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www.balidiscovery.com Weekly Bali Update Named the Asia-Pacific's Best Enewsletter by the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
The hard-working team at Bali Discovery Tours received much-welcomed news on July 25, 2007, that its weekly newsletter Bali Update has received the prestigious PATA Gold Award 2007 - voted as the best travel enewsletter in the Asia Pacific.
Bali Discovery Tours and a host of winners in other categories were granted gold status by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) from among a fiercely contest's record total of 339 entries from 132 travel and tourism organisations.
The winners will be honoured at a special luncheon during the PATA Travel Mart 2007 in Bali on September 28, 2007.
The PATA Gold Awards are generously sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office.
First published on March 02, 1998, the Bali Update has "gone to press" 568 times under the continual editorship of Bali Discovery Tour's President Director, John M. Daniels.
Originally sent out in response to developing situations affecting Bali tourism, Bali Update is dispatched every Monday to a free subscriber base exceeding 19,000 readers.
Prior to the most recent honor, Bali Update has been lauded as "Bali's Truth Ministry" by TIME Magazine; "The Accepted Voice of Bali Tourism" by Travel Asia Magazine; the "Respected voice of Bali's tourism industry" by Indonesia Digest and cited for "Marketing Excellence" by the PATA Indonesia Chapter.
John M. Daniels, Bali Update's Editor, has spent more than 30 years in Indonesia and is the recipient of the Adikarya Wisata - the highest national award for service to Indonesian tourism given by the Government of Indonesia. Daniels is also a recipient of the Karyakarana Pariwisata award - the highest award for contributions to tourism and culture presented by the Governor of Bali.
PATA Gold Awards 2007
. Grand Award - Education and Training "We dreamed a dream" - The Jetwing youth development project at Vil Uyana, Sigriya, Sri Lanka, Jetwing Hotels, Sri Lanka
. Grand Award - Environment "Social and Environment Conscience programme," Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Thailand
. Grand Award - Heritage "2006 Macau World Heritage Year," Macau Government Tourist Office, Macau SAR
. Grand Award - Marketing "Incredible India global media campaign", Ministry of Tourism & Culture - Government of India, India
A JetStar Airbus Flying from Bangkok to Melbourne Makes and Emergency Landing at Bali's Airport.
Early on Monday, July 23, 2007, 302 passengers and 12 crew flying from Bangkok to Melbourne got the unexpected bonus of a Bali stopover holiday when their Jetstar Airbus A300-200 aircraft made an emergency landing at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The emergency landing at Bali's airport occurred after the crew shut down one of the aircraft's two engines when onboard computer systems indicated a serious fault. Flying on one engine for nearly an hour, the Captain diverted the plane to Bali making an emergency unscheduled landing at 4:46 a.m. local time.
After spending several hours sitting on the plane parked on the tarmac, guest were eventually accommodated at local hotels in Bali at the Airline's expense.
A replacement aircraft was dispatched from Sydney to pick up the stranded passengers who eventually arrived in Melbourne at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, some 17 hours later than their originally scheduled arrival time.
Yikes! Watch Out for Kites!
Local Authorities Cooperate with Bali's Airport to Reduce the Risk to Aviation Posed by High-Flying Kites.
Pilots flying into Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport are complaining about the hazard to air safety posed by the thousands of kites that crowd the skies across the island, particularly during the months of July and August each year.
A popular pastime among the Balinese, villages will often spend large sums of money creating kites whose main structures are as large as a truck with tails that stretch for a hundred meters. Requiring the coordination of large team to become airborne, these kites are often tethered to local trees and left unattended for days on end.
When the lines holding the kites fail, they fall back to earth, oftentimes crashing into passing vehicles or short-circuiting high-power electrical lines.
A Threat to Aviation
Although seldom enforced, local regulations carry fines and prison sentences for those flying kites in Bali's air traffic control areas. A law passed in 2000 absolutely prohibits kite flying within 9 kilometers of the airport; flying kites at more than 100 meters above ground level between 9 and 18 kilometers from the airport; and over 300 meters in a radius between 18 and 54 kilometers from the airport.
In an effort to reduce the threat posed by errant kite enthusiasts, PT Ankasa Pura, the Company that manages Bali's airport, has convened meetings involving the police, Air Force, airport security services, the Air Communication Department and local villages in Bali. In order to improve enforcement of regulations prohibiting kite fling in air traffic control areas Angkasa Pura has asked the agreement of local village officials to permit airport officials to ground kites left unattended and tethered to local trees. According to an Angkasa Pura spokesperson, local village chiefs have issued their full support to such steps and a stronger enforcement of the "no-kite" rules.
More Ill-winds for Indonesian Cruising?
Sudden Introduction of 5% Bond for Foreign Flag Yachts Visiting Indonesia Threatens Efforts to Create a Cruise Tourism Sector.
In stark contrast to official posturing in support of developing Indonesia as a cruise destination, the Indonesian Department of Customs and Excise has suddenly introduced a new regulation requiring visiting yachts to pay refundable cash guarantee equal to 5% of the vessel's value. The fee, levied at the yacht's port of entry into Indonesia, will be refunded upon final exit of the vessel from the nation's territory.
Raymond T. Lesmana, the Chairman Indonesian Sea Lovers Foundation (Yayasan Cinta Bahari Indonesia) complained to Bisnis Indonesia that the new regulation has been implemented without prior warning from the government and at the very time Indonesia is hosting Sail Indonesia 2007, part of a world-wide cruise regatta by sailing yachts.
Explaining the new regulation, Lesmana said: "In this regard the participants of Sail Indonesia 2007 are exempted from paying the guarantee. But it is strange that a guarantee equal to 5% of the value of a yacht must be paid to Customs at the port of entry into Indonesia."
While the regulation provides for a return of the guarantee at the final port of exit, the exact mechanism for the refund remains unclear, at least at this stage.
According to Bisnis Indonesian, the Bali Marina which hosts a number of visiting yachts has been thrown into some dehree of confusion by the new ruling, with many fearing that the armada of yachts at the Marina may soon weigh anchor and leave the Country.
Lesmana has questioned the wisdom of the new guarantees pointing out that Indonesia is alone in the region for introducing such a bond that may prove self-defeating in current efforts to encourage cruise tourism. According to Lesmana, more than 2,000 yachts bypass the countries outer borders each year due to uncertain or problematic legal standing for visiting yachts. At the same time, Lesmana estimates that visiting foreign yachts calling on Indonesia ports spend an average of Rp, 17.5 million(approximately US$1,900) during each week of their stay.
While other countries in the region are working to simplify foreign yacht visits, vessels wishing to call on Indonesia are required to secure a costly and time-consuming Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT) requiring separate approvals from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Sea Communications, the Indonesian Naval Headquarters and State Intelligence Board.
Ubud Exhibition Celebrates the Role of the Keris in Balinese Life and Art.
Bali's much-celebrated Neka Art Museum recently celebrated its 25th anniversary by opening a special exhibition dedicated to Bali and Indonesia's keris - the traditional weapon of royal households across the archipelago.
The exhibition which will run through August 22, 2007, features dozens of rare and priceless keris' from the private collection of the Museum's founder Suteja Neka, paintings from the Musuem's extensive collection in which keris are featured, and photographs by the Musuem's Curator Garrett Kam documenting the role of the keris in Balinese costumes, ceremonies and dance.
In conjunction with the current exhibition, two books celebrating the 25th anniversary of the museum are being launched and are for sale at the Museum:
. The Neka Art Museum in Modern Balinese History: Art and the Passage of Time by Garrett Kam
. Mimpi Jadi Kenyataan compiled by Kardi Suteja and Wahyu Suteja, sons of Suteja Neka.
Keris in Culture: Daggers and the Arts
An exhibition of keris, paintings and photographs
Neka Art Museum - Jalan Raya Campuhan, Kedewatan, Ubud.July 22 - August 22, 2007 Open Daily.
Days of Future Passed - Woodcut Images by Davina Stephens
Bali-Based Artists Latest Exhibition at the Ganesha Gallery in Jimbaran July 30-August 23, 2007.
The much-anticipated latest exhibition by Bali-based artist Davina Stephens comes to the Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay July 30 through August 23, 2007.
Days of Future Passed
"Days of Future Passed" Davina Stephens continues an exhilarating artistic journey through a landscape that merges memory with imagination. Since the beginning of her career, Davina's work has embodied a singular vision framed by a global sensibility. As in the past, the art in her latest exhibition is permeated by a love of Bali, India, the Ocean and womanhood. With insight, exuberance and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of personal energy, Davina's work reveals and renews itself in unexpected ways.
In an exhibition enigmatically entitled, "Days of Future Passed," Davina Stephens continues her experiments in mixed media: collages using personalized woodcuts, hand-printed onto rice paper, acrylic paint and even the quintessential Indonesian woman's art of batik cloth. She describes her technique as "layering" which brings to mind archaeology, a
science that strips away layers to slowly reveal the past. In her work past themes are revisited and reinvented with a new vocabulary of line. Some of these are dominated by decorative motifs, with sensual and evocative images bathed in light. Dimension and mass are redefined with additional color and the intuitive insight of an evolving artist.
While all the work is unashamedly grounded by her own point of view and feelings, her overwhelming love and joy
for her subjects and art, and self-effacing humor keep even her themed work spontaneous and free of any sense of dogma as she plays with paradox and irony.
Her's is a gentle magic teamed with an invitation to share in a life-long creative journey.
And, in that sense, Davina's life and art are seamlessly joined.
Days of Future passed
An exhibition of art by Davina Stephens
Ganesha Gallery at The Four Seasons Resort on Jimbaran Bay
July 30 - August 23, 2007
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Information: Telephone ++62-(0)361-701010
Ifiori: Chic and Stylish Dining in the Heart of South Kuta
New Mediterranean Restaurant in Tuban Joins Bali's Growing List of Outstanding Eateries.
There's a bright and shiny new dining landmark on Jalan Kartika Plaza, adjacent to Bali's famous Waterbom Park. Ifiori's modern glass and steel architecture is both chic and trendy, offering diners the happy conundrum of having to decide between enjoying food and drinks al fresco on shaded verandas or taking cool refuge in the air-conditioned comfort of the restaurant's elegant enclosed areas.
Substantial investment has been lavished on mood-enhancing lighting, modern intimate casual seating in combination with more formal table settings, and a state-of-the art sound system that may be cranked up on late evenings by a resident DJ. A brief glimpse of the kitchen area also indicates that the owners of Ifiori have a equal commitment to professionalism and quality both in the front and back-of-house at their new dining venue.
A Mediterranean Menu
Claiming to be a "revolutionary type" of Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, the emphasis at Ifiori is on "honest cuisine" prepared with only the freshest and finest quality ingredients. Both pastas and grilled meats feature prominently on the menu with diners facing hard choices between lasagne Ifiori-filled with game in spinach and tomato pasta, whole crab with black fettuccini and seafood sauce or marinated lamb shoulder chops with spiced couscous and raita. For those feeling as expansive as Ifiori's lavish interior, explore a dessert menu including cassata or tartufo, signature chocolate cake or ricotta cheese cake - all prepared fresh on the premises.
Ifiori's menu also features a selection of gourmet sandwiches ranging from sourdough bread served with smoked salmon, lemon cream fraiche, capers, onion and avocado; or pita bread enfolding spicy lamb, cucumber, tomato, iceberg lettuce, alfalfa, feta cheese served with a coriander yoghurt dressing.
In keeping with its Mediterranean roots, Ifiori prides itself on the skills of its well-trained baristas who can whip up a Cappuceto (Almond & Cappucino), Turkish Delight (Hazelnut and Vanilla Latte), Affogiato, Hot Mudslide or a deceptively simple double espresso quicker than you can say "kopinya enak."
A Stairway to Heaven
Wine connoisseurs and dedicated dipsomaniacs alike are certain to be attracted to the centrepiece of the restaurant - a wine repository resembling a glass missile silo with bottles of wine seemingly suspended on from a ladder reaching three storeys high. Featuring a wine list that focuses on variety at affordable prices, Ifiori is destined to become a preferred hangout for those who enjoy sipping fine wines while sampling a tantalizing tapas selection that includes trio tortellini, oyster trio style, sautéed tiger prawns with tomato and feta crumbles, sesame-crusted tuna with duo sesame seeds, or teriyaki eel with Japanese rice.
The restaurant is located in the heart of Tuban with ample parking area next to Waterbom on Jalan Kartika Plaza.
Ifiori is open every day of the week from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on weekends.
Reservations are recommended, call ++62-(0)361-750158 or ++62-(0)361-750175.
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Arming Bali's Police with First Aid Knowledge
BIMC Trains 150 Bali Policemen on the Finer Points of Emergency Medical Care.
Beginning in March of this year,the Bali Police Force began a series of back-to-back training sessions for 150 police officers conducted by the Bali International Medical Center Hospital (BIMC).
First Response Training
Based on guidelines from the National First Aid Science Advisory Board and the American Heart Association, the officers were taught basic life support and decision-making protocols in dealing with injured citizens. The training imparted critical assessment skills needed for working in an emergency medical situation and how best to assist the injured until professional help arrives.
Medical experts have long emphasized the importance of life-sustaining medical assistance in the minutes immediately following an accident, terming the first 60-minutes following an injury as the "golden hour" which largely determines both the long-term recovery and, in many cases, the very survival of a patient.
The training provided by the BIMC is part of a program of first-aid and medical training provided by the Hospital to the local community in Bali.
Singapore Trading Company Secures 70.5% Share of Le Meridien Nirwana Golf and Spa.
Indonesia's Finance Ministry has reportedly sold a 70.5% shared in PT Bali Nirwana Resort for Rp. 510.8 billion (approximately US$56.1 million). The partial purchase of the 100-hectare golf resort and 278-room hotel complex was at a price far below the US$169.23 million targeted by the State-owned PT Perusahaan Pengelola Asset (PTPAA); a price tied to a suspiciously over-inflated book value fueled by excessive initial borrowings to build the complex.
The successful bidder was E-Crips Trading Ltd of Singapore who managed to outbid the only other competitor Samtan Co from South Korea. Two other companies who had initially expressed interest in the property - Hanwa Securities of South Korea and Pink Sapphire Investment of Singapore failed to submit their bids before the July 25 deadline.
The sale price for the property also included a debt of US$35 million.
The property is managed under the brand Le Meridien Nirwana Golf and Spa.
Australian PM Howard Meets Indonesian President in Bali.
John Howard Opens Eye Hospital and Inaugurates New Consulate Office During Bali Visit.
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono presided over the official inauguration of the Australia-Bali Memorial Eye Center located at Denpasar's Sanglah General Hospital on Friday, July 27, 2007.
President Yudhoyono cited the AU$7 million eye clinic as a "living memorial" to those who lost heir lives in the October 2002 terrorist attack on Bali and living testament to the spirit of humanity and friendship that exists between Australia and Indonesia.
In response, Mr. Howard told those attending the inauguration: "This is a gift from the Australian people to the future health and well-being of the people of Bali and Indonesia, It is a practical memorial to those who died in the attack on 12 October, 2002, and also a practical expression of the ongoing affection of the people of Australia towards the people of the island of Bali."
The Center is targeted to treat 3,000 Balinese suffering from cataracts each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that of the 55,000 Indonesian afflicted with blindness two-third of that total are victims of treatable catarcts.
Not an Eye for an Eye
Much to the credit of Australian diplomacy, Mr. Howard reportedly did not use his Bali visit to substantively raise the case of the "Bali Nine" and the fate of six Australian drug smugglers now sitting on death row in Bali's Keorbokan prison.
Declining from commenting on the matter while the young Australian's case is still before the courts, Howard did say he: "fully respected and supported the tough approach taken by Indonesia in relation to drug trafficking. No one should be in any doubt that in Australia there is scant regard for people who believe they can breezily ignore the drug laws of Indonesia."
While President Yudhoyono refused specific comment on the case during his Bali meeting with Howard, he has been steadfast on the issue in the past, insisting he would grant no pardons to drug traffickers. Asked by the press in Bali if he would consider clemency for the Australians slated to end their days before an Indonesian firing squad, President Yudhoyono diplomatically replied, saying: "Drug-related crimes are very serious crime in Indonesia. We take strong measures to fight that kind of crime, to save our future, to save our (next) generations."
New Consulate Inaugurated
Mr. Howard also used his visit to Bali to inaugurate a new Consulate located on Jalan Hayam Wuruk in Denpasar.
It's a Mad Mad World - Except in Bali
www.globalincidentmap.com - A High Tech Web Site Which Shows Indonesia to Be a Relative Oasis of Peace in and Otherwise Troubled World.
In this modern world of information technology the challenge is often not in finding information, but in organizing the massive flood of data and information into some sort of understandable matrix.
With this challenge in mind, we recently stumbled across a website too good not to share. [www.globalincidentmap.com] is a website that continuously tracks acts of terrorism and "other suspicious activities" on a global basis. Updated every 440 seconds, this very high-tech website tracks terrorism incidents the way Dow Jones monitors stock prices. World news services are monitored and every incident is instantly logged onto a global map. Go to the site, load the world map and place you mouse over an icon in a specific locality for summary details or you can "click" the icon for a more detailed report of untoward activity is associated with that point on the globe.
The site also allow users to "zoom-in" on specific areas and load maps using set criteria, such as type of incident and occurences by specific time periods.
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Indonesia: A Relative Oasis of Peace
For those too busy to load this site, we've taken the liberty of presenting a screen capture which shows global incidents over the past 60 days. Click and enlarge the image. While our image can't demonstrate the very sophisticated functionality offered by the global incident map in its on-line version, it should provide a general idea of the extensive security information this site provides.
We'd also like to draw your attention to the relative lack of terrorism and incident icons shown in the area of the Indonesian archipelago as compared to other localities. Clearly, Indonesia is a relative oasis of peace in an otherwise troubled world.
In fact, using the information provided on the accompanying map suggests it may be much safer to be Indonesia than to stay "at home" in Europe, Australia or the U.S.A.
Bali Better by Halves
Bali by the Numbers: January - June 2007 Arrivals the Strongest First-Half Ever in Bali Tourism.
Bali ended the first six months of 2007 with 745,494 foreign arrivals, a +35% improvement over the previous year, making the first semester of 2007 the strongest start ever for the island's tourism industry. Previously, that record was held by the year 2001 when 680,881 foreign visitors came to Bali in the January-June period; the current year surpassed that record by +9.6%.
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Bali's Top 5 Markets and China
. Japanese arrivals for January-June 2007 (158,881) improved +48.43% over 2006 and came in only -5.6% behind the best first-half-year recorded for Japanese visitors when 168,392 came to Bali in 2000.
. Australian arrivals for the first-half of 2007 also improved, up +51.56% for the year. While Australian arrivals were trending into positive territory, current arrivals still lag some -34.2% behind 2005 when 130,875 Australian came to Bali during the January-June period.
. Taiwanese arrivals improved +3.2% during the first half of 2007. Suggesting there's stillroom for improvement is the fact that the current year is still -25.95% behind Taiwan's best first-half recorded in 2002 (97,329).
. 2007 set a dynamic new pace for South Korean arrivals improving +71.25% over the previous year - making 2007 the best-first-half-ever in Bali for arrivals from that market.
. 2007 also saw visitors from mainland China move into major-market-segment-territory, improving +89.92% over the previous year.
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ASEAN arrivals improved +34.9% for the first six months of 2007 underlining the growing role played by low-cost regional airlines in Bali's arrival totals. Within the ASEAN market, Malaysia and Singapore were star performers improving +49% and +6%, respectively, for the first six months of 2007.
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The Americas and Key European Markets
. While arrivals from the Americas, comprised of visitors from all of North and South America, grew +18.14% for January-June 2007, those numbers still lagged -31.94% behind totals from this market achieved in 2001 (57,053).
. Similarly, U.K. arrivals improved +6.7% for the first-half of 2007, but still need to play a game of major catch-up to perform at levels achieved in 2001. The current year's arrivals for January-June are -47.08% behind the 55,933 U.K. visitors who came to Bali in the first semester of 2001.
. German arrivals for January-June improved +5.2% for 2007. But, there's still a long road to travel before German arrivals begin to match performance levels in 2001; current first semester levels are -28.67% behind 2001 (41,150).
. French arrival are hitting record-territory, improving +12.1% in the first half of 2007.
. Equally impressive is the picture painted by The Netherlands, which turned in the "best ever" first-half-year, improving +41.1% over the same period in 2006.
. Meanwhile, Russia has now firmly established itself as a "new player" in Bali tourism, recording 18,473 visitors during the first half of 2007; rising dramatically from just 7 years before when Russian visitors to Bali were at totals "near to nothing."
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The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.