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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #983 - 06 July 2015

IN THIS UPDATE


No Smoking Flights
Increased Activity by East Java Volcano Causing flight delays and Diversion

Indonesian air controllers diverted some flights flying from Surabaya to Denpasar (Bali) following an increase in the alert status of volcanic Mount Raung near Banyuwangi in East Java.

The change in flight trajectories was done to keep aircraft clear of the volcanic smoke being produced by Mount Raung.

Okezone.com reported that flight traveling from Surabaya to Denpasar no longer passed firectly over the town of Banyuwangi, but took a new course over Asembagus-Situbondo.

The new flight route takes somewhat longer than the former course.
The change in flight course to avoid the potentially dangerous volcanic ash of Mount Raung commenced on Monday. June 29, 2015.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM) was also issued by Indonesian aviation authorities advising flights in the vicinity of Banyuwangi to operate at altitudes greater than 20,000 feet.

The changes in air routings have affected 16 different flights operated by 6 airlines between Surabaya and Denpasar resulting in delays.

5 flights operated by Garuda Indonesia; 4 flights from Lion Air; 2 flights by AirAsia, 3 flight by Citlink and one flight each by Kalstar, and Nam Air – were affected by the diversions ordered by air controllers.


Cleared for European Landings
Four Indonesian Carriers Off the European Union’s Aviation Blacklist

Jakarta Globe reports that four Indonesian airlines are now eligible to fly into and over European airspace following the latest air safety audit conducted by the United Nation’s (UN) International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO).
 
The Indonesia Ministry of Transportation announced the upgrading for Indonesian aviation on Monday, June 29, 2015.
 
Mazaffer Ismail, the director of airworthiness and flight operations for Indonesian civil aviation said: “Garuda, Indonesia AirAsia, Premi Air and Airfast passed the audit after we sent the corrective action plan to Montreal.”
 
With the exception of Garuda Indonesia, the other three airlines named were previously barred from flying into European Union airspace, deemed unsafe by the ICAO. The same rules effectively banned the airlines from operating to and from the United States.
 
Continuing, Ismail said, “The European Union was concerned about whether [Indonesia] could pass the ICAO’s audit. In fact, we could, with four airlines.”  Ismail revealed that the four carriers managed to comply with 81.5% of the audit’s requirements in order to re-qualify as “flight safe.”
 
The next ICAO audit will take place in November at which time the Ministry will seek the removal of Citilink Indonesia, Lion Air and Indonesian AirAsia X from the EU’s aviation blacklist.
 
While not all Indonesian airlines are seeking air routes into Europe, compliance with ICAO standards is seen as important with Indonesia’s branding as an international tourism destination.


To Market, To Market
Government Announces Plans to Upgrade 1,000 Traditional Markets Nationwide

The State News Agency Antara reports that Indonesia is launching a program to revitalize and upgrade one thousand traditional markets.
 
Accompanied by the Indonesian First Lady, President Joko Widodo announced the major revamp of Indonesia's traditional market places while visiting a local market in West Purwokerto, Central Java on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
 
The President pledged that five thousand modernized traditional markets would be built over the coming five years.
 
The President’s move is to help traditional markets compete more effectively with the rapid onslaught of modern min-markets and hyper-marts.
 
President Widodo also wants to give traditional small traders easier access to capital to help them modernize their marketing of locally made and agricultural goods. This will be done, said the President, by reducing the interest rates for loans available from government sources in the local communities from 22% to 12%.
 
Among the markets slated for renovation are markets located in Bali.
 


Denpasar to Wakatobi
Garuda to Start Flights from Bali to Wakatobi in August 2015

Garuda Indonesia has announced plans to open flight operations between Denpasar (Bali) and Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi commencing in August 2015.
 
Quoted by Republika.co.id, the Regent of Wakatobi, Hugua, announced the new flight service on Friday, June 26, 2015 in Kendari. Southeast Sulawesi. “The inaugural flight by Garuda Indonesia from Denpasar to Wakatobi will be christened by the Minister of Tourism,” he said.
 
The Regent said the Wakatobu-Denpasar route will meet the demands of Chinese and Japanese tourists who frequently visit Bali and are now seeking destinations beyond Bali after spending two or three days on the Island.

Wakatobi is known internationally for its outstanding diving and snorkeling opportunities.


A Safe Cover Up
Bali Police Now Deny Threat to Ticket Helmetless Hindus on Their Way to Prayer

Apparently backpedalling on earlier pronouncements by Bali’s Chief of Police, the Island’s police command now says efforts to compel Balinese to use motorcycle helmets on their way to and form religious rituals was more a suggestion that a genuine threat of enforcement.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of the traffic police at the provincial police, I Wayan Sunartha, told members of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), “We truly understand the situation in Bali regarding traditional dress for people going to pray; for that reason we (ask) that people be more careful.”

Sunartha said the campaign for Balinese motorcyclists wearing traditional costumes to also wear helmets that was launched by the Chief of the Bali Police was done because the Chief of Police is very concerned for the safety of the public traveling on the roadways, especially those riding motorcycles.
 
“Based on our data, the number of roads accidents involving motorcycles is high and the number of fatalities is also high,” he said.
 
Sunartha continued saying that the use of a “udeng” or cloth head band, favored by Balinese men dressed for ceremonial prayers, put motorcyclists at great risk if they are involved in a road accident. “For this reason,” he said, “we hope people when be careful when traveling on the roads.”
 
Sunartha said the Bali Police command truly understand the special character of Bali and the requests from the Bali-Hindu community not to enforce mandatory helmet laws on traditionally dressed Balinese. At the same time, the man in charge of traffic safety in Bali said the police would continue to remind the populace to be careful when traveling on the roads.
 
Sunartha said that police will take action against motorcyclists in traditional dress if, in the opinion of the officer, the violator is endangering himself or members of the public.
 
Meanwhile, the chairman of Bali Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, expressed the hope that religion is not used to stir up resentment between the police and the public.
 
Sudiana said that the danger of traveling without a helmet increases with the distance traveled. For this reason he hoped the police would not ticket anyone traveling less than 10 kilometers.
 
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Bali – Where it Pays to Drink
Bali Beer Costs Ranked Among the World’s Least Expensive

The Jakarta Post reports that Bali has ranked #14 in the all-important list of the cheapest places in the world to drink beer. Among countries in Southeast Asia, Bali has ranked #3.
 
The results of the 2015 Beer Price Index published by the travel search engine GoEuro, a can or a bottle of beers (330 ml) purchased in a bar or supermarket in Bali costs US$2.18, beating out the cost of a similar-sized portion in Manila, the Philippines and Kuala Lumpur.
 
A beer in Bali is the third cheapest in Southeast Asia after Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok.

In search of the cheapest bottle of beer in the world? Head for Krakow, Poland where the price of a beer is US$1.66. And, if you want a beer and money is no object, then steer a course for Geneva, Switzerland where a can of local swill will set you back US$6.32.

Closer to Bali, Hong Kong ranks as the second most expensive place for a can of beer at US$6.16. A can of beer in Singapore is also on the high side at US$5.13 a can.


A Rainbow Range of Reprimands
Ticket Colors Issued by Police for Traffic Violations Explained

Detik.com has explained the five different types of tickets that can be issued by traffic police in Indonesia in accordance with Law Number 22 of 2009 on traffic and transportation.

Here’s the type of traffic tickets issued in Indonesia and their function:

Red Ticket


A Red Ticket is issued to motorists who do not accept that they have committed a violation. In this instance, the driver is given a date to appear in court within the coming 14 days when he or she can plead their innocence before a judge.

Blue Ticket

 
A Blue Ticket is given to a motorist who accepts that he or she has broken a traffic rile. Those who receive a blue ticket are able to pay a set fine via a bank transfer. The fine for these violations can be quite high in accordance with the tariff now set under the law.
 
Motorist using this option should know the bank account number and the owner of that account before transferring their fines.

It is also important to refuse any offer from the policeman issuing the ticket to assist by accepting your fine on the spot. Police are not allowed to collect fines directly from violators. Motorists giving policemen money are in violation of the law.
 
Yellow Ticket

The yellow colored ticket is the color of copy of the ticket to be stored in the police archive.

Green Ticket

The green colored ticket is for the archive of the Court and is used as the case works itself through the legal process.

White Ticket

The white colored ticket is retained for the archives of the public prosecutor.


The Candy Man Can
Bank Indonesia Officials Warns that Storekeepers Who Make Change with Candy Can Face Fines and Prison

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, the head of Gorontalo, North Sulawesi's Branch of Bank Indonesia, Suryono, has warned that traders and shop keepers who make change with pieces of candy can be charged with a criminal act that carries a maximum prison sentence of one year and a fine of Rp. 200 million (US$ 15,000).
 
Many shop keepers lacking the coins to make proper change will give customers wrapped candy, seemingly to make up the difference.
 
Suryono said: ‘Traders and all others must understand the rules; don't commit violations. The public has the right to report (any violations) to the police whenever they occur. The rupiah is the legal tender of the land and cannot be substituted.”
 
Suryono added any report of people failing to use or honor the rupiah as the official currency of the land will be prosecuted by police and Bank Indonesia officials.

In addition to violating national rules on legal tender, the use of candies to make change can also be prosecuted under the Indonesian Consumer Protection Law Number 8 of 1999 carrying penalties of up to two years and Rp. 5 billion (US$375,000).


Home and Away for the Holidays
Bali Police to Deploy More than 9,000 Officers to Keep the Peace on Bali Roads Over Busy Islamic Holiday Period

As Indonesia prepares to commence the busiest travel period of the year surrounding the celebration of the Islamic New Year, Bali’s police are deploying more than 1,300 personnel to ensure safe flow of traffic across the Island.
 
Quoted by Metobali.com, Wayan Sunartha the head of the Bali Traffic Police, told a hearing before Commission I of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), ‘We (the police) have already held coordination meetings with headquarters. In short, every regions' chief of traffic police has been asked to make good preparations, We have been asked to coordinate our work with related agencies of the government, using ‘five pillars” as a guide.
 
The “Five pillars” referred to by Sunartha include, among others, planning to improve roadways, the condition of the roadways themselves, procedures for handling road accidents, and coordination with medical and health services.
 
Sunartha said his team of officers has conducted surveys listing roads that need urgent repairs. Adding, “Don’t let the period of mass migration arrive and there are still roads that have not been repaired causing disruption in traffic flows, congestion, moving violations and even accidents.”
 
Police are establishing emergency traffic posts at busy areas to help smoothen the holiday rush.
 
“We will also be undertaking security patrols. Motorcyclists who disobey the law and carry more than the allowed number of passengers face stern enforcement. Public transport will be guarded, Drivers of buses will undergo health checks before they take to the roads and their vehicle documents checked – all in support of safer\y,” explained Sunartha.
 
Police will pay special attention to the Tabanan area of Bali where the winding roads results in many accidents.

Goods trucks, except those transporting essential commodities, will be barred from the roads during the peak travel periods over the Lebaran period.


When Crew Gets Stomach Flu
Virgin Australian Bali to Brisbane Flight Cancelled When One Cabin Crew Calls in Sick.

News.com.au reports how an entire plane load of Virgin Australia passengers on the Sunday, June 28m 2015 Bali to Brisbane flight were temporarily stranded in Bali when a single member of the cabin crew suddenly fell ill.
 
Short one less than the legal mandated number of cabin attendants, Virgin Australia had no choice but to cancel the already in Bali and flight poised for takeoff.
 
Passengers preparing to board the late evening flight from Bali to Brisbane  were only told of the cancellation after arriving at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.
 
Unable to complete the minimum complement of crew set by aviation authorities for safe flight, the Virgin Australian Boeing 737-800 took off with only the cockpit crew on board in order to reposition the empty aircraft back to Brisbane for its next flight.
 
Guest were unable to board the plane in Bali were housed and fed by Virgin Australia at the nearby Bali Dynasty Hotel. While some passengers took the option of a flight to Sydney, other opted to wait 20 hours for the next Virgin Australia Bali to Brisbane flight.
 
Australian flight rules require planes to operate with a full cockpit crew and one cabin crewmember for every 50 passengers. A Boeing 737-800 with a 176 personal seating capacity is required by law to carry four-cabin crew.
 
The cost incurred by the illness of one Virgin Australia crewmember and the cancelled flight is put at AU$100,000.


The Hills are Alive
Jetstar Cancels Several Bali Flights to Avoid Volcanic Ash from East Java Volcano

Jetstar cancelled several flights from Australia to Bali on Thursday, July 2, 2015 due to aviation safety concerns surrounding the explosion of the Mr. Raung volcano near Banyuwangi, East Java,
 
At 11:30 on Thursday night the Airline cancelled a number of its flights citing the volcanic ash from the volcano was drifting towards Bali’s airport.
 
The Airline’s statement read: “We regret the disruption this weather event has caused our passengers, and thank them for their patience as we work to provide alternative options. All passengers on rescheduled or cancelled flights will be notified by Jetstar or their Travel Agent directly and provided with options to fly on alternative services.”
 
According to News.com.au, passengers affected by the flight cancellations on July 2 and 3, 2015  were given seven day to change travel bookings without incurring any administrative charges.
 
Other airlines operating into Bali have assessed the risks and the prevailing wind westerly winds and determined to continue flight service to Bali.
 
Several domestic airlines flying from Surabaya to Bali have change their flight routing, diverting around Banyuwangi’s flight space.


The Man of de Malmanche
New Zealand Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Smuggling Drugs into Bali

Antony de Malmanche a 53-year old hapless New Zealand tourist has been sentenced to prison for 15 years in Bali convicted of carrying 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamines into Bali after disembarking a flight from Hong Kong in December of 2014.

The sentence of 15 years and a fine of Rp. 4 billion (US$300,000) was less than the 18 years sought by prosecutors and the maximum sentence the court could have imposed of death before a firing squad. If de Malmanche fails to pay the fine it may delay scheduled sentence remissions and add 4 months to his sentence.

The New Zealander tried unsuccessfully to persuade the panel of Indonesia judges that he was the victim of an on-line romance with a woman who provided him air airline tickets from New Zealand to Hong Kong and then to Bali. The woman, referred to a “Jessie” failed to meet de Malmanche in Hong Kong, but sent him on the next leg of his journey to a Bali with a parcel containing methamphetamines.

De Malmanche claims he had no knowledge that he was carrying drugs.

De Malmanche and his legal counsel have a limited period in which to decide whether or not to appeal the sentence that could be revoked, reduced or made more severe by the appeals court.
 
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Bali Human Cultural Icons
Bali Arts Festival Honor Nine Senior Traditional Arts Performers

Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika has presented awards to nine Balinese artists for the dedication to Balinese culture and the performing arts.

The awards were presented on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in conjunction with the month-long 37th Bali Arts Festival (PKB) at a ceremony held at the Kesiarnawa Taman Budaya Building in Denpasar.

Each of those awarded were presented with a trophy and a cash award of Rp, 6 million (US$450) and an additional bank account with a balance of Rp. 5 million (US$375) from the Bali Development Bank (BDP).

The nine artists are comprised of senior individuals living in eight regencies and one city in Bali.
 
The 9 artists honored for their life-long commitment to Balinese culture and the arts are:
 
  • Dewa Putu Teheg (77), Gianyar, Drama Gong Performer
  • I Made Ranten (63), Buleleng, multiple performing arts
  • IGN Pemecutan (80), Painter and Percussionist
  • IG Wayan Dangin (89), Karangasem, Gambuh and Aria Performer
  • I Nyoman Subrata (66), Bangli, Drama Gong Performer
  • Gusti Ketut Lodri (73), Badung, Dancer
  • I Wayan Kadra (72), Negara, Balinese literature
  • IGN Ketut Sudiarta (68), Tabanan, Wayan Kulit Performer
  • KT Jengki Saputra (58), Klungkung, Jouk Dancer
 
At the awards ceremony, the only woman recipient, I Gusti Ketut Lodri, to the delight of the Governor and the audience broke into a spontaneous performance of the Teruna Jaya Dance.
 
The winners of the award were selected by a committee that sought recipients with records of unequalled artistic abilities and dedication to the Balinese culture.
 
In the course of the 37 year history of the Bali Arts Festival (PKB) the provincial government of Bali has similarly awarded 409 artists, including the nine honored at this year’s event.


Small Shops Must Stop Selling Beer
Bali Threaten to Close Down Shops in Kuta and Legian Illegally Selling Beer

Despite liberalization in Bali of nationwide rules limiting the sales of beer at min-marts and convenience stores, many shops in the Kuta and Legian area of Bali are surreptitiously selling beer in violation of a ban issued by the Department of Trade.
 
As reported by Bali Post, the head of the Cooperatives, Industry, Trade and Small-Medium Sized Enterprises office for Badung, Ketut Karipan, is promising to undertake enforcement steps against errant traders, including revoking their business permits, if needed.
 
“Minimarkets and self-service stores are not allowed to sell beer. If they are discovered (to be doing so), we will process them in accordance with the law. If they continue to ignore warnings, we’ll close them down,” said Karipan. 
 
The relaxed ruling for Bali from the Minister of Trade only allows exception to the no beer sales to small warungs and cool box traders operating in tourism areas. And these traders exempted from the new rules can only sell beer under the supervision and coordination of local village authorities.
 
Karipan emphasized that mini-markets – especially outside of tourism areas – are forbidden from selling beer.
 
Under the new rules that took effect on April 15, 2015, only tourism-related businesses can sell beer. This includes hotels, restaurants, bars and hypermarkets.


Medan Tragedy
Military Transport Crash in Medan Kills at Least 113 in Long Litany of C-130 Crashes in Indonesia

A total of at least 113 passengers and crew on board an Indonesian Air Force C-130 aircraft were killed and a number of local citizens on the ground were injured and killed when the 51-year-old military transport clipped an antenna and crashed into a crowded commercial district near Medan’s Polonia airport on Tuesday, June 20, 2015 at 12:28 pm shortly after departing the airport
 
Of the 113 who died in the fiery crash of the plane only 12 were crew with the remaining passenger manifest comprised of military personnel, their families and paying passengers.
 
The tragic crash, still under investigation, has prompted a call for a review on all military equipment acquisition by President Joko Widodo.
 
The Hercules C-130 crash in Medan is the latest tragedy in a 30-year history of mishaps involving the Indonesian military’s use of 2nd hand air transport given to Indonesia under a U.S. program of military grants.
 
  • 22 November 1985 – An Indonesian Air Force C-130 MP crashed into Sibayak Mountain killing 10 crew.
  • 5 October 1991 – An Air Force C-130 crashed in Condet, East Jakarta killing 133 passengers and crew and 2 security guards.
  • 20 December 2001 – A Hercules A-130 carrying Air Force crew personnel and ammunitions crashed at Lhokseumawe, Aceh killing 105 passengers and crew.
  • 11 May 2009 – An Air Force C-130 at Wamena, Papua lost a tire in flight that fell and killed a local resident.
  • 20 May 2009 – An Air Force C-130 long-body aircraft crashed in the village of Geplek, East Java killing 101 passengers and crew and injuring 11.
  • 20 June 2015 – The most recent Air Force C-130 crashed in Medan that claimed the lives of 113 passengers and crew and injured and killed a number of people on the ground.


PATA Mart Returns to Indonesia
Indonesia to Host 2016 PATA Travel Mart

Indonesia has been chosen to host the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart to be held in Jakarta in 2016.
 
The chairman of PATA, Mario Hardy, told the State News Agency Antara that 1,000 delegates from 60 countries are targeted to participate in what will be the 39th PATA Mart.
 
The 38th edition of the PATA Mart will take place in Bangalore, India September 6-8, 2015.
 
The PATA Mart is the major annual marketing event held each year by PATA and a leading travel event in the Asia Pacific.
 
Declining in popularity in recent years, the PATA Mart held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2014 attracted only 450 sellers from 233 organizations. From that total 52% of the buyers were first time participants at a PATA Travel Mart.
 
The 2014 PATA Mart saw 266 buyers from 252 companies representing 48 countries at the Cambodia event.


Kite Flyers Leave Bali in the Dark
PLN Worried that Bali’s Kite-Flying Seasons will Precipitate Power Outages

The arrival of Bali’s annual kite-flying season has Bali’s State Power Board (PLN) worried.
 
During last year’s kite-flying season PLN recorded no less than 57 power outages linked to kites that short circuited high-voltage lines.
 
As reported by Bali Post, the general manager of distribution for PLN-Bali, Doddy Benyamin Pengaribuan, said: “Last year the PLN power feed was interrupted 57 times by kites. The interruptions were caused by kites getting stuck in power lines.  If the kites fall near main roads it’s easy to find the source of the short circuit. But, if the location is more remote it takes much longer to trace down the cause.”
 
Most outages causing short circuits to Bali’s power grid occur in July-August with most outages taking place in Denpasar, Badung and in Tabanan.
 
PLN is urging local governments and kite enthusiasts to not leave their kites unattended overnight and to try to localize kite flying at organized festivals where better control and monitoring can be put in place.
 


Bali Airport; Ready for the Holiday Rush
Bali Airport Sets Up Command Posts in Anticipation of Lebaran Rush

The general manager of Bali’s Airport Operating Authority – PT Angkasa Pura I, Trikora Harjo, has announced that a special Command Post have been established to ensure security and smooth operations over the Lebaran – Idul Ftiru 1436H holidays.
 
Located in the public area of the domestic terminal, the Lebaran Command Post opened on July 2nd and will remain in operration until July 27, 2015.
 
Staffing the Command Post will be Angkasa Pura personnel, police and health officials. The posts will be outfitted with an examination room and medical equipment.
 
Angkasa Pura has undertaken a review of the airport and its facilities in anticipation of the coming holiday. The review has included steps to impose more control on the Airport’s taxi service and steps to ensure CCTV surveillance of all areas are in place.
 


Strokes of Good Luck
Trips to London and Harley Davidson Motorcycles among Prizes to be Won Bali National Golf Club August 8-9, 2015

The newly re-launched Bali National Golf Club will be celebrating its first anniversary on Saturday, and Sunday, August 8-9, 2015.
 
And there’s much to celebrate!

Voted “Best Renovated Course in Asia” in late 2014, the course recently successful hosting of its first Asian Development Tour event - Bali National Golf Championship and the announcement of another prestigious world wide award placing 3rd in the Best Renovated Course Worldwide 2015.
 
During the anniversary weekend a groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 9, 2015 to commence phase 2 of the Bali National Golf Redevelopment program that includes 33 villas and a 5-star hotel.

Slated to become an annual event on Bali’s golfing calendar, keen golfers are invited to enter the event on Saturday, August 8th, Two fields – an morning and afternoon field  - will reconvene for an evening cocktail party and award’s ceremony that will include two tickets to London with a golf holiday on the way in Dubai sponsored by Emirate Airlines.
 
Hole in One prizes include the chance to take home a Harley Davidson Motorbike or acquire apartments in Jakarta and Bandung.    
 
The all inclusive fee for joining play is Rp1.5 million (US$113) per player including anniversary golf shirt and golfers gift, lunch, competition round, cocktail reception and dinner.
 
After the tournament a second day of play is on offer on Sunday at Bali national Golf for Rp. 1.5 million including breakfast and lunch.

Entry forms available commencing Wednesday, September 8, 2015 on line at Bali National Golf Club Website 
 
For more information email


Has the Bali Property Boom Gone Bust?
Developers Say Bali Property Sales Down 75% in 2015

Bisnis Bali, in a page-one article titled  "Bali’s Property Market has Collapsed”, reports that tight money and government surveillance of property transactions are being blamed for the current weak property market in Bali.
 
The arrest by Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency (KPK) of property investors and subsequent charges of money laundering have tempered appetites for investment in the property sector.
 
The former chairman of the Bali chapter of Real Estate Indonesia (REI). I Dewa Putu Selawa, confirms that property investment in private residences, development sites and villas has been declined substantially over the past year. He said transactions in excess of Rp. 500 million (US$37,500) have become lethargic. Meanwhile, properties with price tags in excess of Rp. 1 billion (US$75,000) have become very difficult to sell.
 
Selawa, is a director of PT Sepa Karya Buana, a development firm, says the circulation of cash in Bali has declined dramatically since early 2015. This is evidenced by the arrest of high profile figures on charges of money laundering. The former REI official says Bali’s property market is now “stagnant” with only very large-scale projects able to weather the current decline. He said property companies are recording sales in 2015 that are only 25% of business levels experienced just one year before.
 
In addition to a smaller amount of money in circulations, new regulations requiring a down payment covering a minimum of 30% of the purchase price of a property and a general reluctance to invest in an uncertain property market have added to the current stagnation in Bali property sales.
 
Another developer, I Nengah Mertha, complained that since the end of 2014 it has been problematic to acquire land for development projects in strategic areas of Bali. Mertha told Bisnis Bali that he is currently without any ongoing projects.
 
The rapid rise in property prices has put land in strategic areas, such as Badung and Denpasar, out of the reach of developers. Land that once sold for Rp. 100 million (US$$7,500) per are (100 square meters) now sells for Rp. 400 million an are.
 
A weak property market and declining consumer demand has left Bali’s property market in the doldrums. Weak demand continues to fuel current uncertainty as potential future property owners are waiting in the wings for prices to fall before cosidering Bali property as a worthwhile investment.


Watching You, From a Distance
Indonesia to Introduce Law Requiring its Citizens to Register On Line When Going Abroad

The Jakarta Post reports that The Indonesian Foreign Ministry is preparing a regulation that will require Indonesians to register on line before travelling abroad.
 
The promised legislation and a website for reporting planned trips are scheduled to come into effect in August.
 
The desire to create a data base of all Indonesians traveling overseas is intended to help the government keep track of its nationals, particularly in strife-torn regions of the world such as Syria.


When Things Fail to Add Up
Editorial: Poor Grasp of Mapping Tourism Growth Underlines a Much Larger Problem

The essence of leadership is the ability to gather and grasp the reality of the current situation and then develop plans and strategies to bring about desired results.
 
This is what makes the lack of clear thinking in recent statements made by Indonesia’s Tourism leadership so frustrating. In March of this year, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya boasted that foreign arrivals nationwide would hit 12 million by the end of 2015, increasing by more than 27% in a single year from the 9.4 million tourists recorded coming to Indonesia in 2014.
 
Obsequiously committed to achieving the pre-electoral projection by President Joko Widodo that Indonesia can achieve 20 million tourists by 2019, Minister Yahya has relied on flawed calculations, saying Indonesia needs to grow foreign arrivals by an average 16% each year to surpass 20 million by 2019.
 
National arrival figures for January – May 2015 stands at 3.8 million, an increase of only 3.85% over the same months in 2014. Therefore, in order to achieve the 12 million foreign tourists projected by the Minister for 2015 Indonesia will need to achieve 46.78% more arrivals for the remaining months of June – December 2015 than it did the same period in 2014.
 
With January – May arrivals improving only a modest average of 3.85%, its incredulous to accept that by arrivals will increase 46.78% for the rest of the year in order to hit the 12 million foreign arrivals projected by the Minister.

Such unsupportable stargazing reflects a much larger problem facing Indonesian tourism at the moment. When those charged with the leadership of our tourism industry make wild and unsupportable statistical projections, avaricious and unquestioning investors develop projects that create situations of oversupply that do untold damage to the national tourism industry.
 
You need look no further than Bali to see how boundless optimism divorced from reality and unbridled greed can chart the destruction of a once much-admired island destination.


 
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Bali Update #983
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