Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: ++62 361 286 283
Fax: ++62 361 286 284
24h: Voice/SMS ++62 812 3819724
BALI UPDATE #585 - 26
Bali Tourism Companies Recruit New Management Talent
Latest List of New Who's Who in Bali Tourism.
A number of Bali's leading travel and accommodation companies have recently announced key new management postings.
Sarah-Jane Mierop Joins PT Jaya Dwipa
A long-time Bali resident, Sarah-Jane Mierop, has been appointed PR and Marketing Director of PT Jaya Dwipa Mandiri a company that owns Villa Balquisse, The Shaba, Haveli, Shahinaz Collection, Hishem, Villa Balquisse Living and Zohra Boukhari Interiors.
This follows her most recent assignment in Lombok where she served as the Chief editor of the Lombok Times.
With more than 13 year in Indonesia, Sarah hails from Vancouver, Canada. A mother of an 8 year-old Son, Sarah has worked as a qualified English teacher and professional editor.
Philippe Mauron in Charge of Food & Beverage at Bali Hyatt
Philippe Mauron heads the food and beverage team at the Bali Hyatt, effective November 1, 2007.
A Swiss national and a graduate of the Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland, Philippe's career has taken him to world class hotels and restaurants in Europe and Asia. An established cuisine celebrity in Bali, Philippe previous employment includes a 2 year stint as General Manager of the popular KuDeTa Restaurant before joining the Hyatt family in 2003, working in several positions in Thailand prior to his latest Bali assignment.
Mashario Hayashi to Japanese Sales Role at Nikko Bali Resort & Spa
Masahiro Hayashi has joined the Nikko Bali Resort & Spa as the Director of Sales for the Japanese market.
Hayashi, 37, has worked in the hospitality industry for the past decade. A graduate of Kanto Gakuin University where he majored in economics, he began his hospitality career at the Hotel Nikko Osaka, Japan before moving to positions at the Hotel Nikko Princess, Kyoto, Hotel Nikko Tokyo, Hotel Nikko Mexico and his most recent posting as Assistant Marketing Manager in JAL Hotels' Tokyo Head Office.
Noviana Kusumawardhani, in Charge of Public Relations at Nikko
Noviana has been appointed Director of Public Relations at Bali's Nikko Bali Resort & Spa.
Noviana, 40, is the proud mother of two sons. She obtained a degree in Mass Communication from Gajah Mada University Yogyakarta in 1992 and a recipient of a one-year scholarship from AFSat Ellesmere College, Christchurch, New Zealand in 1987.
An active member of a number of community clubs and associations, Noviana started her career as a creative writer at Indosiar Television before moving on to writing positions with various publications and a leading advertising agency.
It's Raining Men in Bali
Finals of International Man 2007 Contest Held in Bali. Taro Alexander Nordmark of Sweden Wins International Man Crown for 2007.
Culminating a two-day contest held at the Novotel Nusa Dua in Bali, Taro Alexander Nordmark, Mister Sweden, defeated 20 other male heart throbs from Indonesia and around the world to claim the International Man 2007 title on Sunday, November 18, 2007.
A full-time student who manages a busy European modeling career, Alex will have to fit in his official duties as "Mr. Sweden" and "International Man 2007" into an already busy schedule.
Competing in the areas of charm, deportment and interviewing skills the charismatic Swede swayed the votes of a panel of 6 judges which included the Senior Editor of Cleo Indonesia, Helina Halid; the Director of Carrie Models International, Jane Liong; the President of Australian swimwear company Beach House Creations, Kara; the Manager of John Robert Powers Indonesia, Rita Tjahono; the Executive Assistant Manager of Novotel Nusa Dua Bali Hotel and Residences, Ketut Iriana; and the President of TM Artisr Management, Teddy Sudjadi.
All contestants competed in three areas of competition - interview, beachwear and evening wear. During the selection process the panel narrowed the list to 5 finalists before making their final selection. Indonesia's international supermodel, Fahrani, dressed in a haute couture gown creation by Raden Sirait, crowned the new winner with a symbolic Balinese crown of royalty.
Final Results of International Man 2007 Competition
. International Man 2007 - Taro Alexander Nordmark of Sweden
. 1st Runner Up - Reinaldo Natanael Samosir of Indonesia
. 2nd Runner Up - Lucas Gil of Brazil.
Lucas Gil (Brazil),
Indonesian super model Fahrani,
Alexande Nordmark (Sweden)and
Reinaldo Samosir (Indonesia)
International Man 2007
Reinaldo Natanael Samosir
(Indonesia) - 1st Runner Up
International Man 2007
Lucas Gil (Brazil),
2nd Runner Up
International Man 2007
Give the Earth a Rest!
Community Activists Propose that 'Nyepi' - Bali's Official Day of Silence' be Adopted as a Day of Rest for Mother Earth.
Numerous political activists with varying political agendas are expected to try to make Bali their stage for protests and street theatre during the The U.N. Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 3-14, 2007. Included among those wishing their voice to be heard will be a "people's power" group of local residents and Balinese planning a cultural parade to coincide with the conference.
Dubbing themselves the "Bali Civil Society Coalition," a spokesman told Tempo Interaktif that numerous environment and community-action non-governmental organizations have joined forces to ensure the voice of the Balinese people is not lost amidst the din of the important international conference.
A day-long demonstration centered at Denpasar's Lapangan Field is scheduled for the group including the reading of a "Declaration from the People of Bali" calling for the Balinese day of absolute silence Nyepi to be declared an "international moment" to provide the earth a day of much-needed rest from the relentless assault of mankind.
Nyepi - a Balinese word for silence, is the name given to the first day of Balinese lunar calendar when it is the religious obligation of every Balinese Hindu to dedicate an entire day to quiet introspection and spiritual cleansing. During this day, the entire island of Bali comes to a complete standstill; the airport closes, streets resemble ghost towns and visitors are confined to their hotels for a 24 hour period.
Nyepi will take place on March 7, 2008.
The "demonstration" at Bali's largest city park will adopt a celebratory atmosphere with traditional music and dance together with a day-long concert of rock, pop, jazz and reggae music. Dances will also be presented by a special troupe from the Indian Cultural Center in Bali.
The cultural parade, concert and people's bazaar is intended to provide an outlet for the Balinese people who wish to have a voice and be heard during the important climate change conference.
One Week and Counting - UN Climate Change Conference in Bali
Security, Surveillance and Some Delays Expected as Bali Hosts the World for the U.N. Climate Change Conference December 3-14, 2007.
On the eve of The U.N. Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Bali is looking forward with anticipation and some trepidation to the largest and most politically charged international conference ever held on the Island. Advance teams are already in place, preparing for the actual event slated for December 3-14, 2007. More than 7,000 Indonesian armed troops complemented by UN Forces will be on duty to protect the estimated 15,000 delegates.
A Truly International Affair
Organizers confirm that 120 ministers of state and high-ranking delegations from 189 countries will attend the important event that is hoped will yield a coordinated world-wide plan to deal with the threat of climate change.
Regular tourist visitors and conference participants should expect to encounter an unprecedented level of security measures at the airport, hotels and public places across the Island.
As the conference dates approach, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued a special warden's message on November 21, 2007, reminding its citizens of a "continued security threat in Indonesia" posed by terrorists. Underlining the highly politicized nature of the conference, the Embassy warned its citizen coming to Bali during the UNFCCC conference period that "demonstrations in connection with this high profile conference could begin at any time."
The high level of security in place for the conference and a "full house" situation at most accommodation providers have many worried that traffic jams and long lines will be common occurrences in Bali during the first half of December 2007.
Nusa Dua Complex: A Security Fortress
With the UNFCCC centered at Bali's Nusa Dua Complex, all land and sea access to that area will be heavily fortified. A security sterilization of the area was introduced starting from mid-November which is expected to intensify as the actual dates of the conference near. Only two of the Complex's four entrances will be open throughout the period of the conference. Vehicles used by delegates and employees will be "exiled" to satellite parking areas outside the Nusa Dua Complex and suppliers to the 14 hotels within Nusa Dua have been told to deliver their goods between midnight and 6 a.m..
Those with business in Nusa Dua during the conference dates should allocate plenty of extra time in their traveling schedule to facilitate thorough vehicle and identity checks.
Police personnel will be high visibility throughout the event with groups of officers assigned to every traffic intersection across the southern part of Bali.
Scientists Cite 'Die Off' as a Periodic, Cyclical Natural Phenomenon.
Beachcombers walking the sands of Bali famous Kuta Beach were greeted last week by the smell of thousands of decaying fish washed up along the shore. The fish, a variety of sardine, have been gathered up by local community members and quickly buried to help reduce the unpleasant stench.
Tempo Interaktif quoted a member of the local shore patrol who also lives near the beach as saying that, although unpleasant in odor, the periodic "die-off" and washing ashore of small fish is seen as a natural phenomenon that often accompanies the change of season along Bali's shores.
The head of the Bali Fisheries Department, Ida Bagus Wisnawa Manuaba, told the press that the fish die-off is a periodic occurrence of nature that happens every 5 years. However, to ensure no other factors are at play samples of the dead fish are undergoing further examination at a government laboratory in Jembrana.
Preliminary theories contend that the fish are the victim of nutrient-rich deep sea currents originating in the Pacific, passing Kalimantan, the Moluccas and Papua before passing Bali's shore. These Pacific currents stimulate an explosive growth of plankton off Bali's southern shore that change the biological balance rendering the waters temporarily uninhabitable to the small fish (Sardinella lemuru) that congregate off the Island's southern coast.
While the decaying fish have, at least temporarily, reduced the number of swimmers enjoying the waters along Bali's Kuta beach, the level of sunbathing appears unaffected. One Dutch tourist, Alfred Boer, told Tempo Interaktif, "this is unpleasant, but not dangerous."
70 Bali Travel Agencies to Be Axed?
Bali ASITA Chairman Seeks to Slim the Ranks of Bali Travel Agents By Ousting Dormant Operators.
BisnisBali reports that 70 Bali travel agents may soon be expelled from the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) as a precursor to the companies' eventual closure by the Indonesian government.
The Chairman of ASITA-Bali, Al Purwa, announced that the 70 "unhealthy" travel agents are being given 3 months to get their house in order or face expulsion from the trade organization. Said Purwa, "We will ask ASITA headquarters to revoke the memberships of the 70 Bali members who are no longer healthy." The 70 companies, according to Purwa, have not responded to repeated attempts by ASITA-Bali to make contact and do not take an active role as a member of the organization.
Purwa fears that the failure to make any contact with the subject companies may indicate that operations have ceased and the enterprise is bankrupt.
Purwa told the press that if the 70 Bali travel agents do not respond during the final 3 month deadline period not only will they lose their ASITA affiliation but face the possibility of license revocation as ASITA will also seek the suspension of the dormant companies operating licenses.
Bali currently has 320 registered travel agents, including the 70 "unhealthy" companies now slated for license suspension.
Purwa questioned the wisdom of the government's continuing granting of new travel agency licenses, despite the growing number of non-viable travel operators. Complained Purwa: "What does the government want? Do they want well organized travel agencies or companies that are in disarray?"
Monthly Minimum Wage Raised to between US$73.66 to US$86.56
Bali Employers Required to Pay New Minimum Rates Starting from January 2, 2008.
The Bali Post reports that the Governor of Bali has set a new minimum wage level of between Rp.685,000 (US$73.66) to Rp. 805,000 (US$86.56) per month for workers in regencies and cities across Bali. The new levels take effect from January 2, 2008 and vary depending on the area of employment. The highest rate applies for workers employed in the most populous Bandung regency of Bali.
The new minimum wage levels, set out in the Governor's Rule No. 8 of 2007, provide for monthly wage minimum of Rp. 685,000 in the Bangli, Tabanan dan Buleleng regencies. The minimum wage for Denpasar is Rp. 800,000 (US$82); Rp. 760,000 for Gianyar regency (US$81.72); Rp. 737,500 (US$79.30) for Jembrana regency; Rp. 712,320 (US$76.59) for Karangasem regency; and Rp.686,000 (US$73.76) for Klungkung regency.
The new regulation issued by the Governor states that the minimum wage paid by a company shall be based on a consensus reached between the business and the head of the union, taking into consideration the company's financial capabilities and the general cost of living.
Companies are entitled under the law to request a postponement of any mandated wage increase from the Department of Manpower. To obtain a postponement the employer must submit company results for the past two years and minutes of meetings conducted with the company's union discussing the requested delay in paying the required minimum wage.
When it Comes to Conservation - Bali Makes No Bones!
Bali Official Seize US$6.45 Million in Rare Bones From a Kuta Shop.
Tempo Interactif reports the Bali's Conservation Department (BKSDA) has seized 2 trucks of antiques and bone of endangered animals from 6 art shops in the Kuta area of Bali. The confiscated goods with a value estimated at Rp, 60 billion (US$6.45 million) is currently being stored for safe keeping at the Bali Conservation Office.
"Although (the confiscated goods) are only bones, this is still a violation of the law," said the Coordinator for Enforcement and Conservation, Budi Utomo. The relevant laws for conservation of natural resources provides for 5 years of prison and a maximum fine of Rp. 100 million (US$10,750).
Among the bird skeletons confiscated were the skulls of four Buceros bicornis or Great Hornbills valued at Rp. 1.2 billion (US$129,000). Also seized were 25 teeth from Dugongs or Dugong dugon costing Rp. 1.5 billion (US$161,300), together with whale bones and swordfish bones. Some of the bone items had been carved and decorated into handicraft items.
The Coordinator of Forestry Police for the BKSDA in Bali, Sri Yudhanto told Tempo Interaktif that the confiscation came as the result of a tip provided by a German tourist who asked why whale bones were being sold openly in Bali shops. Following a brief investigation the contraband were seized in raids over three days conducted between November 6-9, 2007.
The owner of the antique shop initially resisted the confiscation, claiming he had no knowledge of the rules outlawing the private ownership of such items. Yudhanto said his department would initially concentrate on educating the perpetrator, reserving harsher legal steps if the violations continued.
Official believe the bones originated from Papua and East Nusa Tenggara.
Persistence has its Own Rewards
Government Announces Plans for Medals to be Given to Foreign Visitors Who Make 20 or More Visits to any Indonesian Destination.
The Government has announced plans to present medals to foreign tourists who make a minimum of 20 visits to a single Indonesian tourism destination.
Quoted in BisnisBali, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, said that the presentation of "visitor medals" would help increase tourism visits to Indonesia. The program, still in its planning stage, will be launched in the near future.
Explained Wacik, "Not all regions in Indonesia do a good job of tracking visitors. But, in Bali such data is available...We can ask the data from the hotels there (in Bali)."
Moreover, according to Wacik, the Bali Tourism Office indicates that almost 50% of foreign tourists who visit Bali are "repeaters" who come frequently to the Island.
Meanwhile, local tourism pundits have questioned if the government's new plan might boomerang by presenting recognition and awards to illegal foreign worker arriving in Bali following a regular monthly visa run to nearby Singapore?
Bali: The Isle of Dogs?
Yudistira Swarga Foundation Provides Medical Care to Over 12,000 Bali Street Dogs Every Year.
Bisnis Bali reports that as many as 12,000 ownerless Bali street dogs are treated each year through an animal welfare program operated by the Yudistira Swarga Foundation (YYS). Working with foreign financial support - teams of volunteers, veterinarians and veterinary students travel to every corner of Bali to provide medical treatment and sterilization services to street dogs.
Dr. Listriani Wistawan, Chairperson of the YYS, speaking at a seminar on animal welfare in Bali on November 17, 2007, confirmed that her foundation has been providing medical assistance to street dogs since 1998, increasing in intensity from 2002.
Listriani reported that the annual foreign assistance to the YYS amounts to Rp. 1 billion (US$107, 525), a sum allocated to Bali only after a detailed proposal is submitted to the donors.
Dogs treated under the program are either released back into the community or returned to their owners. According to Dr. Listriani, some 90% of the animals operated on by YYS have owners while the remainder are feral street dogs.
The YYS Chairperson, who is also a practicing veterinarian, said the growing popularity of pet ownership in Bali translates into a pet population estimated at between 500,000 and 600,000 animals.
The increasing interest in raising pedigree dogs in Bali has spawned an entire industry of pet shops and professional breeders. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Listriani, many people are drawn by the prestige of owning a rare breed, while being ill-equipped to handle the proper care and maintenance of their favorite pet.
The seminar held at the Hotel Nikki in Denpasar with the theme of "Loved Pet, Healthy Pet - Everybody's Happy" focused on the proper care of household pets and medical care issues related to household animals.
Commercial Sex Operations Linked to Prevalence of HIV Cases in Traditional Balinese Villages.
The National News Agency Antara and Bisnis Indonesia report that thousands of customers engaging in commercial sex in Bali are at risk of HIV infection. In an effort to reduce the number of new cases, the Commission for the Control of AID (KPA) is launching a pilot scheme in a number of Bali regencies to heighten monitoring activities.
The Working Chairman of KPA for Bali, Kesuma Kelakan, told the press that the increased monitoring will include health reviews of sex workers and their customers on a routine basis. These "health inspections" will be jointly conducted by the Department of Health, local community organizations and traditional villages.
Statistics from the Bali Department of Health estimate that for every 4,000 consumers of commercial sex services on the Island not less than 2,500 are at immediate risk of HIV infection.
The Working Chairman of KPA who is also the Vice-Governor of Bali cautioned the press, "close supervision in prostitution areas does not mean that commercial sex is being legalized or that new red light districts are being established".
He went on to explain that in confronting prostitution and its related problems in Bali there are two views open to those seeking a common understanding of the problem. First there is the goal of complete elimination of prostitution followed by those who seek to work with the community and the underlying causes of the problem - poverty, ignorance and a lack of employment opportunities.
Kelakan said the rapid and uncontrolled spread of HIV is causing uneasiness in the community, explaining: "In Tabanan, a husband and wife recently died because of AIDS. Their deaths were followed by their 10 year old child. Now the only family member left is a 12 year old child."
Similar tragic cases have been recorded in Buleleng, Karangasem and other regions of Bali. "How is it that so many villagers are being infected with HIV?" posed Kelakan. In an effort to explain, he addedm: "One reason for the high number of cases (in the villages) is tied to the commercial sex transactions in red light areas. Unwittingly, husbands are having unprotected sex without the aide of condoms in the many commercial sex areas spread across the Island."
Because the symptoms of AIDS can manifest over a period of 5-10 years, Kelakan believes that many infected with HIV unwittingly spread the disease among their families. Often undetected and untreated, HIV clams lives and eventually becomes the moribund inheritance passed on to the next generation.
Kelakan said local villages and their leaders can no longer lift their hands and not care about the presence of commercial sex operations in their communities.
Bali Set for a Strong Finish to 2007
Bali by the Numbers: January-October Figures Set New Records as Bali Regains Lost Ground.
Final foreign tourist arrival figures are now in, showing 146,150 foreign arrivals visited Bali in October 2006 - a +29.8% improvement over October 2006 when 112,629 visitors came to the island. While slightly lower than the previously reported 146,699 arrivals for October 2006 [See: Bali Continues to Raise the Bar on Arrival Totals], the month still goes into the record books as the "best October ever," easily overtaking the "previous best" of October 2000 when 129,932 foreign visitors came to the Island.
On a year-to-date basis, 2006 has tallied 1,375,882 visitors during the first ten months of the year. This total sped past the 1,247,917 visitors recorded for January-October 2005 - the previous best opening ten months for Bali tourism.
With year-to-date Bali arrivals +34.1% ahead of 2006, Balidiscovery.com remains confident that its projection of 1.7 million foreign visitors for the year will be achieved.
Key Markets at a Glance
. Japan remains Bali's leading source of foreign visitors. YTD there were +41.79% (299,444) more Japanese visiting Bali than just one year ago (210,924). Current arrivals figures will, however, have to improve a further +5.3% to achieve a par performance with the heyday of Japanese arrivals recorded in 2000.
. Australia - Still the second largest producer of foreign visitors, the deleterious effects of past terrorist attacks and recent high-profile drug trials seem to be fading from memory with Australian arrivals YTD +53.5% better than 2006 for the first ten months of the year. Good news, no doubt, but any jubilation is tempered by the knowledge that Australian arrivals still lag -29% behind the record number of Australian who visited Bali through the end of October 2005.
. Taiwan - Something of a stalwart in terms of its steady production of visitors to Bali, Taiwan arrivals YTB increased +1.3% in 2007 through the end of October. There's still a game of "catch up" to be played with Taiwanese visitors -22.24% behind what they were in 2002.
. South Korea - Bali is enjoying its best year ever in terms of South Korean visitors, improving +64.46% YTD over 2006 through the end of October 2007.
. ASEAN - The other 9 nations comprising the regional political and trade grouping improved +32.5% through the end of October 2007. Low cost airlines plying regional routes have played a central role in creating what is essentially a new market for Bali tourism.
. Europe - European arrivals January-October 2007 are up +21.02% over the previous year. Holland and France are leading the European recovery in Bali tourism. Arrivals lag only a modest -5.3% behind the "best ever" performance from Europe through the end of October recorded in 2001.
. The Americas - Although recording a YTD improvement of +19.4% for the period January-October 2007, arrivals from North and South America are still a woeful -26.47% behind arrivals the halcyon days of 2000 when 91,499 visitors from The America visited Bali through the end of October.
. Peoples Republic of China - Rising from negligible totals just 8 years ago, Mainland Chinese have become a major source of visitors to Bali, up a staggering +131% YTD for the first ten months of 2007. Ease of visas and more flight access suggest that these numbers may continue with dramatic rates of growth in the years ahead.
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