Transport in Bali.
Nyoman Sudiartha, the owner of the local transport company Aryantha Putra Transport complained bitterly to the Indonesian language Bisnis Bali about the illegal transport operators in Bali who target the illegal villa sector. According to Sudiartha, the customers lost to illegal transport operators working from villa bases are causing huge losses to the local transport industry.
Sudiartha said the vehicles serving the villas are almost certainly operating without the required izin pariwisata - a special license tag that must be attached to the registration plates of vehicles carrying tourists. In the worst instances, says Sudiartha, the illegal vehicles even crisscross the island with the logo of the illegal villas affixed to their doors.
In principle, illegal tourist transport discovered by police to be carrying tourists can be halted and the passengers made to disembark and transfer to local licensed metered taxis.
The transport entrepreneur called on the Indonesian Hotel & Restaurant Association (PHRI) and Bali Villa Association (BHA) to issue instructions to their members to obey local law and order that only licensed tourism vehicle be used for the transportation of tourists. At the same time, Sudiartha called on transportation authorities to crack down on vehicles operating on the island without the required safety inspections and insurance coverage provided to all licensed vehicles.
In separate comments, Bagus Soediana, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Transport Association (Pawabi), confirmed Sudiartha’s complaints saying that the sudden upsurge in illegal vehicle operations has grown apace with the sudden increase in villas in Bali.
Island Visitors concerned as to whether their transport is a legally operated vehicle should look for a small square metallic plate attached to the vehicle's license plate. Vehicles lacking the additional tag are in most likliehood not authorized to carry tourist.
Air Paradise: Waiting for Government Support
Future of Airline May Depend on Whether Bali Government Prepared to Invest US$16.3 Million.
The on-again off-again plans for the re-launch of Air Paradise International (API) now appear to hinge on the answer to their appeal to the Government of Bali to spend Rp. 150 billion (approximately US$16.3 million) and assume a 51% share in the Bali-based air carrier.
API Director, Putu Oka Semadi, told the Indonesian language Bisnis Bali, "we are waiting for an answer from the provincial government of Bali who are still in the process of studying our share offer." The Directors of API made a formal proposal to Bali’s Governor and legislators in January 2007 and have been waiting for more than 2 months for a formal reply.
According to API Directors, the inclusion of the Bali Government in the Airline would support the brand image of now-grounded airline and help re-instill consumer confidence.
In addition to the money sought from the Government of Bali, another Rp. 100 billion (approximately US$10.86 million) is needed to permit a re-start of the airline.
API Directors claim that they have received a pledge of support from an Indonesian investor, but are not prepared to divulge the name of the potential new Indonesian investor.
Directors still maintain that they will soon start service from Bali to the Australian cities of Perth and Melbourne with onward domestic connections to Surabaya and Jakarta. The Airline's operators are reportedly seeking leases of Boeing 737-400 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
Bisnis Bali reports that the Bali Planning Body (Bappeda) have concluded their review of the buy-in proposal from API and forwarded their recommendations to the State Audit Body.
An Academic Look at Bali's Villa Sector
Tourism Students Conduct a Review of Bali's Villa Sector in the Badung Regency.
The Indonesian language Bali Post, recently published the results of a research project conducted by 17 students at Bali's Hotel & Tourism Institute (STP) examining Bali's villa sector. Their survey, limited to villas in the Badung Regency of Bali covered 624 villas including 3,958 rooms.
Some of the results from the student's research project, include:
• 54% of the villas surveyed were commercial operations, 25% were private villas and 21% were being used on a mixed commercial-private basis.
• 45.2% of the villas were owned by Indonesians (both Balinese and non-Balinese), 39.4% were owned by foreigners, and 15.4% were jointly owned by Indonesians and foreigners. The survey showed that most foreign-owned villas were built on land owned by Indonesians.
• A review of those choosing to stay in villa accommodation showed that 36.79% were Europeans, 30.71% were Asians, 19.29% were Australian, 11.79% were Americans, and only 1.42% were from the domestic Indonesian market.
• The average age of guests staying in visas was between 26-55 years, with family holidays the basis for almost all stays.
• Many of the villas reviewed by the students featured facilities and services rivaling those offered by hotels in Bali, including: private kitchens, plunge pools, mini-bars, main swimming pools, Jacuzzis, restaurants, spa services, and a gym.
• Most of those staying in villas were professionals from the upper economic groupings.
• Most guests had no idea whether or not the visa they had rented was a legal or illegal accommodation operation.
Just Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied
Balidiscovery.com Staffers Get Expert Training in Customer Service from the Bali Institute for Education and Training.
On Wednesday, April 18, 2007, selected members of the reservations and e-commerce departments of balidiscovery.com received specialized training on selling hotels, tours and other holiday products through the Internet by Barry Doesburg of the the Bali Institute for Education and Training.
Because of the special challenges of dealing with customers over the Internet and telephone, Doesburg, who is one of Bali's most sought after hospitality trainers, shared valuable insights on how to improve service and cross-selling skills in written communications between the Bali-based staff and the thousands of customers booking via balidiscovery.com from around the world.
Focusing on how to effectively convey the special magic of Bali and its many attractions through written and oral communication, the balidiscovery.com sales team have been made aware of how to better anticipate customers' needs and suggest component elements of a holiday that will result in an overall better experience for Island visitors.
U.S. Gov't Questions Safety of Indonesian Domestic Air Space
U.S. Embassy in Jakarta Issues a Warning for U.S. Citizens Flying Internally in Indonesia.
The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has posted a warning on its website urging U.S. nationals to to fly directly to the Indonesian destinations on international carriers "from countries whose civil aviation authorities meet international aviation safety standards for the oversight of their air carrier operations under the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program."
As reported on balidiscovery.com, the Indonesian government on March 22, 2007 introduced a new rating system covering all domestic civil air operators and dividing them into three categories depending on the assessed safety of each airline. [See: On the Eve of Closure, Adam Air Gets a Reprieve]
Following the new classification system by the Indonesian Government, on April 16, 2007 the FAA announced that it had revised Indonesia's safety oversight category from Category 1 to Category 2 due to serious concerns about Direcor General of Civil Aviation's safety oversight and operational control systems. Category 2 indicates that the FAA has assessed the Government of Indonesia's Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Indonesia's air carrier operations.
The move by the U.S. Government effectively calls into question the safety of all domestic air operators in Indonesia, urging U.S. citizens to only into major international gateways on foreign airlines and avoid internal connection flights within Indonesia.
Inconvenient Truth in Bali
A Community Meeting to Confront the Global Warming Crisis in Bali on Saturday, April 28, 2007.
Bali's Canggu Club will host a live multi-media presentation on the Climate Crisis Project - The Science & Solutions featuring certified Climate Project® presenter, environmental engineer and long-time Bali resident, Emerald Starr, on Saturday, 28 April, 2007 from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m..
Starr, selected and trained by former U.S. Vice-President, Al Gore, is now part of coordinate effort to bring the message of Global Warming to the world. Based on the internationally acclaimed Oscar Winning documentary and book, An Inconvenient Truth, Starr's presentation endeavors to expose the myths and misconceptions surrounding the controversial issue of global warming and present ways the Bali community can work together to halt the deadly progress the coming man-made catastrophe.
Canggu Club's General Manager, Marc Dressler says: "The Club has adopted and continues to implement many environmental strategies within our facility and operations and fervently believe in doing whatever we can to contribute to our island and make our planet ecologically better. We have invited Emerald Starr - one of only 1000 certified presenters worldwide - to present this exclusive first time event to the Bali community as part of our Canggu Outreach Program. The Club is in avid support of improving Bali's eco stance and have also invited several environmental groups to participate in the event with educational booths, kids recycling and making paper activities and entertainment for this event."
The special evening includes the participation of several environmental groups in Bali including the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, Bali Teak Farms, Bali Green Team Five Elements and Wisnu Recycling who will all operate educational booths and provide information on their work at the April 28th event.
Emerald Starr is one of nearly 1,000 people trained by The Climate Project® to deliver a science-based presentation. The presenters were selected from a pool of thousands of applicants and, in return for their training, have agreed to share the fruits of their training with their local communities. The Climate Project presenters have targeted to reach more than one million people in 2007.
According to Starr: "We are at a turning point in human history on Earth. Our actions now will determine the quality of life for our children and many generations to come. There is not an issue more critical for us to take action on. I want to do all that I can to insure the health and well being of my children and grandchildren. In 10 years I want to be able to look back with pride and satisfaction that I did everything that I could do."
Climate Crisis - The Science & Solution - A multi-media slideshow on global warming and discussion of solutions
Saturday 28 April 2007, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Canggu Club Bali, Jalan Pantai Berawa, Canggu
The presentation is suitable for children age 12 years or older. For more information contact the The Canggu Club at telephone ++62-(0)361-844 63 85. Limited seating. Bookings recommended.
Pico Iyer – The Global Sojourner in Bali June 6-9, 2005
Dynamic Author, Essayist and World Traveler to Pause in Bali at Invitation of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.
Pico Iyer - the man described as one of the world's 100 visionaries who could change your life and the author of six works of fiction, two novels and countless other publications is coming to Bali for a series of literary dinners and travel-writing seminars June 6-9, sponsored by Garuda Indonesia and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.
A man whose home is his travelling bag, Pico Iyer describes himself as "living between cracks and outside fixed categories." His writings have transported readers to life within monasteries, rural Japan and to remote villages around the world. "Taking planes seems as natural to me as picking up the phone or going to school; I fold up my self and carry it around as if it were an overnight bag," explains Iyer. Clearly a traveler and not a tourist, Pico Iyer finds himself at home wherever his journeys bring him; from Easter Island to Paraguay, to Ethiopia and Cuba.
His first novel, Cuba and the Night, was optioned six times and then bought by Hollywood, and his book The Global Soul has inspired multi-media shows, conferences and websites around the world. In addition, he has written a film-script for Miramax, helped name an internationally known soft drink and been a Fellow (twice) of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Since 1980, he has published regular cover-stories on literature in The New York Review of Books, on globalism for Harper's and on films and music for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
In 1995, Iyer was named by the Utne Reader, along with the likes of Noam Chomsky and Vaclav Havel, as one of 100 visionaries worldwide who "could change your life." He has a Master's degree in literature from Harvard, where he also taught literature and writing for two years.
Only Three Days in Bali
During the course of his three day appearance in Bali, Pico Iyer will be the guest of honor at several literary dinners and a seminar on travel writing where he will share his thoughts on how to make a piece of travel writing distinctive.
Pico will be available to answer questions with answers drawn from his quarter of a century in journalism, fiction writing, essays and travel-writing.
June 7 & 8, 2007 – Travel Writing Seminars with Pico Iyer
In two separate writing seminars Pico Iyer will discuss the art and craft of writing. What should you do when writing about somewhere that everyone already knows about? How do you give your piece another dimension that makes it interesting even to people who don't like to travel, and how do you keep pushing the boundaries of travel and travel-writing?
Pico will be available to answer any questions participants might have on any aspect of travel or writing—what to say about Bali, or how to address the Taj Mahal, or what one might want to write about a Kentucky Fried Chicken parlor in Denpasar.
• Thursday, June 7, 2007 - Amandari Resort in Ubud from 9:30-11:30 a.m..
• Friday, June 8, 2007 - Canggu Club in Canggu from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Cost of each seminar is Rp. 250,000 (approximately US$27.20) per person and includes morning tea.
June 6, 2007 – Journeys of a Global Soul
Join Pico Iyer at the Maya Ubud Resort on Wednesday, June 6, 2007 for a literary dinner. Cost of a three-course meal and welcome drink is Rp. 500,000 (approximately US$54.40) per person. Drinks start at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner. Reservations are essential.
June 9, 2007 – Beachside with Pico Iyer
Join Pico Iyer on the Beach at Jimbaran Bay for a three-course dinner at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay. A welcome drink will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner on Saturday, June 9, 2007. Cost is Rp. 600,000 (approximately US$65.20) per person and covers dinner and welcome drink. Reservations are required.
Reservations and More Information
Bookings are essential for all dinners and seminars and can be obtained by calling ++62-(0)361-971257 or via the email link provided.
Bali Tax Office Issues Formal Denial of News in Local Media Announcing an End to the Rp. 1 Million Fiscal Charge for Travel to ASEAN Countries.
A recent article in the Bali Advertiser announcing that Indonesian Citizens and Foreign residents in Indonesia are now exempted from paying the mandatory Rp. 1 million fiscal fee (approximately US$109.00) each time they departed Indonesia for a neighboring ASEAN country has been quashed by local tax authorities.
In a formal circular announcement (Peng-4/WPJ.17/2007), the Directorate General of Taxation for Bali has repudiated the news carried in the Bali Advertiser, reminding all that there has been no change in the current regulations that require all Indonesians and foreigners resident in Indonesia to pay Rp. 1 million each time they depart internationally from Bali's airport. The payment, or fiskal, is an advance payment on income tax and can be credited against final tax liability. According to the current tax code, any foreigner spending more than 183 days in the Country in a single year is deemed a resident under the terms of the law requiring the fiskal payment.
Certain special categories of travelers are exempted from paying the fiskal fee, including expatriates Indonesians making a yearly visit home and those traveling on official missions abroad.
Indonesia has been under pressure for a number of years from neighbor ASEAN countries who view the fiscal charge as an artificial barrier to both trade and tourism.
Japanese Recover While Australians do the Crawl
Bali by the Numbers: A Closer Look at Bali's Two Leading Inbound Markets.
March arrival figures fuel hope that Australian arrivals are on the mend coming in at 13,624 - a full 60% better than March 2006 (8,518) and only -36.6% behind the record March of 2005 when 21,483 Australians visited Bali.
Comparing 2004 to 2006, however, suggests that the recovery in the first full-year following a terrorist attack is less robust in 2007 than was the case in 2004. Lingering problems connected with recent convictions of Australian drug traffickers and the loss of airline capacity may explain the slower than desired recovery of the Australian market.