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BALI UPDATE #708 - 05 April 2010

Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort Opens
Le Meridien Au Revoirs Bali as Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort Takes Command at 103 Hectare Resort, Spa and Golf Complex.

The former Le Meridien Nirwana Resort and Spa has officially opened its doors as the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, effective April 1, 2010.

  
Click Images to Enlarge


Shown on balidiscovery.com are pictures of guests and staff marking the first day of operations for the newly inaugurated Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort. Pictures are Scott Swank, Pan Pacific Senior Vice President Operations welcoming the first guest and pictures of the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Team.

Located in Tabanan, West Bali, and owned by Owned by PT Bali Nirwana Resort (BNR), the 103-hectare integrated resort boasts 278 rooms, including luxury suites and villas, the a range of recreational and banquet facilities, including indoor and outdoor meeting spaces for up to 300 guests.

Central to the resorts strong public appeal is its lush 18-hole world class Greg Norman Golf Course, dubbed "Best Course in Asia, Best Course in Indonesia" and "Asia's Leading Golf Resort" in the recent World Travel Awards.

As part of the welcome extended under its new branding and management, guests were greeted with a celebratory champagne toast during breakfast followed by a Gebogan ceremony replete with offerings of flowers, fruits, and cakes to mark the special day. Later, an evening cocktail was hosted with business partners, guests, hotel associates, local community representatives and government officials.

Over the coming 12-18 months, the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort will undertake a number of enhancements to its rooms, restaurants and gardens. Pan Pacific's signature Pacific Club, an exclusive, premier executive club where guests can enjoy butler service access to a Pacific Lounge and its amenities, will also feature at the resort.

"Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort will be a brand-defining resort for the Pan Pacific brand as we seek to expand the resorts segment in our portfolio," said A. Patrick Imbardelli, President and CEO of Pan Pacific Hotels Group. "With the various resort enhancements, the focus is on providing an integrated holistic guest experience for anyone who walks through the doors of the resort, thereby fulfilling our vision of creating memorable hotel experiences."

Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort is Pan Pacific Hotel Group's second hotel in Indonesia. The Group also operates an award-winning ski resorts Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre and Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside in Canada.


'Wantok' – An Exhibition of Paintings by Guy Roussille
French Artist Guy Roussille Exhibit at Bali's Museum Pasifika April 10-17, 2010.

Spreading his time between Mexico and France, French artists Guy Roussille was born in the village of Troubadours and Gascoigne Poets – Castelculier.

A proficient painter by the age of 10, Roussille has dedicated his life to art, shifting effortlessly between the mediums of painting, sculpting and poetry. Guy Roussille draws his inspiration from the essence of nature, continually traveling the world in search of new experiences.

Along the way, Guy has been smitten by many of the stops along life's journey. He likes the Americas, moving to Mexico in 1979, where he lives in the "valle de bravo." His life's journey in search of inspiration has taken him from boating down the Amazon to living in the shadows of a primeval tropical volcano.

One of his poems aptly describes Guy's life, "born a sedentary nomad laughing to flow into moving things."

Guy Roussille formally studied painting and architecture at the Beaux Art in Paris. Fearless in the pursuit of art, Guy's mysterious translation of soul and spirit into works of art takes place via a process that surprises even the artists.

Guy Roussille's journey continues with recent stops in the Amazon, Galapagos Island, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Pacific Island, Bali, Malaysia and Sarawak.

He has share his art in more than 70 solo exhibitions in 22 counties.

Museum Pasifika

Museum Pasifika is located within the Nusa Dua Complex of South Bali. Designed by Balinese architect Popo Danes, the museum's eight pavilions contain eleven exhibition rooms arranged around a central garden.

is home to a permanent collection of more than 400 paintings and 200 sculptures in addition to a program of special rotating exhibitions.

'Wantok' – An Exhibition of Paintings by Guy Roussille

Museum Pasifika – Nusa Dua Complex

April 10-17, 2010

Open Daily 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Admission Rp. 60,000



Bali Remembers Sukarno, Indonesia's First President
Bali Plans to Commemorate Late President Sukarno with Street Naming, Statue and Museum in Tampaksiring.

The Sukarno Center is planning on building a monument statue and a museum in Tampaksiring, Gianyar to commemorate Indonesia's first President, Sukarno.

Beritabali.com said plans to erect the statue and museum near Bali's hillside presidential palace, first established during the Sukarno presidency, were announced following a meeting held March 29, 2010, between community leaders in Tampaksiring; the President of the Sukarno Center, I Gusti Ngurah Wedakarna; and Sukmawati, the daughter of the first president of the Republic.

At the same meeting, plans to change the name of Jalan Astina Selatan in Tampaksiring to Jalan Raya Sukarno were also discussed.

Plans for names changes, statues and museums were enthusiastically welcomed at the meeting by the people of Tampaksiring together with two representatives of the local House of Representatives (DPRD).

Plans for the road name change were first tabled one year ago and have received the official endorsement of Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik.

With the Minister's recommendation in hand for the name change and the enthusiastic support of local community, the Sukarno Center is now bringing the proposal to the Regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati.

Sukmawati, the daughter of the country's first president and sister of Indonesia's fifth president Megawati Sukarnoputri, explained the reasoning for the selection of the village to commemorate her father: "the Tampaksiring palace was chosen because this area has a historical connection with Bung Karno. The symbol of the Tampaksiring Palace cannot be separated from Bung Karno; this is the perfect place in Bali to build a statue, museum and a Jalan Sukarno."


Bali Braces for Expected Increase of Dengue Cases
Bali's Change from Wet to Dry Season Portends Coming Increase in Dengue Fever Cases.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Bali Health Agency is anticipating a sharp increase in dengue fever cases on the island over the coming two months.

The top Bali health agency official Nyoman Sutedja pointed to the current "fluctuating" number of a cases of dengue fever, warning the number of new cases could be expected to explode over the months ahead. "We predict the dengue epidemic will reach its peak between April and May because of changing weather. Therefore, we call on residents to remain alert by maintaining their health and the environment," Sutedja said.

health authorities estimate there were 1,600 dengue cases in Bali in the first quarter of 2010.

Dengue fever is spread via bites of the Aedes mosquito which can result in one of four types of dengue virus infections. Found throughout the world in tropical and sub-tropical areas the symptoms can include a high or low fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rashes. Also known as Dengue hemorrhagic fever the disease can have lethal consequences resulting from fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and bleeding.

In keeping with its oftentimes painful symptoms, dengue fever is also know as breakbone fever.

Most major hotels and villas in Bali have established pest control programs to control mosquitoes and vermin. The Bali government fumigates urban areas and villages as part of its program of public education and mosquito control.


Australian Trade Unionist on Drug Charge Before Bali Court
Robert McJannet Could Be Sentenced to 15 Years in Bali Prison for Smuggling 1.7 grams of Marijuana.

Robert Paul McJannet, a 48 year-old trade unionist form Australia is on trial in Denpasar's District Court facing a maximum 15 years in prison if he is convicted with attempting to smuggle 1.7 grams of marijuana into the country.

McJannett was arrested on December 28, 2009, at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport with a small plastic bag of marijuana concealed in his checked baggage.

Traveling with his teenage son, McJannet initially claimed no knowledge of the drugs suggesting he was set up by political rivals in Australia. McJannet has apparently been abandoned that defense and is now calling in psychiatrist to help persuade the court that he is addicted to marijuana and should therefore receive a minimum, rehabilitative sentence.

Forensic tests performed by police in Bali confirmed that McJannet had recently used marijuana.

McJannett now freely admits that he is a regular user of marijuana for medical purposes to assist him with a sleeping disorder, diverticulitis, hepatitis C and a lung infection.

The Australian is apologizing to the Indonesian government for violating its drug laws. It is not clear if he has also issued a public apology to those he initially claimed planted the drugs in his luggage.

If the Bali court accept McJannet's self-portrayal as a hapless drug addict he may be granted a lighter sentence and be on his way back to Australia in a matter of weeks.


Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse
New Indonesian Traffic Rules with New Stiffer Penalties Now Apply.

On April 1, 2010 a comprehensive new national traffic safety law (UU No. 22/2009) came into effect. A sampling of some of the rules to be enforced and the fines that can be imposed for violations include:

• Missing technical and safety equipment (e.g. side mirror, lamps,) Rp. 250,000

• Violation of posted road rules Rp. 500,000

• Inability to present a valid driving license Rp. 500,000

• Failure to hold a valid driving license Rp. 1,000,000

• Not wearing a certified helmet while operating a motorcycle Rp. 250,000

• Driving during daylight hours without lights illuminated Rp. 100,000

• Failing to concentrate on driving by doing another activity (e.g. using hand phone) Rp. 750,000

• Turning or changing lanes without using a turn signal Rp.250,000

A member of Commission V of the National House of Representatives (DPR), Abdul Hakim, complained to Bisnis.com that the government has done an inadequate job of socializing the rules, fines and possible jail sentences awaiting those who disobey the rules.

Citing examples of the lack of public knowledge of the new rules, Hakim pointed to the law requiring all passengers on a motorcycle to use a nationally certificated helmet and the penalty of Rp. 250,000 (US$27) or one month in jail for those violating this regulation.

The new traffic rules also provide for prison sentences of 1 year or fines of Rp. 3 million for people convicted of reckless driving. If reckless driving results in an accident, the fine level increases to Rp. 24 million and/or a prison term of 4-12 years.

Hakim called for an urgent and widespread socialization of the new traffic rules in order to prevent official abuse of the new rules and in order to encourage public compliance with the law.


How to Slice a Visa Pie
Bali Demands a Share of the Lucrative Revenues Generated from Visas on Arrival.

Beritabali.com says that the provincial government of Bali is demanding a share of the income the national government collects through the sale of visa-on-arrivals purchased at the island's Ngurah Rai International Airport. At present all funds collected for visas are remitted to Jakarta.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika says that Bali is only asking for a fair share of visa revenues, viewing the request as equitable and a valid form of balancing revenues between the central government and the provinces. What's more, according to Pastika, Bali is making a substantial contribution to the national coffers via the monies collected from inbound tourists.

In defending Bali's claim to a share of visa revenues, the governor pointed to the island's dependence on tourism and its lack of exploitable natural resources, such as other parts of Indonesia. "We don't have natural resources, we don't have oil, we don't have gas and we don't have coal, yet we do produce a lot of foreign exchange," the governor emphasized.

Governor Pastika would not adopt a legal excuse for refusing to share visa revenues, insisting that Bali has a right to its share of visa fees.


Bali Must Not Lose its Identity
Bali Post Article Tracks the Decline and Loss of the Island's Cultural Identity Due to Poor Enforcement of Building Codes.

In a series of articles examining Bali tourism, Bali Post suggests that the island, as a leading world tourism destination, is increasingly losing its identity. This fear, expressed in many circles, is seemingly refuted by Bali's growing tourism numbers which attest to its attractions to international tourist visitors and growing investment in tourism projects. Unfortunately, many of those involved in Bali's tourism industry are ignorant of the fact that the very magnet that draws people to Bali's shores is its unique cultural identity. Instead of working to preserve and protect Bali's cultural values, they instead become the catalyst that accelerates the destruction of Bali's heritage through erecting building that have no Balinese characteristics in their design and decoration.

One of the most glaring examples of how business people contribute to the rapid destruction of Balinese culture is how business places and commercial centers are virtually devoid of Balinese architectural elements. Despite rules mandating "Bali style" be incorporated in all Bali buildings, businesses ignore these building guidelines preferring loyalty to "brand image" over heritage preservation. Ironically, those within the provincial government charged with enforcing building rules, for reasons best known to themselves, are reluctant to enforce these clearly stated guidelines.

Putu Rumawan Salain, an observer on local building and zoning issues, does not deny that Bali's building construction is becoming almost completely divorced from requirements for "Bali style." At the same time, he says meeting a "Bali style" requirement is not difficult. Rule requiring Bali elements are flexible and easily included in the final architectural details of any construction.

Explains Salain: "It all depends on a commitment to maintain a unified Bali characteristic. On the other hand, the regional governments are required to carefully supervise work being carried out in the field, ensuring that the rules are obeyed."

The chief of the Badung regency tourism office (Kadisparda), I Made Subawa, also freely admits that the buildings in his district, especially those on the side of roadways, ignore these rules.

Rumawan, a professor on the Technical Faculty at Bali's Udayana University, says any commitment to maintain Bali ornamentation should be viewed positively. He said that ornaments of Balinese style will create a unifying link among Bali buildings and is easily achieved. In short, he says there's no reason for anyone to reject these building rules.

"Remember," Rumawan added, "the cultural tourism potential of Bali depends on the appearance of the island's buildings. Moreover, buildings incorporating ‘Bali style' remains a main part of Bali's attraction. If Bali no longer tries to retain Bali architectural elements in its buildings, I worry that Bali will no longer have a unique identity that is attractive to tourists, looking much like anywhere else in the world."


Who's Scalping Who?
Editorial: Andrew Grant Reflects on Way to Give More than We Take When Living Internationally.

Andrew Grant, the managing director of Tirian is an international motivational speaker, author and facilitator who has been based in Bali for 15 years. He has generously agreed to allow us to reprint in its entirety an article from his website [www.tirian.com] entitled "Corporate Social Responsibility : Who's Scalping Who?".

Corporate Social Responsibility : Who's Scalping Who?"

By Andrew Grant


Last week I was 'scalped'- literally. While surfing at my favorite location in Bali I was ambushed by a 2 meter wave from behind which threw me onto a treacherous coral reef in front. With a split second lapse in concentration, my adversaries overwhelmed me and I collided with the reef head-on. The near death result was an 8cm gash in my forehead with the skin ripped through to the bone – leaving me needing to be rescued by lifeguards and then in the skilled hands of a plastic surgeon. Only after a few hours of surgery, MRI scans, x-rays, drips, needles and 80 stitches, was I reconstructed and released back into the world of the living (but now with a permanent scar to remind me of the incident.)

The $8000 / 80 stitches surf, Uluwatu, Bali

My 'scalping' experience led me to reflect on what this concept has meant in history and what it means today. And as I learnt more about the concept, it occurred to me that there are some deep connections with the approaches we take to corporate social responsibility and tourism. I was fascinated to discover, for example, that scalping was originally a sign of bravado for ancient primitive tribes who, when threatened by other 'enemy tribes', 'scalped' their helpless victims after attacking them in a show of strength.

History is littered with too many examples of such cases to think of these strange acts of aggression as isolated or freak incidents. It seems that humans are prone to attacking that which we fear and wearing our supposed bravery as a badge of honor.

Today the term 'scalping' is used (along with the word 'fleecing') when someone rips off another person by taking advantage of a situation, particularly where there is no personal relationship involved, and usually when there is an 'us' and 'them' mindset. In his book 'The Undercover Economist', Time Hartford describes the dangers of a 'market economy' in which one person will always be ripped off, if one party is unaware of the value of an item or situation and/or if there is unequal knowledge about that item or situation.

Micro Scenario Reflects the Macro Situation

Nowhere is scalping more prevalent than in a tourist destination in a developing country. The prices people get charged for a brand name copy or some local artifact continually amazes me. Asymmetrical market information will always create a sacristy of power and allow one person to take advantage of another, and we tend to become outraged when we feel we have been 'ripped off'. But while we as tourists may focus on our own personal woes when we get scalped or ripped off, we may be failing to recognize that in fact we can be the ones doing the scalping.

In Bali, for example, I can't help notice that as the local tout completes the deal and pockets the money, rather than walking home through tranquil rice paddies onto a pristine beach with the deep glow of a clear-skied sunset as a backdrop, he instead steps over piles of rubbish and through a polluted noisy traffic jam, onto a filthy crowded beach with a nasty grey haze for a backdrop, happy that more tourists are lining up for more sales without noticing the high price that is being paid.

As tourists continue to pour into the tiny resort island of Bali, we need to ask how it will cope ecologically? Is the island itself being 'ripped off' by those who come with their own personal gains in mind and not with an appreciation of the real impact of their passive aggression? And is this just a small example of what's actually happening on a global scale?

Research shows that damage is certain to occur in societies when new people suddenly 'colonize' a culture, or when people take on new technologies whose destructive power they have not had time to adjust to. (This can include something as simple as throwing away plastic – which has replaced banana leaves as a food wrapping in many Asian cultures – so it is natural that people would be used to throwing this on the ground without realizing the consequences).

Ignorant or Willfully Blind?

Historian Jared Diamond believes that for most of human history we have lived in a state of xenophobic isolation from each other, tempered only by the need to trade. The end of mutual isolation is leading to a loss in cultural diversity. Diamond believes that tragic failures become moral sins only if one should have known better from the outset. Past societies that have collapsed had an excuse of being ignorant, but we are not, so our sin becomes willful blindness.

What is our responsibility to the countries and cultures we impact then? It is to ensure that we are not taking advantage of those developing areas that we can easily exploit through our greater access to wealth and power. Even more than that, it is to ensure we approach other countries and cultures with mutual respect and a desire to find win/win outcomes for all situations. As organizations, we need to become partners in helping to solve issues that we have helped to create as part of the global community.

Our own approach as a company has been to find ways to contribute our own expertise in finding long term sustainable solutions. After having lived and worked in Asia for more than 13 years, we can see that the best responses are not mere band aid solutions or simple clean up or smooth over jobs. There will need to be some expert attention and a great deal of time and effort putting into deeper reconstruction that will last.

We have recently developed a series of health and environmental education workshop kits as part of an education project that is already impacting whole communities. Local Indonesians are involved at all levels of the process – from the production of the kits, to the train-the-trainer program, teaching the kits, implementing the education process in remote communities – and it is turning into a really effective partnership program. We are beginning, hopefully, to find ways to move beyond potential exploitation to mutually beneficial development.

Travelers, Not Tourists

There is a lot to learn and a long way to go, but we believe it will be worth the effort over the long run to find ways to work between countries and cultures and with community needs at all levels with mutual respect and support.

So how do we effectively deal with the cross-culture issues in a positive way? Breaking down the 'us' and 'them' mentality by creating genuine dialogue will go a long way to helping us all progress as a race. Harford believes that allowing free markets to rein puts the truth over the table and destroys privileged information along with the power of scarcity. So yes, travel to and involvement in different countries and cultures can be constructive as long as we see ourselves as traveling a path alongside the others we encounter in other countries and cultures. We must be careful we don't take with us the 'tourist' attitude – the desire to gain for ourselves without taking into account the impact our actions will have.

After 13 years of living in Bali, we recognize the possibly unfair advantage we have had and the inequalities in privilege and power, and we recognize that with greater power comes greater responsibility. We have the ability to pass on the knowledge we have been lucky enough to gain and to educate others, ultimately to hopefully prevent an unfair abuse of power and promote a sharing of responsible mutual development instead.

My accident was not a provoked enemy attacking me, just a random event. When I next get the chance to go surfing again at Uluwatu I will have no feelings of animosity against the waves or the reef that scalped me, and will focus instead on the enjoyment of riding what's known as one of the best waves in the world. I will also reflect on what I have learnt from this incredibly beautiful country and country and what I can help to give back.


Swedish Man Dies on Mount Batur
25-Year-Old Daniel Petersen Dies in Climbing Accident on Bali's Mount Batur.

A 25-year old Swedish man's decision to climb Bali's Mount Batur ended tragically on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, when Daniel Petersen slipped and fell to his death in the crater of the still mildly active volcano.

The ill-fated young man commenced his climb at 4:00 am in the company of 4 traveling companions and a local guide. Arriving at the rim of the volcano after sunrise at 7:00 am, he reportedly was peering into the smoking crater when he slipped and fell some 100 meters into the steaming cauldron.

Search and rescue workers were summoned and only managed to successfully evacuate the man's body eight hours after his fall. Petersen's badly bruised body with significant wounds to the head suggests he was killed by the impact of falling against the jagged rocks of the volcano.

Thousands of people climb the mountain in the company of local guides each year, largely without incident or injury.


Brawn, Beauty and Bali
Bodiku 2010 - National Bodybuilding Competition and Day Dedicated to Health May 15, 2010 at Bali Art Center.

Bali champion bodybuilder Komang Arnawa is celebrating the body beautiful with a Bodiku 2010 Competition to be held at Denpasar's Art Center on May 15, 2010.

Leading bodybuilders from across Indonesia will be on hand to compete for honors. To fill out the day's activities and add to the fun, the following additional events will be held :

• Break dance competition.

• High energy dance performances featuring Bali's best aerobic and fitness trainers

• Push up competition

• Guest posing performance by Komang Arnawa – two time Pro-World Bodybuilding Champion

Fitness products will be on display and available for purchase with experts available to answer questions and provide useful tips on keeping fit, losing weight, muscle building and healthful eating.

Members of the public of all ages, both male and female, will be invited to join a push up competition. The winner of the competition will win Rp. 1 million.

On the evening of May 15th the finals of the body building competition will be held together with the finals of the push up battle.

Planned as an annual event, Bodiku seeks to inspire young people to pursue an athletic lifestyle to foster good health.

The event starts at 9:00 am at the Gedung Ksirarnawa at the Bali Arts Center. The final competitions start at 6:00 pm.

For more information telephone ++62-(0)81703610777.

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Tax Refund for Shopping Tourists
Modest Start to National VAT Tax Rebate Program for Tourist Shoppers in Bali and Jakarta.

The Indonesian Directorate General of Taxation have appointed eight retail companies to help introduce the first phases of the new value-added-tax (VAT) refund scheme available to Indonesian visitors effective April 1, 2010.

The first companies designated to extend tax refunds are comprised of only five companies in Jakarta and three in Bali, with plans to eventually extend the facility to more retail outlets across the country.

The companies now extending VAT refunds to travelers are:

• Pasaraya Blok M - Jakarta

• Sarinah – Jakarta

• Metro Pondok Indah Mal – Jakarta

• Metro Plaza Senayan – Jakarta

• Keris Gallery, Terminal III, Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta

• Batik Keris, Discovery Shopping Mall, Bali

• UC Silver, Batubulan, Gianyar - Bali

• Mayan Bali, Kuta Square, Block A, Number 12 – Bali

The VAT tax refund scheme is intended to stimulate purchases and spending by foreign tourist visiting Indonesia.

The participating merchants will grow in number over time will display a "VAT Refund for Tourist Sign."

The refunds are not available to Indonesian citizens or permanent residents, defined in this instance as anyone staying more than 2 months in Indonesia. The refund program is also not available to foreign airline crews.

Those wishing to take advantage of the offered refund must present their passport at the time of purchase, shop at a participating merchant, and spend a minimum of Rp. 5 million (US$532). Proof of purchase, a VAT refund form and the items purchased must be presented at the tax refund counters in operation at the Jakarta and Bali's airports set up to receive refund claims.


Working for the Free Flow of Traffic and Run Off
Bali's Capital of Denpasar Investing in Roads, Sewers and Drainage.

According to the Bali Post, the number of vehicles traveling on Bali's roads have increase 17.2% in the period 2005-2009. As a result, traffic jams which were once unheard of in Bali are becoming more commonplace. According to the spokesman for Bali's capital city of Denpasar, Made Erwin Suryadarma, the roads worst affected by traffic jams include Jalan Teuku Umar, Jalan Diponegoro, Jalan Wahidin and Jalan Gajah Mada.

To help improve the condition of local roads the Denpasar government managed to asphalt 462.7 kilometers of roads in 2009. The government credits its ability to pave roads, many of which are village roads and small alleys, to the support and contributions of the public. Simultaneous with efforts to pave roads has been the accompanying effort to construct drainage ditches to prevent flooding in crowded residential areas of Denpasar.

The municipal government of Denpasar has also now installed 8,116 km of feeder lines for the cities centralized waste-water management system together with the introduction of communal sewage collection systems in 7 separate locations.


Ayana Resort Bali One Year On
Ayana Resort Bali Celebrates the First Anniversary of its Rebirth.

Ayana Resort celebrated its first full year of operations under its new brand on April 1, 2010, by welcoming back its first guests who were back in Bali for a return visit.

   



Australians Andrew McKinnon and Jessica Grant were on hand to join the anniversary celebrations at the Resort's fabled Rock Bar. Andrew and Jess joined a select group of media, travel agents and community members gathered at this open-air bar, perched on natural rock 14 meters above the ocean. They celebrated with the cool sounds of DJ Martin East from LA, an indigenous drumming band, Japanese saxophonist Chika Asamoto, fireworks over the ocean, and a magician who produced door prizes virtually from thin air.

General Manager Charles de Foucault expressed his delight that Ayana's first official guests had returned to Bali a year later, unaware that the resort was planning a special event to mark the anniversary. In appreciation of their continued support, the couple were presented with an ‘Eternal Love Couple's Treatment at the spa, recently acknowledged by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the World's Best Spa."

In the year since the re-branding, the owners and managers of Ayana Resort have invested heavily in ensuring guests satisfactions at the cliff-side resort.The Rock Bar was opened shortly after the re-branding, quickly becoming one of Bali's iconic "must do" stops on an island holiday. Other improvements are the renovation of Padi restaurant, Damar Terrace Restaurant and the ballroom. Villa butlers have recently graduated from a certification programs from the UK Guild of Professional Butlers, purveyors of professional training for butlers to worldwide royalty and celebrities.


Don't Run Away with Our Money
Bali Reissues a Determined Call for a Share of the Profits from the Management of the Island's Airport.

Bali is once again seeking a share of revenues generated through the management and operation of the Ngurah Rai International Airport. And, according to a report in Radar Bali, lawmakers and legislators from Bali are threatening extreme measure to ensure a "share of the spoils" are allocated to the island, including demonstrations in support of their demands every time a ranking national officials lands in Bali.

In keeping with Governor Pastika's ongoing campaign to see that Bali gets a portion of money collected by Jakarta in Bali, such as visa-on-arrival fees, the island's chief executive is reportedly also ready to fight for airport contributions already enjoyed by Makassar, Cengkareng and Banjarmasin. Underlining the governor's commitment, the provincial spokesman for Bali, Ketut Teneng, said that following meetings with Bali legislators working in the capital, the governor has confirmed his willingness to do whatever is necessary to obtain a financial contribution from the airport.

"At this time the governor is ready to join the fight to obtain a contribution from the airport's profits or to find a new formula that would allow such a contribution," said Teneng.

Teneng, however, seemed to temper the threat of demonstrations focused on visiting Jakarta leaders, emphasizing that early steps must include a study of the laws that would allowed the desired contribution to be secured from the airport authority. The spokesman explained: "The question naturally arises why Makassar, Cengkareng and Banjarmasin have such a contribution. What is the basis in law? That's what needed in order to strengthen Bali's fight to get a contribution."

Another suggestion tabled for raising local funds from the airport was making insurance mandatory for island visitors. Such an insurance program would be managed by the province. Teneng said this option would also need to be studied to see if it was viable. "All the options will be studied, from direct contributions, retribution and insurance," Teneng assured.

Wayan Disel Astawa, a member of Commission II of the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), said: "A contribution (from PT Angkasa Pura II) is an absolute condition. Come on, let's fight for the contribution which has never been enjoyed by Bali."

Astawa compared Bali's situation with the profits share enjoyed by other destinations in Indonesia. Asking why Bali should be treated differently, he asked if Bali is any different from Makassar, Cengkareng of Banjarmasin?

Similar sounding sentiments were sounded by the Chairman of Commission IV DPRD-Bali, Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana. The outspoken legislator claimed Jakarta was treating Bali like a poor stepchild, saying: "Does Bali have to get tough? Bali has so far remained polite in our requests to settle this problem."


Politics is Good Business for Sanur Area Hotels in Bali
PDIP Congress in Bali Fills Sanur Area Hotels.

The organizers of the Congress of the People's Democratic Party for Struggle (PDIP) being held in Bali from April 6-9, 2010, have booked 1,000 rooms in Sanur area hotels.

Quoted by the national news agency Antara, the accommodation coordinator of the Congress, Wayan Sutena, said "We have ordered one thousand rooms for delegates and invitees who will attend the conference April 6-9, 2010. He explained that those invited to attend the conference will receive rooms and other facilities from the organizers. Members of the PDIP fraction who sit in the national legislature will be required to cover the cost of their own accommodation.

The main accommodation venue will be at the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel, the congress venue.

Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Ida Bagus Sidartha Putra, told the press that hotels are heavily booked in Sanur by delegates, party supporters and their family who are also using the congress as an opportunity for a Bali holiday.

Indonesia's former president Megawati Soekarnoputri is seeking re-appointment for a five year term as the leader of the PDIP.


In Bali SMS 1120 for Police Assistance
New SMS Service Set Up to Improve Service by Bali Police.

Bali's Chief of Police Sutisna has launched a new short messaging service (SMS) to help the public and the police work together for a safer Bali.

In announcing the new service, Chief Sutisna said the new 1120 SMS service represents a quick and efficient way for the public to communicate with the police.

Before putting the new service into place the police have conducted special training for the SMS operators who will receive reports from the public. A set of standard operating procedures have been put in place for the computerized system which will channel all reports to the nearest police station for action.

A total of 27 personnel at the police headquarters in Bali and various precinct stations across the island have been trained to handle the new system to receive reports and complaints from the public.

Many observers are now waiting for the Bali Police to set up a Twitter Account, copying the example of Jakarta where a traffic alert account operated by the police has more than 32,000 followers.


 
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