Chat to our customer service using Yahoo Messenger!
Click here to download and install Yahoo Messenger
"Always a pleasure to read the Bali Update. We've referred many friends who are considering a trip to Bali to the newsletter, as well as several considering a permanent move. It's such a simple way for us to stay in touch."
We understand your Dream A trip to Bali is for many of our clients a once in a lifetime adventure. We therefore plan the smallest details ensuring the highest quality experience for each and every one of our clients.
Despite Government Call to Cancel ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ Parades on March 25, Many Local Banjars are Busily Preparing to March.
Despite recommendations from the Denpasar municipal government and local community leader to cancel ogoh-ogoh parades on ”Nyepi Eve” March 25, 2009, in order to avoid any possible public disturbances in the lead up to legislative elections, a number of capital communities are busily preparing the large paper mache floats that form the central part of the popular Mardi gras-like festivities. Radar Bali reports that in the Sesetan area of South Denpasar, ogoh-ohoh construction is being undertaken by a number of local communities in disregard with Denpasar’s Mayor and the city’s forum for village leaders instructions not to do so. The public relations officer for the municipal government, I Made Erwin Suryadarma told the press he was unclear what, if any, sanction awaits local communities or banjars who persist with their plans to hold ogoh-ogoh parades. He explained that the issue of sanctions was a religious matter, left entirely to the decision of the traditional villages (desa adapt). Suryadarma revealed that if any desa adat insisted on holding an ogoh-ogoh parade, the municipal government will not interfere providing the traditional village leaders assumed full responsibility for any consequences of their actions. The recommendation of the mayor to suspend the ogoh-ogoh activities merely represents the consensus of the village leaders’ forum. The spokesman explained that reasoning behind the recommendation of the Denpasar city government was made in view of the ongoing legislative election process and the desire to maintain public order
Preserving Bali Textile Traditions
Traditional Weavers Need Capital to Expand Production.
The Indonesian Traditional Textile Team (CTI), a foundation supporting the preservation and promotion of the country’s hand weaving traditions, have identified Bali’s ikat textiles as having the potential to be developed as a viable handicraft product. The CTI shared its views on Balinese hand-woven textiles with Kompas after undertaking a survey of traditional textile clusters in the Karangasem region of Bali on February 28, 2009. During the CTI survey trip a number of examples of Balinese ”ikat” were purchased to be displayed to a national audience in Jakarta. According the Chairman of the CTI team in Bali, Sjamsidar Isa: “There is so much to learn from these (Balinese) ‘ikats.’ The problem is that the actual producers earn so little in comparison with the textile dealers, so much so that many people with great skill in this handicraft are now working in other fields.” When the survey team visited the Pelangi Traditional Weaving Center in Budamanis in the village of Sideman, Karangasem, several of the traditional looms sat idle. The team was told that a number of weavers were off for the day, attending to religious obligations. Kartika Dewi, the owner of a local traditional textile shop, confirmed to the press that the weavers were busy at prayer: “But that’s not the real problem. We lack the capital to develop our enterprises.” During the course of the CTI Survey they were accompanied by a leading Indonesian designer Priyo Octaviano, an expert in threads Ratna Panggabean, interior designer Koes Surono and a representative from Garuda Indonesia Ridwan Edi. The National Airline in cooperation with CTI are heading a program to help Bali’s traditional weavers. Isa said: “The ability of our weavers in this area is very good. Capital is the most important obstacle and we are looking at ways to help them increase the scale of their operations.” There still exist a wide variety of traditional Balinese weavings readily available in Karangasem. The cost of hand-woven textiles can range from Rp. 150,000 (US$13.40) to Rp. 3 million (US$267). Dewi told Kompas that demand often exceeds the production capability of local weavers: “We often are unable to meet export requests to Japan. Export requests to Japan can be served from the local market and we do not wish to be bound by contracts. We are concerned that we will not be able to fulfill the contract obligations.”
Revenues and Profit Increase for Garuda in 2008
Garuda CEO Announces Stronger Financial Performance Despite Declining Load Factors.
Bisnis.com has booked a turnover of Rp. 18.1 trillion (US$1.6 billion in 2008, an increase of 38.1% when compared with income totals in 2007 at Rp. 13,103 trillion (US$1.17 billion). The strong income performance was revealed by the President and CEO of Garuda, Emirsyah Satar, at a luncheon celebrating the financing of 8 new Boeing 737-800NG funded by DAE Capital. ”Garuda’s un-audited profit in 2008 was Rp. 683 billion (US$61 million), an increase of Rp. 258 billion (US$23 million) when compared to 2007,” explained Emirsyah. Garuda’s CEO also boasted that the on-time performance for his airline improved in 2008 with 84.11% of all flights departing on schedule. In 2007 the on-time percentage was only 76.73%, while in 2009 the national carrier is targeting an that 85% of its flights will fly to schedule. Emirsyah told the press that the overall load factor declined slightly in 2008 at 76.53%, as compared with 77.46% in 2007. Said Emirsyah, “Garuda flies 2,000 times every week to more than 60 domestic and international destinations.”
Bali’s Chris Salen Praised in International Herald Tribune
Spicing Up French and Indonesian Cuisine in the Hills of Ubud.
Jen Lin-liu, writing for the International Herald Tribune in its Wednesday, March 4, 2009 edition, reaps praise on Chef Chris Salens, the force behind Bali’s much acclaimed Mozaic Restaurant in Ubud. Citing Salen’s international culinary credentials via his association with Les Grandes Tables du Monde and recent rankings from the Wine Spectator magazine and The Miele Guide,. The food seminars and cuisine served at this “reservations-a-must eatery reflect a multi-cultural approach to food unique to Salens. Born in Washington, D.C. to a French Mother who spirited the toddler away to France when his first set a teeth permitted solid foods, Salens has a solid grounding obtained via an education acquired both on the Continent and the New World. When his travels brought him East he acquired a Balinese wife and a profound appreciation for the endless rainbow of tastes possible when Eastern spices and cooking methods meets western fine dining traditions. As Lin-liu points out in her article, Sales also brought the passionate French sensibility for the kitchen in a happy marriage with a strong American business sense. Read more about Bali’s most talked about restaurant from the International Herald Tribune [A Chef in Bali Creates a Mosaic of Flavors]
Jero Wacik: Don’t Panic!
Interview with Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism on How to Deal with the World Financial Downturn.
The March 4, 2009, edition of Bali Post carried the following brief interview with Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, with his suggestions on how the tourism sector can best confront the current global financial crisis. That interview, freely translated, is presented below. Bali Post:What is the impact of the world financial crisis on tourism? strong>Jero Wacik: The effects of the global financial crisis on tourism are not as bad as many predict. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) predicts that worldwide tourism visits will increase between 1-2% this year. I think the same situation will prevail in Indonesia, including Bali. At the minimum, results will mirror last year. (Last year foreign tourists to Indonesia totaled 6.4 million with 1.964 million of that amount visiting Bali.) Bali Post:Aren’t some expecting major drops? Jero Wacik: International tourist visits will continue because travel has become a necessity for people living in developed countries, no matter how difficult the current economic situation. What may happen is the average level of daily spending (by tourists) will decline slightly. Bali Post:Really? Jero Wacik: Allow me to illustrate the point. There are many Chief Executive Officers or members of top management in multi-national companies who are suffering from stress due to the financial crisis. Nonetheless they still have sufficient money to cover holidays for their families that were planned far in advance. Maybe the CEO suffering a headache, but his wife and children aren’t. They still go on holiday. Bali Post:What should be done by the tourism community in Bali? Jero Wacik: Tourism industry members, especially in Bali, don’t need to worry or panic. The quality of tourism products and service provided to tourists must be improved. The government is going to help by creating as many events as possible in Bali. Other than that, what’s important is that we all remember to pray. Man can only try, God decides.
A Course in Night Driving
Grand Bali Beach Golf Course Offers Night-Time Driving Range.
Bali oldest gold course at The Grand Bali Beach has become the first course on the Island to offer a driving range under the lights. Everyday, after the sun goes down, from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. the lights go on the Bali Beach Golf Course allowing golfer to work on their swing with optional supervision provided by Australian golf pro Sean Williams. A computerize swing analysis system is also available. According to Williams: “With the use of the Computer Swing Analysis we are able to study the swing from two angles. Swing comparisons can be made with a database of professionals. Swings can be saved in our student data base for future reference.
A bucket of 50 golf balls costs only Rp. 35,000 (US$3.10) with golfing lessons starting from Rp. 500,000 (US$44.60). The new night driving range has ten slots and are adjacent to the club house and the Sector Restaurant and Bar. The driving range, which faces the fairways of the Bali Beach Golf Course is only available each evening starting from 7:00 p.m. after late afternoon golfers have cleared off the course.
Cast Your Vote for the Komodo Dragon!
Lend Your Vote to Have the Komodo National Park Names to New Seven Wonders of Nature List.
The Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism is seeking your support to help the Komodo National Park get named to the New Official Seven Wonders of Nature. The inaugural Official New 7 Wonders of the World ended in 2007 with the naming the “new” 7 architectural wonders of the world. The current competition is moving away from man-made structures to select the 7 Wonders of the Natural World taken from a list of 430 nominations drawn from 224 countries. The short list of 11 top nominees (11 top vote getters from 7 categories) selected via on-line voting ending on July 7, 2009, after which a panel of experts, under the leadership of Professor Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCIO will willow down 21 finalists to compete in the final round of voting for the Official New 7 Wonders of Nature commencing on July 21, 2009. Vote for Komodo National Park The Indonesian government has launched a campaign encouraging people to vote on line for the Komodo National Park. Part of that campaign will include a concert by the World Peace Orchestra to take place in Jakarta in May of this year. How You Can Help? To make your selection in the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign and, perhaps, cast your cote in favor of the Komodo National Park by visiting the [New Official 7 Wonders of Nature Website]
Australian and Indonesian Student to be Allowed to Work & Study Abroad.
Indonesia-Australia Sign Agreement to Allow Reciprocal One Year Work-Study Programs.
The Indonesian and Australian governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that could eventually clear the way for young people from both nations between the ages of 18-30 years-of-age to take working holidays overseas. The MOU was signed on March 2, 2009 in Jakarta by Indonesia’s Minister for Justice and Human Rights Minister, Andi Mattalatta, and Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans. The agreements provides for 100 Indonesian and Australia youth to work and holiday in each other’s country each year for a period of up to one year.. Senator Evans welcomed the MOU as a means of strengthening relations between Australia and Indonesia. Evans told the press that the opportunity to work in each other’s country will enhance mutual understanding of the history, culture and economy of all participants. The signing ceremony also allowed each country to restate its commitments to increase cooperation in battling people smuggling, terrorism and other forms of cross-border crime.
The Backlog at Bali Mortuaries
Bali Dead Wait for Release as Bali Cremations on Hold from Mid February Until April 27th.
Plans for a major religious ceremony – the Panca Bali Krama to be held via a series of rites conduced at Bali’s Mother temple of Pura Besakih between March 25 – April 27, 2009 is causing a backlog of bodies waiting for cremation across the island. In keeping with local beliefs that cremation ceremonies violate the purity and sanctity of the Island and that the period leading up to the once-a-decade Panca Bali Krama must be kept “clean,” cremations between February 13-20, 2009 could only be done with special permission. Cremations from February 20th until the end of the ceremonial period on April 27th are not allowed meaning bodies of the deceased must either be buried for cremation at another time or somehow preserved until the last days of April when disposal by fire is once again permitted. A practical consequence of this situation is a backlog of bodies being stored in the refrigerated mortuaries of Bali’s major hospitals. Bali Post quotes Dr. Dudut Rustyadi of the Forensic Section of the Sanglah General Hospital as saying that all the available cooling drawers are now filled with the remains of foreigners awaiting disposition and the many Balinese dead who are being “stored” until auspicious days form cremations return. With some remains likely to be stored for up to two month awaiting cremation, Sanglah officials are preparing additional refrigerated containers to accommodate the many deceased awaiting the end of the Panca Bali Krama period.
Bali to Host Conference on Child Sex Tourism
Bali Conference Seeks to Halt the Sexual Exploitation of Children by Domestic and International Tourists.
Bali will play host to a Southeast Asian Conference on Child Sex Tourism March 18-20. 2009 to discuss predatory behavior by travelers seeking sexual gratification with children and teenagers. Bakri, the Director of Community Empowerment of the Directorate General of Destinations at the Department of Culture and Tourism, said: “This conference on child sex tourism will be conducted by the Center for Study of Child Protection (PKPA) and the Coalition to End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes' (ECPAT). The Department of Culture and Tourism and other agencies are supporting this conference.” At least 100 delegates from Japan, Australia, Italy and neighboring ASEAN countries will join the meeting to discuss sex tourism in Southeast Asia form a number of perspectives. Data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO) suggests that more than 2 million children are involved in the child sex tourism. According to ECPAT: “Child sex tourism is the commercial sexual exploitation of children by people who travel from one place to another to engage in sexual acts with minors. Often, child sex tourists travel from a richer country to one that is less developed, or they may be travelers within their own countries or region. Some child sex tourists (preferential abusers and pedophiles) target children specifically, but most do not usually have a sexual preference for children; they are situational abusers who unscrupulously take advantage of a situation in which children are made available to them. Child sex tourists take advantage of their anonymity as well as the socio-economic disparities in the locations they visit. They may try to rationalize their actions by claiming sex with a child is culturally acceptable or that money or goods exchanged benefit the child and community, or by setting their own thresholds for defining who is a child.” ECPAT defines child sex tourism as sexual transactions involving anyone under the age of 18. ECPAT International cites Thailand and the Philippines as two countries experiencing rapid growth in their national sex industries. Thailand’s efforts to control child sex tourism have had the result of shifting large parts of that industry to nearby Cambodia and Vietnam. Bakri warns, “Indonesia has not escaped the problem of sexual exploitation of children in its tourism industry with cases uncovered in Bali, Lombok and Batam.” According to bisnis.com, speakers expected to attend the Bali gathering include: Kritsana Pimonsaengsuriya of ECPAT International, Kaoru Aoyama of the Kyoto University Japan, Professor Marco Scarpati of ECPAT Italy, Indonesia’s former Minister of Culture I Gede Ardika, and Anna Marie Watie of Gajah Mada University, Ending Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes [ECPAT Website]
January 2009 Arrivals to Bali in Record Territory
Bali by the Numbers: Major Shifts in Australian and Mainland Chinese Visitors Among Significant Changes Underway in Bali Tourism.
Foreign tourist arrivals to Bali for January 2009 bucked world-wide trends and again broke into record territory, defeating the “best January on record” established on year ago. January 2009 arrivals totaled 164,643, a 17.71% improvement over January 2008 when 139,873 foreign visitors came to Bali. The Times They are a Changing In establishing new heights for January arrivals, Bali is undergoing a significant reordering of key markets. For the first time in history Japan has been displaced as Bali’s top market. Japan arrivals decreased month-on-month by 10.71% with 25,324 visitors. Japan’s long-held pole position as Bali’s top inbound market was eclipsed by Australia whose arrivals increased 37.75%, registering 27,873 visitors in January 2009 against 20,235 in January 2008. Economically troubled South Korea saw its arrivals decrease 23.07% month-on-month at 8,091 for January 2009. As a result, South Korea which was the fourth largest inbound market one year ago is now relegated to seventh place. Taiwan slipped from third place among Bali’s top inbound producers to fourth by holding almost constant for January arrivals at 11,473. Achieving “major-player” status is the People’s Republic of China with January-on-January arrivals increasing 121.88%, totaling 23,115 for January 2008. In one year’s time the PRC has move from fifth to third place among Bali’s inbound market rankings, with only some two thousand visitors separating it from displacing the number two position now held by Japan. Also moving into the “top five” ranking is Malaysia at 10,187 – a 33.44% improvement over January 2008 (7,634). Malaysia’s new position at #5 is up from the #7 position just one year ago. Market ShareAs shown on balidiscovery.com, the geographical market source of Bali visitors shows the growing role of regional and short-haul travel. Both the Asian-Pacific regions and ASEAN experienced substantial gains in January 2009, while longer haul markets from Europe have remained relatively stabile. Worthy of note, however, is the U.S.A. where reduced travel warnings precipitated a 23.58% improvement month-on-month in tourist arrivals.
Bonus Bali Nights for Stays Through June 30, 2009
Keeping Bali Affordable in Trying Times, More than 40 Bali Hotels Offer Bonus Nights for Bookings Made Before April 30, 2009.
Bali Garlic Club Raises a Stink a Much Needed Funds for Sunrise Disabled Children’s School.
A local organization - The Bali Garlic Club (BGC) has a membership dedicated to exploring the almost endless culinary options presented by ”the stinking rose” while raising funds for local causes. The recent Bali Garlic Club (BGC) Valentine’s gathering held on February 13, 2009, adopted a ”Pink Panther” theme emphasizing the colors pink and black. Held at the private residence of Bali Hotelier Lucienne Lanhar of the Tugu Hotel and Spa. Garlic-themed dishes were served while Peter Sellers appeared throughout the evening, projecting scenes from his epic ”Pink Panther” series. During the course of the evening’s festivities Rp. 32 million (US$2,900) was raised in aide of the Sunrise Disabled Children’s Unit, soon to be integrated into the Sunrise School. Providing educational support to disabled children the new “special needs” school will include a large class room, a therapy room, specially designed bathroom facilities and an administrative office. “Basically every part of the building has been designed to provide a learning space for disabled children stimulating their senses, bodies and minds,” says Natalie Siagian, the principal of Sunrise and moving force behind the project. Auction items were donated by Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa Bali, Bali Golf & Country Club, Hotel Tugu Bali, Villa Tugu Bali, Sofitel Seminyak Bali, Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel Bali, Leon Vrielink and Indonesia Cruises. Almost 32 million rupiah was raised that evening, making a grand total of 41.5 million donated to the project by the BGC.
COMO Shambhala Named in Conde Nast Spa Awards
Ubud’s COMO Shambhala Private Estates Only Indonesian Property to Win Honors in Conde Nast Travellers 2009 Spa Awards.
The Sixth Annual Readers’ Spa Awards for 2009 have been announced by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine with Bali’s COMO Shambhala Estate name among the top three overseas spa retreats and also included in the listing of the World’s Top 25 Spas. The listing of the best spa operations was made following an on-line polling process among Conde Nast’s discerning readership. The the publications list of the “World’s Top 25 Spas” the COMO Shambhala Estate was the only Indonesian spa named to the list, ranking #19 world-wide. In naming the 10 Best Overseas Spa Retreats COMO Shambhala Estate was again the only Indonesian Spa named, ranking in 3rd place overall. COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali is a unique residential wellness retreat, located on a peaceful riverbank surrounded by jungle. Specialists in Yoga and Pilates work in harmony with world class consultants, therapists and activities guides to create bespoke wellness programs. Related Websites [2009 Conde Nast Traveller Spa Awards]
[COMO Shambhala Private Estate]
click image to enlarge
The links below provide access to the graphical version of the Bali Update.