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Teaching Hospital to be Located either in Tohpati or Jimbaran District of Bali.
The Jakarta Post reports that Rp. 75 billion (US$6.4 million) has been allocated by the national government for the construction of an "international standard training hospital" at an eventual total cost of Rp. 600 billion (US$50.9 million). As part of the provincial government's participation in the project Bali, is being asked to provide a 4-5 hectare site. A formal request has been set to Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika suggesting the Balitex factory site, located across from the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquaters in Tohpati, be used for the proposed hospital. If that parcel of land is not available, the new hospital will likely be built near the Udayana University in Jimbaran.
Liberalized Land Ownership for Ahead?
President SBY Calls for Thorough Study of Possible Change in Law to Allow Foreign Land Ownership.
The Jakarta Post reported on February 18, 2009, that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered the National Land Agency and members of his cabinet to "conduct an in-depth study" into the feasibility and effects of changing current law to allow foreigners the direct ownership of a home in Indonesia. Current law explicitly forbids land and property ownership by non-Indonesians. In the past, efforts to liberalize those rules to allow foreign land ownership have been thwarted by the Indonesian Constitutional Court who have consistently ruled such measures would violate the 1945 Constitution. A Radical Change of Course Hinting a change to the current property ownership rules could be contemplated, President Yudhoyono said: "The government has no objection to this, provided it will benefit the people and make the country's climate more conducive to foreign investment." The President's comments were made at the inauguration of 114,000 units of low-cost housing in Lamongan, East Java. The President's spoke in response to questions raised by members of the Indonesian Real Estate Association (REI) during a Presidential dialogue held with housing developers and homeowners. Teguh Satria, the Chairman of REI has called for a 70-year home ownership facility for foreigners as a means of making Indonesian real estate competitive with ownership rights available to foreigners in competing markets in the region, specifically in Singapore. Related Articles [Bali Real Estate Agents Lobby for Foreign Property Rights] [Bali Property Ownership by Foreigners] [New Regulations Promised for Foreign Land Ownership] [Freehold Land Title for
Foreigners in Bali: Caveat Emptor] [This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land] [Stopping the Land Grab] [And Forgive Us Our Trespasses]
Two Tune Hotels Set to Open in Bali
CEO Lankester Reveals Bali Properties for Kuta and Legian to Open Before the End of 2009.
The Chief Executive of Tune Hotels, Mark Lankester, has told the Malaysia Star that his company will open two hotels in Bali before the end of 2009. Tune Hotels is the low-cost hotel arm of Malaysia's low cost airline AirAsia.The first hotels to be operated by Tune Hotels out of Malaysia, the company's no-frills approach offers extraoprdinarily inexpensive accommodations in which guests pay for such "extras" as airconditioning, towels, toiletries and parking. The Bali properties are said to be under construction and include a 170-room hotel in Legian and 139-rooms hotel in Kuta. Related Article [AirAsia to Build Pay-as-You-Go Hotels in Indonesia ] [Editorial: Out of Tune in Bali]
A Little Off the Top, Nothing on the Side
Anantara Resort Seminyak Finally Removes its Roof Top "Sunset on Six" Bar.
Bali Post reports that after nearly six months of delays and perceived protracted evasions, the Anantara Resort Seminyak has finally acceded to the orders of the Badung's Regions Bupati, Anak Agung Gde Agung, and removed the illegal structures on the top floor of the resort. On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, a group of construction workers and demolition paraphernalia gathered on the structure's roof and began the slow and painstaking job of removing partitions and ceiling structures – all done under the watchful eye of enforcement officers from the regency. Adi Arnawa of the Badung regional enforcement team insisted that the 6 month delay in carrying out the order was due to technical details and was not the result of non-cooperation by the hotel's owners or management. The legal representatives of the Hotel, Robert Khuana and Ketut Ngastawa told the Bali Post that their client was prepared to follow every rule and regulation issued the Badung regency, saying, "this activity (the demolishment of the top floor) represents a real demonstration of our submission to the policies of the government." The lawyer defended delays in undertaking the demolishment, citing the comfort of guests, and commitment to travel agents as factors.
BTDC Investing in Lombok
Indonesian Lawmakers Make Funds Available to Keep 1,175 Hectare Tourism Development in South Lombok on Track.
The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) have approved a grant of Rp. 297 billion (US$25.2 million) for the PT Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) in connection with their ongoing joint venture in Lombok with the Timur Tengah Emaar Properties LLC. As reported by Bisnis.com, the value of the DPR's grant represents the variance between the fair market value and the book value of the 1,175 hectare parcel of land held by PT BDTC in the Regency of Lombok Tengah. The land represents the 15% participation of PT BTDC in its joint venture with Emaar Properties. The land parcel was once owned by the Lombok Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) and held under receivership by the PT Perusahaan Pegelola Aset (PPA). Indonesia's Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani, stated that the fair market value of the land is Rp. 557.6 billion (US$47.25 million) while the asset value acceptable to the investor is the book value of Rp. 260 billion (US$22 million). According to the Finance Minister speaking before Commission XI of the DPR: "The variance of Rp. 297.6 billion is being called a 'grant.' This is necessary because any amount in excess of Rp. 100 billion can only be expended with the approval of the DPR (House of Representatives)." Sri Mulyani told the press that the provision of the grant as an incentive to cover the value variance forms a part of the government's policy to attract foreign investors to Nusa Tenggara Barat. "The grant is an incentive given by the government in the form of a discount on the value of the land," explained Sri Mulyani, adding that she hoped the Emaar Properties project would bring other investment linkages which would allow the Lombok project to go ahead. PT BDTC is a government-owned company that operate the Nusa Dua Complex in South Bali.
Sky-High Promotion of Indonesian Tourism
Jero Wacik Wants Airline Passengers to Be Educated on Indonesia's Many Tourism Wonders at 30,000 Feet.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, is asking the country's airlines to promote domestic tourism through films shown to in-flight passengers. Bisnis.com reports that Wacik thinks the captive audiences flying at 30,000 feet are ideal subjects to whom information on Indonesia's many tourism objects and unique destinations can be shared. According to Wacik: "We often see entertainment programs, such as Mr. Bean or comedy, on our national airlines. When, in fact, foreign airlines are more likely to expose their tourism objects (via in-flight films)." Indonesia's Minister in charge of tourism also observed that while some pilots will share information about cities they are flying over or flying to, this practice is not widespread among all Indonesian air carriers. Wacik believes that tourism information videos and informative announcements from pilots and crew would assist greatly in educating the public about the many attractions to be found in the Indonesian archipelago. The Indonesian government is targeting 6.5 million foreign tourists to visit the country in 2009, an increase over the approximate 6.4 million who came calling in 2008.
Flying the Russian Flag in Bali
Moscow Appoints a Honorary Consul in Denpasar.
The Russian Ambassador to Indonesia, Alexander A. Ivanov, has appointed a Honorary Consul to represent his Republic in Bali. In a lavish ceremony held at the St. Regis Hotel in Nusa Dua featuring musical performers flown in from Russian for the occasion, Ambassador Ivanov installed a local tour operator, Chairul Nuku Kamika, as Russia's "man in Bali" to assist the burgeoning number of Russian travels coming to Bali each year. In 2008, a total of 58,233 Russians visited Bali. The newly appointed Russian Honorary Consul Kamika told The Jakarta Post that he expects that number to grow dramatically in 2009. Kamika cited the Indonesian governments agreement to underwrite the cost of a "Visit Indonesia" exhibition in Moscow in March and the steady number of Russian charter flights as important supports in the effort to increase the number of Russian tourists to Bali. Russian holiday-makers stay an average of 10-14 days in Indonesian spending as much as US$1,500 per day. Ambassador Ivanov was accompanied on his visit to Bali by his wife, Lyudmila Ivanova. The Honorary Consul of Russia in Bali is located at Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai 118A in Jimbaran.
Tourism as an Export
Tourism Leader See Indonesian Tourism as the Best Sector to Receive Economic Stimulus from Jakarta's Lawmakers.
A leading expert in national tourism development is calling on the government to provide numerous supports to the ailing travel sector. Diyak Mulhela, the Director of the Association for the Development of Tourism Information (LEPITA), told Bisnis.com: "At this time every country is looking for appropriate ways to stimulate (their economies) as a way of handling the global financial crisis. Those countries dependent on exports are the worst affected. Expectations are now focused on Indonesian tourism, necessitating the application of numerous instruments and promotional activities." Diyak sees travel and tourism as a "necessity of life" in the developed world, citing five distinct options, one of which will be selected by tourists in the midst of the current financial crisis: 1. Tourists will delay their travel plans. 2. Tourists will shorten the amount of time they spend on holiday. 3. Tourists will maintain their holiday plans unchanged. 4. Tourists will change their destination to a location nearer to home (i.e. short-haul holidays). 5. Tourists will limit their holiday to home-country destinations. Looking at the status of tourism in Indonesia and the continuing flow of tourists to Bali, Diyak says, "this means that the sector of the economy least affected by the global financial crisis is tourism; tourism that attracts international visitors is (in fact) an export producing foreign exchange." Domestic Tourism In 2009 the government is targeting 255 million domestic tourist spending some Rp. 90 trillion (US$7.6 billion).
Bali's Subak System – Part of the World's Heritage
Preserving Bali's Water Conservation and Distribution System is in the Best Interest of Bali and the Island's Tourism.
A Bali cultural preservation expert is urging UNESCO to nominate Bali's traditional irrigation and water management system (subak) to become part of UNESCO's World Heritage List. Quoted in bisnis.com following a meeting with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Made Purna - Chief of the Agency for the Conservation of Prehistoric and Historic Sites in Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara (Balai Pelestarian Nilai Sejarah dan Purbakala Bali, NTB and NTT), said such a move was needed "so the people of Bali will maintain their harmonic connections with nature which helps to attract tourism." Made Purna said that the initial recommendation for Bali heritage sites made to Minister Wacik included Jatiluwih, Taman Ayun and Parekisan. But now the focus has shifted, making the Subak system the main priority. In the conservationist's view, Bali's subak as an iconic symbol of the life of the Island's people needs to elevated. From the subak system the Balinese learn organizational skills, environmental preservation and study democratic processes. In making his case, Made Purna sees the naming of the subak/i> system to world heritage status as an appropriate step, particularly in the midst of widespread diversion of agricultural lands to housing and commercial uses around the island's urban centers. He praised the historical and cultural heritage of the Balinese people, seeing it has a suitable response to the urgent demands of the present age. Through the subak system the Balinese understand village organization skills and how to distribute limited water resources in a just way, based on community consensus. Via the subak organizational structure, Bali's farmers work to create a fair and equitable level of public welfare. Moreover, according to Made Purna, subak is the only remaining communally-owned traditional water management system still in operation in the world today. "By naming the subak as a world heritage object, international tourists will flock to Bali to study and observe the traditional wisdom and native philosophy that drive that subak system," he explained. Neighboring ASEAN countries and China have rice fields that have become tourism objects. But the rice terraces of Bali, operated under the subak, have proven their ability to attract foreign tourists from Zimbabwe who have traveled to the island to study and understand the Bali water distribution system. In concluding his remarks, Made Purna said: "If we preserve the subak system, we are preserving something that God created; the Creator of the World's Natural Beauty. This is an important part of preserving the harmonious relationship between man and nature; man with God."
International Yoga Festival in Bali
Week Long Event Starting on March 3, 2009 Will be Centered in Renon Area of Denpasar.
Hundreds of international Yoga instructors will convene in Bali for a one week International Yoga Festival commencing March 3, 2009. Quoted in Kompas.com, Dr. Somvir, the Chairman of the Bali-India Foundation said, "this international standard event is the natural outcome of 'yoga day' which has been intensively promoted over the past two years." He said that this year's event has adopted the theme of "Yoga for Peace and Health" with all activities being headquartered at the Monument for the People's Struggle in the Niti Mandala Section of Renon, Denpasar. Yoga teachers from around the world will conduct yoga courses as a means of promoting personal health throughout the week-long event. These training sessions are open to the public without reference to their individual religious beliefs. Somvir told the press that those who follow the yoga courses will be able to preserve their general health as well as seek cures for a number of illnesses.
Saving Bali's Future Generation
Survey Shows that 51% of Bali's Cases of HIV/AIDS Infect Youth Between 15 and 29 Years of Age.
BeritaBali.com revealed the concerning statistic that 51% of the HIV/AIDS cases occurring in Bali affect teenagers and young people between the ages of 15 and 29-years. The survey, conducted by Lembaga Pemerhati Remaja (Kisara) cited cases of infection among Balinese youth as young as 13-years-old. The dimension of the tragedy are also suggested by figures provided by the Bali Commission for the Control and AIDS (KPA) which estimates 2,400 cases of HIV/AIDS on the Island. In speaking to the press on February 16, 2009, the Coordinator of KISARA in Denpasar, Nyoman Sutarsa, said that most cases of HIV/AIDS among Balinese youth occur because of sexual contamination as opposed to the sharing of intravenous needles. Lack of Information Sutarsa blamed the high rate of infection among Balinese youth as attributable to the lack of information available on the subject. Sutarsa explained: "There is a connection between the information made available to youth and the ability to change behavior. Our target is to the change behavior of the young through the provision of service and information." The same study conducted by Kisara from September 2008 until January 2009 also revealed 211 cases of out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Of that total, 88% involved teenage mothers.
Bali Earns its Stripes
Bali Zoo Welcomes the Birth of Two Rare White Bengal Tigers.
The Bali Zoo in Gianyar reports the happy news of the birth of two rare white Bengal tigers on February 18, 2009. The Mother and Father of the two white tigers, respectively Kartini and Buntung, had failed in an earlier attempt at parenthood when Kartini spontaneously aborted. Assisting at the birth was the zoo's answer to Dr. Doolittle, Veterinarian Dr. Dewa Atmaja, who told Nusa Bali: "The current condition of the two baby white tigers is fine, stabile and very encouraging. But, the sex of the babies is still a mystery as the Mother is being very protective of her new babies." Kartini was acquired by the Bali Zoo in an animal exchange program with the Surabaya Zoo while Buntung comes from a similar exchange program with the Pematangsiantar Zoo in North Sumatra. Conservationists estimate there are only 4,000 Bengal tigers still living in the wild, with the white Bengal tigers representing a genetic sub-grouping now found almost exclusively in zoos and private collections. The Bengal tigers are the second largest tiger species after the Siberian tigers endemic in regions of Siberia and China.
Bali Officials: We'll be Dog Gone
Badung Regency Officials Vow to Eliminate 'All' Bali Street Dogs.
Bali officials told NusaBali that they are targeting the total elimination of wild street dogs in their current efforts to rid rabies from the Island. There have been approximately 1,300 wild street dogs killed by officials since the confirmation of a rabies outbreak in late 2008. The Head of the Livestock, Fisheries and Oceans Service (Disnakanlut) for Badung, Made Badra, said: "We will continue to exterminate wild dogs until they are all eliminated. In other words, wild dogs in Badung must have a total population of 'zero.' We will only allow vaccinated dogs with owners to survive." Badra said that the elimination of ownerless dogs and the vaccination of all pets, rabies will eventually be vanished from the Badung regency of Bali. He estimates that the number of "wild dogs" in Badung remain in the hundreds. In the December-January period a total of 16.375 dogs received rabies vaccination. Starting in March these dogs will received the second booster, as part of a three-part inoculation program. As reported by NusaBali, a leading virologist from the Veterinarian Faculty of Bali's Udayana University, Dr. IGN Mahardika, who is also a member of the rabies control team, has publicly questioned the efficacy of the current anti-rabies campaign. Mahardika has bemoaned the lack of cross-sector integration in the current drive with tourism circles, businesses and animal breeders being left out of the process. He has also criticized the lack of suitable mechanism for the transfer of assistance, know-how, equipment and funds to the grass-root level. Mahardika told the press that unfortunately controlling and combating rabies is still seen as the exclusive duty of the government.
Bali to Become the Destination of Yesterday?
Bali Tourism Leader Warn that Island Tourism Under Threat from Much More than the 'Just' the Global Financial Crisis.
A seminar on "The Existence and Prospects of Bali's Tourism Industry in the Midst of a World Financial Crisis" held on Monday, February 16, 2009, issued the warning that tourism on the island is also facing threats from environmental degradation, uncontrolled development and an over-supply of accommodation. Speakers at the conference, held at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, included Gde Nurjaya, the Chief of the Bali Tourism Authority (BTA); Chairman of the Bali branch of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Al Purwa; the General Manager of the airport's management company, Perum Angkasa Pura I, (PAP1)Heru Legowo; and moderator Alex Pudjonto. Gde Nurjaya told the audience that despite being haunted by the current financial crisis, Bali still has great tourism potential because of its unique comparative advantage when compared with competing destinations. To support his case for Bali's cultural and natural drawing power, Nurjaya pointed to growing arrival numbers over the past several years and the 2008 foreign visitor totals of 1,968,892. At the same time, Nurjaya urged the public not be become complacent with their current success, suggesting there exist a number of internal problems threatening the island's future potential. Chief among these problems he cited were environmental damage, uncontrolled development and the varying vision for Bali tourism championed by the various regencies of Bali and the provincial government. Sounding a similar message, Al Purwa of ASITA said that Bali's tourism policymakers do not speak with a single voice. Municipal and regency governments remains solely focused on how to increase their tax revenues, while the provincial island-wide administration stands alone in calling for management of the island's environment. Purwa said that in terms of investing in Bali's tourism what is permissible and what is not, is never clear. Purwa, one of Bali's senior tourism managers, also warned that Bali is plagued by poor skills among local tourism workers, an insufficient tourism infrastructure, growing pollution, security concerns and capacity issues. Purwa said that anyone who takes the time to read guest comment forms from local hotels, mass media and other sources will encounter all these complaints. "If this is not urgently addressed, after five years Bali will become the 'destination of yesterday,' said Purwa. As the manager of Bali's gateway, Heru Legowo acknowledged the strategic position of the Nguarah Rai International Airport. He told the seminar's participants that the PAP I is working to continually improve their services to the public, together with all the other stakeholders found at the airport. Legowo said: "In a symbolic sense, our commitment is embodied in the '3S + 1C' formula of safety, security, service and compliance . This not only comes from PAP I, but from all elements found at the airport: airport administrations, immigration, customs, quarantine, airlines, police, security, porters, cleaning service personnel and others. All must share the same vision to make the Ngurah Rai Airport 3S = 1C."
Beach Erosion at Melia Bali – A Growing Concern
Hotel's Management Call for Urgent Action from Bali's Regional and Provincial Leaders.
Beach erosion and abrasion at Nusa Dua in front of the Melia Bali Hotel is becoming increasingly severe. Changing weather and current patterns are eating away at the once pristine beachside on Bali's southern shore. Efforts to halt the erosion through sandbagging and other means are proving largely ineffective. As reported in Bali Post, the Director of Human Relations for the hotel, Gede Suarasa, accompanied by the Sol Melia's Public Relations Manager, Nova Terita, representing the Hotel have called on the Badung regional government and the provincial government of Bali to urgently address the growing erosion problem that have the potential of disrupting the enjoyment of tourism visitors to Nusa Dua. Nova Terita told the press, "the Melia Bali has repeatedly requested attention from the Badung regional government, but to date have received no response." Suarasa, went on to explain that the Melia Bali has not sat still in confronting the erosion problem. Hundreds of millions of Rupiahs have been spent in supplementing sand along their beachfront. Adding: "We are reading to join efforts to prevent further erosion. We are now waiting for a certain firmness and definite steps from the regional government of Badung and provincial government of Bali." Suarasa underlined the seriousness of the current abrasion and erosion of beachfront, warning that if all concerned allow the beach to be destroyed the natural attraction of the area for tourists will be diminished.
From Bali to Bombay with Love
Bali Update Editor Delivers a Letter from Bali's Governor to the People of Mumbai, India.
On Saturday, February 21, 2009, Bali Update's Editor, John Daniels, was honored to be invited to address a large group of India's tourism leaders on the subject of "Revival and Recovery of a Destination." Mr. Daniels comments, drawing on the experience and practical lessons drawn over the course of two terrorist attacks on Bali in 2002 and 2005, were delivered at Mumbai's historic Taj Mahal Palace & Tower - the target of a vicious attack less than three months before on November 26, 2008. From Bali to Bombay with Love A highlight of Daniels' presentation was the reading of a letter from Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika address to the people of Mumbai and India via their Secretary of Tourism, Sujit Banerjee. Governor Pastika, prior to his election as Bali's Chief Executive, played a pivotal role in capturing the perpetrators of the Bali bombing attacks and bringing them to justice. His decisive leadership and exemplary role in these events also earned him the selection of TIME Magazine (Asia's) "Man of the Year in 2003. Here is the text of Governor Pastika's letter carried by John Daniels to Mumbai: Om Swastiastu I have asked John Daniels, a member of Bali's tourism industry, to carry this letter with him to Mumbai in connection with his presentation on "Revival and Recovery of a Destination" before the Pacific Asia Travel Association, India Chapter. The cultural and historical connections shared by the people of Bali and India are both extensive and intensive. We cook with many of the same spices. Familiar words and concepts can be found in our languages. The rich textile traditions of Bali – from batik to grinsing- find their roots in ancient India. Our folk tales and dance are based on epic Indian tales drawn from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. And, most basically, the deeply held Hindu religious beliefs of my fellow Balinese demonstrate that our people share a closely connected view of the world and the universe. Because of these many connections between our two great peoples, the tragic events that unfolded on November 26, 2008, in Mumbai produced profound concern among the people of Bali. The core teaching of Bali Hinduism is the scripture is Tat Tvam Asi - "Thou art that," "That thou art" or "You are that." The terrible loss and pain experienced by the people of Mumbai last November struck at the very heart of your brothers and sisters who live on our Indonesian island. Our empathy for your situation was made all the more poignant by the shared experience of terrorism. In October of 2002 and 2005, Bali suffered two separate terror attacks. Those who foment acts of terror seek, at the most basic level, to sow seeds of dissent; driving wedges between different segments of society. Those differences, if allowed to develop and mature, will turn people against each other and deliver a final victory sought by the evil perpetrators of terror. We, as the victims of terrorism, must decide whether we will allow ourselves to fall prey to those who seek to divide and conquer us or if we emerge from the experience strengthened in our commitment to brotherhood and peace. Please accept my humble prayers for peace and your continued strength and prosperity which I extend on behalf of the People of Bali to the people of Mumbai. Your grief is our grief; your joys are our joys. Like Bali, the richness of Mumbai's history and culture are indestructible and guarantee a speedy return as a leading world tourism destination. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om signed Made Mangku Pastika Governor – Province of Bali, Indonesia
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