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Interview: Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik.
Radar Bali January 1, 2009, edition carried an interview with Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, conducted by Ketut Ari Teja. That interview, examining past and future performance within Indonesia’s tourism sector, is freely translated below. Interview: Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism.
Radar Bali: What were the successes of (Indonesia) tourism in 2008? Jero Wacik: Before we discuss any success in 2008, I must first talk about the success achieved in 2007. Only after that (looking at 2007), can we discuss success in 2007 and targets for 2009. Radar Bali:What was achieved in 2007 or 2008? Jero Wacik: In 2007 (Indonesian) tourism achieved amazing success. Moreover, it achieved the best-ever record in our history. It even surpassed the success achieved in the years prior to the terrorist acts of Amrozi and his associates which undermined the very foundations of Bali’s tourism. Radar Bali:Can you illustrate your point with numbers? Jero Wacik:Foreign tourists totaled 5.5 million. Foreign exchange earned hit US$5.3 billion. If converted to Indonesian Rupiahs that’s Rp. 60 trillion. Those are the results for 2007 and represent a national record. Indonesia had never before attracted for many foreign tourists. The results for 2008 are even more dramatic. Radar Bali:Such as? Jero Wacik:Now, let me explain what was achieved in 2008 where results surpassed the records set in 2007. This new high record in our history will see 6.4 million foreign arrivals. That’s an increase of 900,000 when compared to 2007. Radar Bali:How much foreign exchange has been earned? Jero Wacik: The news is even better when viewed from the standpoint of foreign exchange. The average spent by each foreign tourist is US$1,178. If that amount is multiplied by 6.4 million tourists the total is US$7.51 billion (sic) or more than Rp. 80 trillion. This amount makes tourism biggest source of foreign exchange after the natural resource sector. Radar Bali:Were we able to achieve that kind of success in 2008? Jero Wacik:The answer to that question is the program launched by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2008 ‘Visit Indonesia Year.’ Just so you know, many people tried to stop me from launching this program. Many were pessimistic because our airports are not ready and our immigration service is not so good. But I forced those people who were not ready. In the beginning there were obvious stumbles. Garuda, Immigration and the airports were confused. Nonetheless, once underway, immigration in Bali which had only 10 gates was revamped and has 30 gates. Garuda was even late installing the logo for Visit Indonesia Year 2007. But I used my authority as the Minister of Culture and Tourism and continued to lobby (for the program’s acceptance.) Later, Angkasa Pura (the management authority at the Cengkareng airport built 200 new toilers. In the end, everyone supported ‘Visit Indonesia Year’ and the success we achieved in 2008. If we’re talking success, 1991’s ‘Visit Indonesia Year’ was a bigger success. Radar Bali:How did Bali experience this advance in tourism? Jero Wacik:Bali made history in 2007 with 1.7 million visitors. This was a record number of arrivals. Bapak Nurjaya (Chief of tourism for the Province of Bali) knows this, and Bapak Pitana (the former Chief of tourism for Bali) also knows this. However, in the time of Bapak Pitana this level of figures were never achieved. For ‘Visit Indonesian Year 2008’ Bali targeted 1.9 foreign visitors. I rounded that figure up to 2 million. I am confident (this figure) can happen, although the final figures have yet to be announced. I am confident that 2 million can be achieved (for 2008), and firm 2009 targets have yet to be announced. Radar Bali:Does this mean that 2009 will see the launch of ‘Visit Indonesia Year 2009”? Jero Wacik: Because the results were food, the number of visits for foreign tourists were good, domestic visitors were also good – certainly this good programs will be continued while noting that improvements will be made. The supporting machinery is warmed up. Thus, we have no choice but to continue with ‘Visit Indonesia Years 2009.’ So, I have confirmed that for 2009 I will launch ‘Visit Indonesia Year’ again. Radar Bali: What the greatest obstacle confronting tourism in 2009? Jero Wacik: Our tourism will the affected by the global crisis. That will cast a shadow and make things difficult. We calculate that without this crisis, everything would be going smoothly. Radar Bali:What will be the most concrete effect of this global crisis? Jero Wacik: Because of this crisis, I am not bold enough to increase tourism targets by too much. I have deferred to the World Tourism Organization. The target for tourism growth world wide is for 2 percent of less or, at the best, 2 percent. I have used this as a benchmark. For 2009 I am only prepared to increase targets by 1 or 2 percent. Radar Bali: What are the concrete figures Jero Wacik: Our target for 2009 is not much different from our 2008 target of 6.4 million foreign tourist arrivals. This means that the target I have set for 2009 is around 6.5 million tourists. In terms of foreign exchange, I have estimated an average spend of only US$1,00 per visitor. The possibility is that people will continue to come, but they will not spend much. We will obtain an estimated US$ 6.5 billion – a foreign exchange target fare below the target of 2008. The only exception to this will be if there is a rapid recovery from the global crisis. Radar Bali: This means that the percentage of growth is also down, why aren’t we focusing on just quality tourists? Jero Wacik: Ya, quality has declined. For 2007 and 2008 growth increased 16 percent. Now the most we can expect is 2 percent, globally there is a decline as well. As regards ‘quality tourists.’ We are seeking them via their buying power as much as possible. But, if the world economy is ailing, it is difficult to make people spend. Thus, an average spend of US$1,000 per visitor is already very good. Radar Bali: What are the tactic that will be employed to escape this condition? Jero Wacik: I’m inclined to look at the large domestic tourism market in 2009. This has to be approached more seriously. Indonesians like to travel. In addition, this is an election year. This has potential for tourism. Radar Bali: Are you certain that the election year will have an impact on tourism visits? Jero Wacik: If we can safeguard the political process and (keep it_ safe and free from anarchy, why not? I hope that the coming election is not over-dramatized. This includes the media; don’t create anxiety about the elections. Relax. We need to be relaxed when we choose leaders. Don’t get overheated, be peaceful – we are all brothers. If this can be achieved, I am convinced that (the elections) can become a support for tourism, moreover we’ll experience a boom of ‘political tourists.’ Because of this, in this election year there will appear a new model – ‘political tourism.’ Just imagine the consolidation of 38 different parties via the leadership of local and national councils as they campaign in every corner of the country. We can already see this starting to happen. So much so, the continuing campaign will fill small accommodation ranging from home stays to five star plus hotels. Time will tell. But the political process must be courteous and peaceful. Even more so in Bali, where there are already a number of political events being organized in Bali, ranging from small rallies to congresses.
Bends in the Road
Garuda Indonesia Reroutes Shanghai Flights to Assist Chinese Tourists.
In reaction to the growing number of mainland Chinese visitors coming to Bali, Garuda Indonesia is in the process of changing its schedules to the People’s Republic. Bisnis.com quotes Garuda’ Corporate Vice-President, Pujobroto, as saying the routes that will be changed are Jakarta-Shanghai- Jakarta which will become Jakarta=Shanghai-Denpasar-Jakarta. “This decision has been made so Chinese tourists can fly directly to Bali,” explained Pujobroto. He explained that the route change will take effect from January 20, 2009 to help stimulate mainland Chinese tourism, in keeping with the government’s plans to increase Chinese visits in 2009. Pujobroto added, “Garuda will use new aircraft with all new interiors.” Garuda has ordered 50 new Boeing 737NG aircraft which will start coming on line in mid 2009. Meanwhile, 10 new Boeing 777-300ER are slated to be delivered in 2010. At present, Garuda is operating 54 modern aircraft comprised of three wide-body Boeing 747-499, six Boeing 737NG and thirty-nine Boeing 737s.
Garuda Expand Domestic Route Network.
18 New Domestic Routes to Be Launched by Garuda in January 2009.
Bisnis.com reports that Garuda Indonesia will open 18 new domestic routes commencing January 16, 2009. Pujobroto, the Airline’s Coporate Vice-President, depicted the opening of the new routes as part of Garuda’ overall growth plan. “The development of the new routes will be supported by 14 new Boeing 737NG that will begin gradually arriving in mid-2009,” explained the Garuda official. Garuda currently operates a fleet of 54 aircraft. Aircraft on order will bring the Airline’s entire armada to 128 planes by 2013. Pujobroto revealed that the new routes to be opened starting on January 16, 2009 include: • Jakarta-Tanjung Karang Lampung • Jakarta-Malang • Jakarta-Makassar-Kendari • Jakarta-Makassar-Gorontalo • Jakarta-Makasar-Sorong • Jakarta-Makassar-Pali • Jakarta-Makassar-Ambon • Jakarta-Jambi • Jakarta-Manado-Ternate • Jakarta-Balikpapan-Tarakan • Jakarta-Pangkal Pinang • Denpasar (Bali)-Lombok • Denpasar (Bali)-Kupang
Bali, Not Another Mumbai
Year-end Security Review by Bali’s Chief of Police Underlines High State of Preparedness.
In an end of the year briefing by Bali’s Chief of Police, Inspector General Teuku Husein, the island’s leading law enforcement officer, issued assurances that his officers were prepared for any potential threat. In anticipation of terrorism attacks mirroring the Mumbai tragedy, General Husein was quoted in theJakarta Post as saying that his command team are in possession of blueprints for all hotels in Bali. Insisting that Bali “will not be another Mumbai.” Bali’s Chief of Police told the press: “It's not that we're being arrogant but God willing what happened in Mumbai will not happen here. It would be insane if we did not know that a bunch of armed gunmen had entered several hotels, or that these men had just hijacked a boat." Indian authorities have been roundly crticized both at home and abroad for the slow response to the Mumbai atrtacks that claimed the lives of 164 people. Added to this were reports that the Indian police response was hampered by bureacratic delays, and a shortage of arms and equipment with which to fight the terrorists General Ashikin inistsed that a similar scenario in which a group of armed terrorist marched into town would be impossible in Bali, where any armed incursion would be immediately reported by the public to the police. He aslo said that his officers have been trained extensively in emergency response methods and could arrive at any key location within minutes of an alarm beging raised. Full-scale drills involving storming of leading hotels in Bali have further sharpened the emergency response skills of Bali’s first responders. Ashikin gave full marks to local hoteliers who have cooperative fully with the police in developing emergecny scenarios and familiarizing officers with the layouts of all resorts. Additional drills are planned over the coming weeks that will focus on damage limitation, handling hundred of injured tourists and coordinating responses with local hospitals. Never Again Bali has suffeerd two devastation terrorist attachs. In October 2002 Islamic militatants attacked two Bali nightspots killing 202 people and injuring scores of others. This was followed in 2005 when the bombing of a Kuta restaurant and a beachside restaurant in Jimbaram killed another 20 people.
Walhi Calls for Moratorium on Tourism Projects In Bali
Environmental Watchdog Group Asks Governor Pastika to Remain Firm in Pledge to Protect Bali’s Environment.
Friend of the Earth Indonesia - Bali - an environmental watchdog group known locally as Wahli has sent a letter to Governor Made Mangku Pastika once again calling on the chief executive to take urgent and decisive actions to save Bali from the deleterious effects of tourism. As reported in Kompas, the Director of Wahli Bali, Agung Wardana said “firm action is very important, bearing in mind that the environment of Bali is suffering under an escalating attack.” He warned that if environmental conservation is not quickly taken into hand via a moratorium on tourism development, conflicts between those wishing to protect the island’s ecology and those hungry for more land will only increase over time. Wardana also told the press, “Governor Pastika, who was selected directly by the people of Bali, showed at the beginning of his term a synergy to work on behalf of the Island’s environment.” In Wardana’s view, Governor Pastika has taken firm actions against a number of projects threatening Bali’s natural environment. He hopes that the Governor will continue to take uncompromising action to keep Bali’s ecology safe in the midst to the current boom in tourism facilities. He also pointed out the growing imbalance in the Island’s natural environment was demonstrated by the floods that affected Badung, Ginayar and the city of Depasar.
Garuda Maintenance Gets International Certification
Garuda Maintenance Facility Gets Top Marks from US Transportation Security Administration.
PT GMF AeroAsia the aviation maintenance wing of Garuda Indonesia has earned international certification from the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). That Garuda has passed rigorous standards for aviation security systems was confirmed after an inspection visit to the GMF facility by the TYSA in Jakarta conducted August 19-21, 2008. The spokesperson for GMF, Dwi Prasmono Adji, told Tempo Interactive. “the TSA statement will help GMF in gaining trust from US customers.”
New Fiscal Tax Policy Now in Operation.
Summary of the Changes in Policy Effective 01 January 2009. Fiscal Fees Waived for Registered Tax Payers and Increased 250% for Those Choosing Not to Obtain a NPWP.
As reported by balidiscovery.com [See: Fiskal Tax Increases to Rp. 2.5 Million January 1, 2009], January 1, 2009, marked the introduction of a major change in the government’s policy on the fiscal tax charges to local residents and Indonesian nationals. The Rp. 1 million (US$90) formerly charge to residents and Indonesian citizens has been eliminated for those in possession of an official tax number (NPWP) and increased to Rp. 2.5 million (US$225) for those without a tax number. According to the Jakarta Post, the tax office has been undertaking rehearsal drills to minimize inconvenience during the introduction of the change in fiscal tax policy. Separate channels have been set up for individuals who must pay the new tax rates and those eligible for the new exemption. According to the Jakarta Post, information pamphlets have also been prepared to guide the public. The three channels in place at all international airports are: • Registered taxpayers who are now exempt from paying the fiscal tax. • Those under 21 years of age are exempt from paying the fiscal tax. • Those with supporting documents which exempt them from paying the fiscal tax. A spokesman for the Tax department, Darmin, said, “after checking in at ports or airports, registered taxpayers will need to validate their tax numbers (NPWP) with the tax office (there), and bring a copy of their NPWP,” Spouses and other claiming an exemption from the tax will need to bring a copy of their “kartu keluarga” or “family card.” To show officials at the airport. Family members of an NPWP holder under 21 are exempted form the fiscal tax, a change from the old policy that only exempted children under the age of 12. Taxpayers wishing to qualify for the NPWP exemption should apply for tax registration a minimum of three days before departing abroad. This will allow the tax number registration to be conveyed to international gateways at airports and seaports across the country. In the event, however, that the NPWP was rejected by port officials, the traveler would have to pay the Rp. 2.5 million tax which can be claimed against future tax liability. Those Exempt from Paying the Fiscal Tax 1. Tourist visitors to Indonesia. 2. People below 21 years of age 3. Foreigners staying in Indonesia no more than 183 days within the last 12 months 4. Diplomats and people working for the diplomatic corps 5. International organization officials, including families 6. Indonesian citizens with residency permits from a foreign country 7. Haj pilgrims 8. Indonesian citizens working abroad 9. People departing Indonesia by land 10. NPWP holders and their dependents Those Exempt from Paying Exit Tax with Supporting Documents 1. Foreign students in Indonesia 2. Foreigners involved in research in science and culture, cooperation in technology, religious and humanitarian missions 3. Foreigners working in Batam, Bintan and Karimun and liable to pay income tax as per Article 21 or Article 26. 4. Disabled and ill people seeking medical treatment abroad paid for by social organizations 5. Members of art, culture and sport missions who represent Indonesia abroad 6. Students in a student-exchange program 7. Indonesian citizens working abroad with approval from the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry
The Left and Right Hand of Planning in Bali's South
Plans to Build a Sanur-Tanjung Benoa Toll Bridge at Odds with Plans to Turn Benoa into a Cruise Terminal.
As reported on balidiscovery.com, plans to build a toll bridge connecting Serangan Island (Sanur) and Tanjung Benoa have been put on indefinite suspension by the refusal of Bali's Governor to include a yearly budget "installment" that would allow the project to proceed. [See: A Troubled Bridge over Balinese Waters]. The future of the toll bridge was called into further question when the Benoa port managers, Pelindo III, recently pointed out that the current plans to build the toll bridge over the Benoa port's entrance would automatically put to an end to plans to develop the port for cruise shipping. Radar Bali quoted the
Benoa Port Administrator, I Wayan Suarta, as telling a group of visiting legislators that the height of the proposed bridge would create a barrier to visiting cruise ships. Suarta explained: "Cruise ships would be barred by the toll bridge. The smallest cruise ship is 35 meters high while the height of the toll bridge is only 30 meters." While on-again-off-again toll bridge, if it is ever constructed, would put an end to plans for a cruise port in South Bali, port managers are nonetheless moving ahead with developing the marina complex for yacht shipping by dredging the port area and creating supporting infrastructure. Should the toll bridge be eventually built, then all cruise ships would be compelled to seek port at the new Tanah Ampo facility neat Karangasem on Bali's eastern coast. Cruise passengers would then have to travel either by road to the southernmost past of the Island or use smaller fast ferry vessels to travel down the coats to the centrally located Benoa port. Benoa port authorities report that ten cruise ships carrying a total of 2,016 passengers called on Benoa in 2007. Through November 2008 seven cruise ships carrying 913 people called on Benoa. On another level, the planning imbroglio underlines the lack of coordination between those backing the provincial initiative to construct the toll road bridge and national plans to develop cruise shipping at Benoa.
Lowering Our Expectations
Bali Tourism Officials Trim Back Original Arrival Projections for 2009.
Beritabali.com reports that the Bali Tourism Authority (BTA), faced with the growing world financial crisis, has reduced the target for foreign tourist visitors in 2009 from 2.1 million to 1.8 million. As reported previously at balidiscovery.com ,
[See: Bali Tourism Promotion Budget Reduced for 2009], the Island’s tourism authority was originally targeting 2.1 million foreign visitors to Bali in 2009 despite a 20% reduction in tourism marketing funds. Explaining the change of heart, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority (BTA), Gede Nurjaya, said, “after evaluating (further) and taking into consideration the possible impact of the global financial crisis, we finally reduced the target from 2.1 million to 1.8 million.” Nurjaya told the press that the lower target was necessary due to the reduced buying power of a number of European and Asia-Pacific countries that is certain to affect the ability of many to travel. Saying he was uncertain of the number of cancellations Bali had received, Nurjaya emphasized that new bookings continue to flow into the Island Nurjaya said the total number of foreign tourist will be slightly more than 1.9 million. When these are added to domestic tourists the total number of visitors become more than 5 million. Remarking on 2008, Nurjaya told the press that business was good with no ‘low season.’
The Sun Also Set, Just Later
Indonesian Tax Officials Extend Deadline for Tax Registration Until February 2009..
The Indonesian government has extended the deadline on its “sunset policy” from December 31, 2008 until February 2009. The policy, which waives tax sanctions for companies and individuals who register and acquire official tax numbers (NPWP) before the deadline date, is being extended by the government in response to numerous requests from the public. The “sunset policy” has been labeled by the government as a genuine success, increasing the number of registered tax payers by more 3 million to more than 10.2 million. Indonesia’s Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani, remains committed to increasing Indonesia’s tax base and resulting revenues. To this end, she is forging new relationships between the tax office, immigration and the Department of Justice. Reflecting this new cooperation, the immigration department now requires applicants for Indonesian passports to have an NPWP. Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia is assisting the Department of Taxation by requiring that NPWP be noted on every foreign exchanged transaction exceeding US$10,000. Clearly, Indonesia is heading toward a more pervasive and encompassing tax regime. Much of this new regime will center around the NPWP, a number that may soon be required on a whole range of legal documents and financial transactions.
Bali ‘Water’ Governor
Made Mangku Pastika Wants to Brings Easy and Inexpensive Clean Water Supplies to all Balinese.
Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika has thrown his hat in the ring in the Indonesian pastime of special monikers describing the unique traits and skills of its various provincial governors. In this nation-wide competition for nick names, the governor of Gorontalo in North Sulawesi, Fadel Muhammad, is known as the “Gubernur Jagung” or “Corn Governor” because of his success in developing that commodity for his province. Explained Pastika while speaking at an agricultural gathering, “If Fadel Muhammad is the ‘Corn Governor’, then I want to be known as the ‘Water Governor’ (Gubernur Air).” ”I will always try to secure water for the people encountering problems obtaining clean water,” he added. A long-stranding favorite theme of Bali’s governor as he travels across the island is the injustice of water distribution between people living in remote regions and city dwellers. Complains Pastika: “In the city, people can obtain water for Rp. 50 (US$0.005) per cubic meter. But in the regions, such as Kubu or Seraya, the cost of a cubic meter of water can be Rp. 50,000 (US$4.50). This is not just and must be remedied.” The governor equates the shortage of water crisis as being identical with poverty. And, in turn, poverty is a close cousin of ignorance. The Governor see a vicious circle emerging with ignorance, to his mind, being the breeding ground of poverty. Governor Pastika has singled out the areas of Kubu, Seraya, Karangasem, Gerokgak Buleleng and the eastern regions of Buleleng as crisis areas for water supplies in Bali.
Minister Wacik Lobbies for North Bali Airport
Suggesting There May be Little Alternative, Jero Wacik Urges Serious Consideration for a New Airport in North Bali.
Radar Bali reports two schools of thoughts are forming on the future of Bali’s international airport. One, led by Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika, seeks to expand the current airport at Tuban. The other, being championed by Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, favors building a new airport in Bali’s north. Driving the Minister’s argument are the many – and some would suggest impossible impediments, entailed in trying to expand the current airport. Rather than deal with the land availability, environmental opposition and engineering challenges engendered by trying to extend and widen the current runway, Minister Wacik has turned his focus to promoting a modern airport in the far north of the island. Saying that a North Bali airport would automatically address the uneven economic development between the Island’s North and South, Wacik makes the practical argument: “Bali needs a large infrastructure. If now, the Ngurah Rai Airport is already inadequate, what’s going to happen in 20 years when clearly it will be unable to accommodate domestic and international flights.” As short term steps, Wacik is calling for a review of Bali’s current airport, determining if it can be widened or lengthened and looking at the option of operating two airports in Bali. Wacik told the press that the people of Bali must remain flexible in their thinking as regards meeting the need for an airport. If past problems of an inability to extend the current western end of the runway into the ocean and the eastern end cannot be extended into the environmentally sensitive mangrove reserve, Wacik insists the option of a new airport has to be seriously considered. That same flexibility of approach should also allow the consideration of Bali operating two airports, with Wacik pointing to the island nation of Singapore that sustains three airports. The Minister also warns that the planning and building of a new airport in Bali would require a time frame of 5-10 years to complete. While insisting he is neutral on where a new airport in Bali might be located, Wacik says Ginayar would not work because it is too close to the current airport, prompting him to propose that Bali’s far north of Buleleng as the most appropriate site for an airport. Talking to the press and using his extended arms to illustrate a landing aircraft, Wacik said his preliminary thoughts suggest that the village of Bungkulan, Kubutambagan would be well-suited for a large airport facility. Wacik is optimistic that an airport in North Bali would support Bali’s tourism and spread the economic benefits of tourism to areas of Bali where unemployment and drop-out rates are high. Challenging his fellow Balinese, Wacik said: “If your thinking is stagnant and maintains expansion of the airport can’t be done; we can’t be bothered expanding the airport; the current airport is sufficient – well, go ahead. But with the single stipulation that you should stop having more children. More people need more employment opportunities. If your thinking is stagnant, where are these kids going to find employment?” A recent “open house” meeting conducted by Governor Mangku Pastika, there was wide-spread support from those wishing to expand the current airport at Ngurah Rai Airport.
Bali Discovery's Pre-Flight Spa Program
The Last and Best Part of a Bali Holiday – A Pre-Flight Pampering Session with Gaya Spa.
Troubling over how to spend the hours between a mid-day check out from your hotel and an evening flight departure time in Bali? Dreading the body fatigue that accompanies a long flight home over numerous time zones? Looking for a way to pause after that final dash of shopping in order to arrive at your flight totally relaxed and refreshed? Wondering how to spend an extended transit time in Bali between a local domestic flight and your international departure time?
Bali Discovery Pre Flight Spa Program
Bali Discovery Tours (www.balidiscovery.com) has launched a luxurious new way to wile away your time on your last day in Bali before facing the ordeal of the flight back home. Working together with Gaya Spa and the Ma Jolly restaurant, the Pre-flight spa programs offer a seamless service that begins from check out from a Bali hotel until you enter the departure area at Bali's International Airport. An English speaking guide will take you and your luggage from a local hotel and bring you to the spa, located just 5-10 minutes from the airport. Upon arrival at the Gaya Spa the concierge will take you bags into safe keeping and remain in contact with the airport to monitor any changes in your flight departure time. A therapist will then offer you a refreshing drink and brief you on your selection from one of six specially designed pre-flight spa programs and show you to the treatment area. The six programs, presented in detail on www.balidiscovery.com offer a wide range of therapies of various duration, ranging from 2 to 4.5 hours, to fill the time until our driver takes you and your luggage on short ride to the airport to catch your departure flight. A welcome drink at the renowned Ma Jolly seaside restaurant is also included in yout pre-flight spa program allowing, as time permits, the enticing option of a meal or cocktails prior to leaving for the airport.
Trawangan-Bali Fast Ferry Sinks
40 Passengers and 4 Crew Abandon Ship and Manage to Make it Safely to Shore in First Shipping Mishap of 2009.
Bali Post reports that 35 foreign tourists and 5 local tourists had a close call with fate on Friday, January 2, 2009, when the fast ferry boat carrying them from Gili Trawangan (near Lombok) to Serangan Island at Bali sunk just miles of Bali's coast. The Lian Sengiggi lost power and started taking on water near the Watu Klotok Temple in the Klungkung Regency. Using life preservers the crew and passengers abandoned ship and made it to shore, some with the help of local fishermen who came to their assistance. The passengers and crew were brought to the Mapolsek police station to make statements necessary to authorities in their investigations. According to Bali Post, a number of passengers rescued from the sea were not listed on the formal official manifest sent from Gili Trawangan, suggesting the ship was not in compliance with shipping rules. The ship reportedly left Gili Trawangan at 12 noon and, after two hours into its journey, lost power and began to take on water. The ship quickly sank and the passengers, jumped into the sea where they held onto each other, forming three spearate groups. Two of the groups managed to swim to shore at Jumpai, while the third group was carried by strong current to Kusamba beach where local fishing boats came to their rescue. The ship's captain, Agus Purnomo, refused to comment to the press on the circumstances surrounding the loss of his ship, saying, "Frankly, I panicked. I can't explain anything. What's clear, the water suddenly rushed in. I don't remember anything more." The ship carried a crew of 4 with the 40 tourists hailing from Indonesia, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, Great Britain and Germany.
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