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Sanur Raya No. 27
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai,
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

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++62 361 286 283

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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #950 - 17 November 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Toilet Water
E-Coli Bacteria Found in Karangasem’s Public Water Supply

Following laboratory tests conducted on the Karangasem Water Works System (PDAM-Karangasem), the presence of E-Coli bacteria has been confirmed as present in the water supply of the regency. The tests were conducted at 7 different water sources in Karangasem with 6 of those locations yielding positive results for E-Coli bacteria.

E-Col (Escherichia coli) is a bacterium present in the lower intestines of humans and animals. The contamination of E-Coli in food and water supplies is often linked to food poisoning.

Quoted by Radar Bali, the head of the Karangasem Health Department, IGM Tirtayana, confirmed positive E-Coli results from 6 of 7 test points. 4 of the positive test points were located in the sub-district of Subagan, with the remaining 2 in the sub-district of Padangkerta. Tests conducted on the water supply at the sub-district of Jeruk Manis were negative for the E-Coli bacteria.  Only one test water sources – a public water source in Subagan – was not part of the PDAM water distribution network.

The tests were made following a recent increase in the number of diarrhea cases in the regency.

Karangasem officials have ordered PDAM officials in Karangasem to immediately take steps to eliminate E-Coli bacteria from the public water supply.

In response, Tirtayana said the test results are not proof of the presence of E-Coli bacteria in the entire PDAM water network in Karangasem and the areas tested are only from sources fed by water from Tirtagangga.

Furthermore, the Regency’s man in charge of public health countered that the current increase in diarrhea cases in his area might also be caused by food contamination aided by the amounts of dust in the atmosphere due to the continuing dry spell in North and East Bali.

Tirtayana urged the public to always boil water from taken from the PDAM water system for 15 minutes before being used for human consumption.

Meanwhile, officials of PDAM Karangasem have called into question the veracity of the water tests confirming the presence of E-Coli bacteria in the local water supply. PDAM officials insist they were not involved in the initial sampling and retest have been ordered and undertaken by PDAM.


Run for Some Else’s Life
Rock ‘N Run the 14th Chapter: A Record Breaking Charity Run

Hard Rock Hotel Bali's 14th edition of “Take Time to be Kind” Rock N’ Run Event on November 2, 2014 drew a record numbers of participants and raised substantial funds for the “Pink Ribbon” fight on breast cancer.
n 1,200 runners from Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Singapore convened on the Hard Rock Hotel at Sunrise while another 400 participated at a distance by donating to the event.

“On Sunday, 2 November 2014, we received tremendous participation and support from the public: more than 1200 people turned out to participate in our Rock ‘n Run, a record number. More than 1,500 shirts were sold,” said Shane Coates, general manager of Hard Rock Hotel Bali.

“It is a great sign, judging by the number of participants, people still care about each other in Bali! The purpose of this yearly fundraising-sports activity is to help and support Bali Pink Ribbon and also to spread the awareness of Breast Cancer in Bali.”


Inns on the Out with the Government
Hotel and Restaurant Association Question the Wisdom of Ban on Government Meetings at Hotels

Some tourism players in Bali are nervous with the decision of the Joko Widodo Government to ban government meetings and seminars in hotels.

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, I Wayan Rawan Atmadja, a member of Commission IV of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), said on Monday, November 10, 2014, “The meetings held (in the past by government agencies have been very helpful in boosting hotel occupancies in Bali.”

Atmadja is concerned about widely publicized plans by President Joko Widodo to ban government meetings in hotels and privately held venues when sufficient space is already available in government-owned meeting venues. The President’s transition team identified that the government spends an estimated US$1.5 billion annually on meetings.

The Balinese legislator said that while he understands the Government’s desire to reduce budget deficits, he’s genuinely concerned the impact this decision will have on economic growth and hotel occupancies in destinations such as Bali.

Atmadja is also concerned that the sudden removal of government bookings for meetings and rooms in Bali will serve to fuel the ongoing price war within the Bali hotel sector. For this reason, he hopes the government will carefully study the impact of the proposed change in policy before its final implementation.
 
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) has raised objections to the new policy, calling for an urgent review of plans to curtail government meetings in hotels nationwide.

The PHRI Chairman, Wiryanti Sukamdani, said: “The policy to forbid civil servants from meeting in hotels sits in opposition to the core responsibility of hotels to serve the public, including government workers. Our hotels are open to serve the public, including government workers. This policy of forbidding government meetings in hotels threatens to cause a business collapse and thousands of people could lose this jobs.”
 
Sukamdani insists that the government must review the new policy and ensure that business at the nation’s hotels does not suffer a setback as a result. She reminded the government the taxes from the hotel and restaurant sector is equivalent Rp. 50 trillion (US$4.16 million), dominating tax intakes in Jakarta and Bali.
 
“Because of this, the government’s (new) policy will have a big influence on hotel occupancies. Investment in the hotel sector, and cause hardship for thousands of hotel workers,” she warned.
 
At the same time the PHRI chairman said her organization understands and supported in principle efforts by the government to introduce economies and saving in the State budget.
 
The government via the Minister for the Optimization of the State Apparatus and Bureaucratic Reform together with the Minister of the Interior has published a circular memorandum forbidding central government officials from holding official meetings and gatherings in hotels.


The Dangers of being Overweight
Strong Action Demanded Against Overloaded Trucks on Indonesian Roads

The chairman of the Indonesian Logistic Association, Zaldy Masita, has called on the Minister of Transportation to begin strictly enforcing load limitations on trucks traveling Indonesian highways.
 
Overloaded trucks traveling major roads in Indonesia are often cited as the source of traffic jams and the rapid deterioration of road surfaces
 
As reported by Bisnis.com, Masita says penalties, including the revocation of operating licenses for freight transport operators and fines imposed against the owners of the goods, are needed. Only with a stiff combination of penalties, he said, will those operating overloaded trucks be deterred from braking the law.
 
Speaking on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, Masita said, “It is an ironic reality that most of the overloaded trucks are carrying cement and fertilizer for State-owned enterprises.”

Because of this, Masita said there needs to be firm action against both private sector and public sector shippers who are violating the law.

“How can it be that the State-owned companies are among the worst violators of Sate regulations?” asked Masita.


Hotel Aston Denpasar Declared Insolvent
Surabaya Commercial Court Declares Owning Company of Hotel Aston Denpasar Bankrupt

The Surabaya Commercial Court has declared bankrupt the Hotel Aston Denpasar, owned by PT Puri Nikki.
 
The Aston Denpasar Hotel & Convention Center has 258-rooms backed by a large convention and conference center. Located in the business district of Bali’s capital, it is the only convention center in Bali with Halal certification to serve the meeting market seeking Moslem-oriented services
 
As reported by Metrobali.com, the declaration of bankruptcy was in response to claims filed with the court by I Nyoman Wiraguna and Wiji Sulistyowati.

Agus Saputra, legal representative for 246 shareholders of PT Puri Nikki, explained that the plaintiffs in the bankruptcy proceeding were, in fact, two shareholders in the company. “The two people are actually shareholders. In all, there are 246 shareholders. Wiwi (Wiji Sulistyowati) is the former commissioner of PT Puri Nikki,” explained Agus on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Agus said the remaining shareholders fought to prevent the bankruptcy, claiming gross irregularities in the bankruptcy proceedings and the decision granting the claim by the Surabaya Commercial Court.
 
Moreover, Agus contends that the two parties filing for the bankruptcy lack the necessary legal standing under Indonesian law. “To petition for bankruptcy, the plaintiff must be holding a debt against the respondent. Their position was not as a creditor, but as a shareholder,” he said.
 
Agus also alleged the Judge handling the case was guilty of unprofessional conduct. The judge ruled in one instance that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing, only to later rule in their favor.
 
Agus Saputra has reported the Surabaya jurist to the Judicial Commission and the Supervisor of the Supreme Court.
 

Finally, Agus says he suspect a “mafia bankruptcy” exists because of the 246 separate shareholders in the hotel, several were approached with offers to purchase their shares by a “certain” mysterious third party.

“The shareholders,” said Agus, “were generally opposed to the attempt to bankrupt the company. The shareholders wanted to sort the matter out. We wanted to replace or add curators. We will advise on all of this to the supervising judge.”
 
Saputra confirmed that an appeal of the bankruptcy decision is being prepared for the Supreme Court.


Romero’s Ongoing Romance with Bali
Alfonso Romero Returns to Bali to Head the Banyan Tree Ungasan Resort

Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali has appointed Alfonso Romero as general manager of the 73-villa luxury resort located in Southern Bali.

An established figure in the management member of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Romero has been transferred to Banyan Tree Ungasan following a stint as interim general manager at Angsana Fuxian Lake, Chengiiang, China - a villa resort within the hotel group portfolio.

He has served during the pre-opening and launch phases for both Banyan Tree and Angsana properties in Chongqing Beibei, China; and as general manager of Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul, Korea.
 
Romero brings 25 years of industry experience, having worked in 5-star hotels across Europe and Asia that has included assignments in operations, sales, marketing and crisis management.  His professional accolades include the Civil Merit Cross Award from King Juan Carlos I of Spain; and Award of Appreciation from Chaîne des Rôtisseurs for the title of “Maître Hotelier”.
 
“There is an allure and a mystique to Bali that attracts many visitors – and it’s a real pleasure to be welcomed back. Banyan Tree has established a wonderful property in what remains a uniquely rugged and beautiful part of the island. My time across Asia has given me valuable insight to the most discerning of travelers. I wish to deliver experiences that capture Banyan Tree’s inimitable elegance and sense of place. I look forward to harnessing the great energy from our team and delight our patrons,” said Romero.
 
“His career has demonstrated a keen ability to implement both strategic direction and tactical measures when it comes to managing a hotel brand with significant weight.” said Abid Butt, chief executive officer, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts.

Romero’s role at Banyan Tree Ungasan sees his return to Bali, following his first assignment on the Island from 1996-1998 when he worked at the Melia Bali Hotel and Melia Benoa Hotel; and again between 2004-2007 with Melia Bali Hotel Villas & Spa. Other assignments for the Spanish hotel chain included area vice president and general manager for properties in Shanghai and Beijing in China; Jakarta, Indonesia; Hua Hin, Thailand and Hanoi, Vietnam.
 
Originally from Antequera, Spain, Romero has a business accounting degree for Hotels & Spas from Marbella Hotel School; a degree in tourist development, promotion & new tourist markets from the University of Malaga, Spain; and is a certified hotel administrator from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
 
Romero speaks Spanish, English, French and Italian.


Giving a Jumper a Boost
Sun Island Bali Hotel Group Sponsors the Winning Ways of Indonesian Female Athlete Maria Natalia Londa

Sun Island Bali Group – a Bali-based hospitality management group has signed an agreement with the 2014 Asian Games gold medalist long-jumper Maria Natalia Londa in order to support the young athlete’s training regime.

The selection of Londa as the hotel management group’s sporting icon is in recognition of her long history of achievement– the latest by earning a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games long jump in Incheon, South Korea.

Sun Island
sees the 24-year-old Indonesian athlete as living proof that passion and determination are key factors leading to success, overcoming any physical limitations.
 
In the words of the Sun Island’s senior management, Maria Natalia Londa an inspiring figure and the attributes attached to her – passion and determination – are the spirit the hotel chain aspires to cultivate in all aspects of its service. Maria is known to have diminished lung capacity and one of her leg is slightly shorter than the other.
ming these obstacles through relentless hard work and with only the barest essentials of training equipment, she has earned the admiration of her fellow Indonesians with her achievements, including two gold medals in SEA Games 2013 and another gold medal in Asian Games 2014.

Sun Island, a chain of 5 boutique hotels in Bali is hoping to sustain the winning ways of Maria Natalia Londa while at the same time inspiring Bali’s younger generation and business community to strive for excellence in both their private lives and professional careers.

Sun Island Group owns and operates Sun Island Boutique Villas, Seminyak; White Rose Kuta Resort, Villas & Spa; Sun Island Hotel Kuta; Sun Island Hotel Legian; and Sun Island Suites in Goa Gong, Ungasan.

Book a Sun Island Hotel in Bali


Sun Island Boutique Villas & Spa

White Rose Bali Hotels & Villas

Sun Island Hotel Kuta

Sun Island Hotel Legian


South Bali as an International Cruise Port
Port of Benoa Bali Lengthening Cruise Pier to Attract More Cruise Ships

PT Pelindo III at Bali’s Port of Benoa has confirmed that work will begin in 2015 to lengthen the cruise ship pier by 50 meters, bringing the total length of the berth to 350 meters.
 
As reported by Bisnis.com, the general manager of Pelindo III – Benoa, Ali Sodikin, revealed the cost of the pier extension is Rp. 50 billion (US$4.16 million).

Describing continuing efforts underway to make the South Bali port more attractive to visiting cruise ships, Sodikin said, “This is an initial step, because the total plan is to create a pier with a total length of 400 meters, capable of handling two cruise ships at the same time.”

While lengthening the pier, Pelindo III is also dredging the port to ease navigation to and from the berths. Plans are that work to lengthen the pier to 400 meters will be completed within the next two years.

Sodikin is convinced that the work now underway will help attract more cruise ships to Bali. In 2014 some 58-cruise ships visited Bali, an increase from the 40 ships that came in 2013.

Cruise Ship Services by Bali Discovery


River of Tears
Junior High School Boy Drowns During Morning Swim in North Bali River

A 12-year-old junior high school student has drowned while bathing with friends in North Bali.

Wayan Agus Rediawan from the village of Jinengdalem in Buleleng was invited to join a group of friends for a swim at a dam following an early morning friendly football match on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

Agus initially declined the chance to join the swim, confessing an inability to swim and fear of the water in the area that was 8 meters deep. Persuaded to join the swim by his friends, one of the boys supported Wayan once in the deep water.

During the course of the swim, Agus lost his hold on his companion and disappeared beneath the water’s surface.

Police and members of the National Search and Rescue Team from Buleleng (Basarnas) arrived at the scene less than one hour after the boy’s reported disappearance. At one point, a passing Australian tourist donned diving equipment and joined the search. Search attempts were thwarted to some extent by the murky visibility of the water and the water's cold temperature.
 
Some 6.5 hours after his disappearance, Agus’ body was found and removed to the Buleleng General Hospital for forensic examination and further disposition.


Please Stop the Song and Dance
Bali Governor Describes Overseas Tourism Promotional Trips by Officials and Performing Arts Groups as a Waste of Money

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has publicly discounted the value provincial promotion of tourism overseas as a waste of money.

As reported by Metrobali.com, Pastika said that the current state of tourism development and how tourism is promoted reduces the need for overseas promotional trips. “I think the promotional funds of Rp. 1.1 billion (US$917,000) is very large, more than enough,” said the Governor speaking to reporters on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.
 
Pastika said paying for overseas trips by provincial officials and performing groups was no longer an effective means of tourism promotion.

Underlining his point and describing how promotion events are often hosted overseas, Pastika scoffed, “The people coming to see (the cultural shows) are Indonesians; requiring Ambassadors to desperately seek out people who are prepared to come and see the dance and cultural performances.”
 
The governor said that hotels in Bali are now undertaking promotion via the Internet. E-commerce, he said, was more effective and made direct contact with potential visitors.
 
Because of this, Pastika thinks it is possible to reduce promotional budgets even more. Aaking, “Do we really want to be running here and there like some sort of circus?”

The Governor said money wasted on overseas promotional trips could be better spent on fighting poverty in Bali.


Get on the Bus, Gus!
Failed Experiment? Bali Lawmakers Call for a Reexamination of Trans Sarbagita Bus System

A member of Commission II of the Bali Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana, is quoted by DenPost as saying that the continuing cost of operating the Trans Sarbagita is a huge burden on the Provincial budget that only increases from year to year.

Adding to this, warns Adnyana, the Trans Sarbagita fleet of busses is growing older, requiring larger sums of money for upkeep and maintenance.

Against this backdrop, Adnyana said the vote is still out on whether the operation of the Trans Sarbagita Bus System is able to reduce traffic congestion in Bali and serve as an important means of public transportation for the Public.

The legislator, who is a member of the PDIP party, reports that Rp. 15 billion (US$1.25 million) has been allocated in the 2015 budget to subsidize the Trans Sarbagita Bus System. Adding: “Every year we have to sustain (the bus system’s) losses. Meanwhile, other programs, that are more urgent, cannot be undertaken.”

Adnyana asked that before the 2015 allocation for the Trans Sarbagita operation is approved, all parties sit down together and examine the development of Bali’s mass transport system over the past few years. He said that if the operation of the busses is placed in the hands of a third party then the losses should be born by the operator and not the Provincial budget.

He continued saying he hoped that over time the Provincial subsidies for the Trans Sarbagita Bus system could be reduced, becoming less of a burden to tax payers from each year to the next.

To Adnyana’s mind, continuing subsidies without end means that the Trans Sarbagita bus systems is a failure.

He told the press that based on public feedback Trans Sarbagita is failing to deliver a high level of service and often operates behind schedule. For this and other reasons, use of the bus system by the public remains at a very low level.


Surprise Package
Bali Customs Office in Momentary Panic When Package Containing Narcotics Mistaken for Explosives

The Customs and Excise office at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport suffered a period of panic on Thursday, November 13, 2014, when a postal package containing a new form of narcotic substance was mistakenly suspected to contain explosives.

Quoted by Kompas.com, the head of the Custom’s office for Bali and Nusa Tenggara, Rahmad Subagio, said, “the tendency was to suspect that (an explosive substance), but laboratory tests proved that not to be the case.”

When the subject package arrived for examination at the Renon Post Office Customs sections, officers first thought that explosives weighing 20 grams were concealed inside a speaker. The package had been sent by post from China.
 
Police continue to investigate the case including plans to interview the intended recipient of the package in Bali. Tests are also underway to make a definitive determination on the nature of the substance believed to be an illicit narcotic.


Naked Came the Chef
Jamie Oliver to Open Italian Eatery in Bali: Jamies Italian Kuta Beach

Jamie Oliver’s group of family-friendly Italian eateries has announced plans to open in Bali, Indonesia in 2015.

Working with the Singapore-based Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL), the restaurant will be located adjacent to the Hard Rock Hotel Bali on the shores of famed Kuta Beach and the epicenter of Bali’s lively entertainment and shopping district.

Jamie Oliver is one of the leading celebrity chefs of the day with TV programs, cooking books and more than 40 restaurants under his direction now in operation. An outspoken advocate of healthy cooking and eating, Oliver has led successful crusades again bad school lunches and junk food industry as a whole.

Jamie’s Italian Kuta Beach is a partnership between Jamie Oliver and his Italian mentor, Chef Gennaro Contaldo. Jamie opened his first Italian restaurant in 2008 in Oxford, England. There are now more than 40 outlets around the world, offering delicious, affordable dishes in combination with friendly, personable service.
 
Jamie’s Italian menu is inspired by the kitchen traditions of Italy peppered with quintessential Jamie Oliver twists. The restaurants will offer rustic Italian dishes– from antipasti planks to hand-made pastas. The Bali edition – like its affiliates around the world – will also makes full use of the region’s rich variety of fresh, sustainable ingredients with research already underway to identify the best producers and suppliers for Jamie’s Italian Kuta Beach.
 
At all Jamie’s Italians Restaurants  fresh pasta is made onsite every morning – there is also usually an antipasti station, an open kitchen and a large alfresco dining area. The design of the Bali outpost is expected to reflect its unique, stunning location, becoming real magnet for locals and tourists.
 
"I’m really excited at the prospect of bringing Jamie’s Italian to Kuta Beach in Bali. We’re thrilled to be working with HPL again, who are absolutely fantastic partners. Beautiful food and some really amazing cocktails coupled with sun, sand and sea – what’s not to love?” says Jamie Oliver.

Jamie’s Italian Kuta Beach Website


Pay as You Go
All Indonesian Airlines to Include Airport Service Charge in Ticket Price by January 1, 2015

The Minister of Transportation, Ignasius Jonan, has issued an instruction to all Indonesian airlines and airports declaring that no later than January 1, 2015 the cost of the airline service charge (ASC) – often referred to a the “airport tax” must be included in the ticket price.

The Minister said the instruction was absolute and apply to all Indonesian airlines without exception.

Until only recently, Garuda Indonesia and its subsidiary Citilink included the PSC in the price of a ticket, but discontinued the practice claiming it made their ticket price appear non-competitive in the marketplace.

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Raising Indonesia’s Aviation Game
Minister of Transportation Says Indonesia will Take Steps to Comply with Highest Aviation Standards of FAA and ICAO

Metrobali.com reports that the Ministry of Transportation has declared its intention to increase the level of aviation safety in Indonesia to comply with Category I of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Currently, Indonesian aviation only manages to qualify for Category II status under the FAA flight rules.

Category I and Category II Certification Explained

The FAA Category I status is granted to countries with civil aviation authorities that comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards; licensing and regulating its air carriers in accordance with those standards.

Category I certification is needed to be allowed to fly into or over U.S. airspace.

Meanwhile, Category II certification is for countries with civil aviation authorities that fail to comply with ICAO standard, including failing to apply those standards on its national air carriers.

Countries can be relegated to Category II status having a poor aviation regulatory environment; a lack of technical expertise needed to oversee its aviation industry; poor supervision and guidance of its aviation sector by the government; and poor safety documentation procedures

Indonesia’s Need to Raise Safety Standards
 
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan warned a meeting of the Association of Indonesia Air Operators (INACA) on Thursday, November 13, 2014: “Safety must be guaranteed; for this reason an increasingly stricter implementation of safety programs must be introduced. How you gentlemen run your airline businesses is your concern. Safety is our (the government’s) concern. It is better you don’t fly at all if you’re not going to be able to land safely.”
 
The Minister explained that it was the government’s role to continually enhance safety standards of both the air operators and the airports. In the long run, INACA members should embrace these steps as the “country safety risk” rating of Indonesia will improve meaning insurance tariffs paid by INACA members will be smaller.
 
The chairman of INACA, Arif Wibowo, welcomed the Minister’s comments, saying higher standards of flight safety were needed for Indonesian aviation to remain competitive domestically and internationally. Sadly, admitted Wibowo, Indonesia currently has the lowest safety rating among ASEAN Nations.
 
“In ASEAN it’s only Indonesia (that is Category II). The Philippines has already moved up from Category II to Category I.,” added Wibowo. In any effort to improve safety, the INACA chairman called on the Government to improve the flight infrastructure and enforcement of aviation rules. “Let’s not again have airports that allow dangerous good access, animals grazing on the runways and kites flying near the runway.”
 
Wibowo said all stakeholders need to play a role in improving air safety including air operators, airport operators such as Angkasa Pura, the government as the regulator and the provider of air services.


A Case of Reverse Thrust
Garuda Indonesia Flight Cancelled from Banyuwangi to Bali as Aircraft Rolls Backward Off the Runway

A Garuda ATR 72-600 Aircraft with flight designation GA 7304 failed to take off on a scheduled flight from Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java to Bali on Thursday, November 13, 2014.

The plane that had arrived at 12:30 pm on a flight from Surabaya was line up on the active runway preparing to take off for Bali when the aircraft unexplainably reversed 5-6 meters ending up on the grass apron of the runway.

As reported by Kompas.com, that the plane’s presence off the hard surface of the runway required that special equipment be brought in from Bali in order to tow the aircraft back onto the hard asphalt.

While the incident did not affect other flights operating from the airport, it did necessitate that other travel arrangements be made for the 72 passengers on board the airplane.

Yadi, one of the passengers booked on the 20-minute flight to Bali, elected to travel by road to Denpasar, in order to be able to attend a meeting in Bali scheduled for the following day.

Yadi told Kompas.com how he felt the airplane lurch backward and then come to a complete stop just when he expected the take-off roll to commence.

The passengers were required to disembark the aircraft while Garuda sought alternate flights, offered refunds or invited passengers to join a bus to Bali organized by the Airline.


Profits Disappearing into Thin Air
Q3 2014: Garuda Indonesia Loses US$219.5 million

PT Garuda Indonesia has booked a loss of US$219.5 million (Rp. 2.63 trillion) for Q3 2014, increasing 1,363% compared to Q3 2013 when a loss of US$15.01 million was recorded.

Quoted by Bisnis.com, the CEO of Garuda Indonesia, Emirsyah Satar, said in mitigation that the business cycle of the airline business generally tends to show improvement during Q2, improving further in Q3,

Describing the cyclical upturn in business, Emrisyah continued, saying, “Particularly during the period of August and September 2014, when there was an increase in bookings and the annual operation of the hajj pilgrimage flights begin.”

Garuda’s flight frequency for domestic and international flights increased 15,4% from 143,499 flights in Q3 2013 becoming 165,642 flights in Q3 2014.

Similarly, available seat kilometers (ASK) increased 15.8% from 31.96 billion seat kilometers in Q3 2013 to 36.9 billion sear kilometers in Q3 2014.

During Q3 2014 Garuda’s on-time performance improved markedly in Q3 2014 with 89.6% of all flights on time compared to 85.5% in the same period one year before.

Citilink

Garuda’s subsidiary company Citilink also experienced strong growth during Q3 2014. Total passengers carried increased 39.3% from 3.8 million in Q3 2013 to 5.3 million in Q3 2014.

Emirsyah blamed Garuda’s loss on the poor condition of the world’s general economy, the high price of fuel, high operating costs and the depreciation of more than 20% in the value of the Indonesian Rupiah against the U.S. Dollar.

Emirsyah, who will soon end a ten-year terms as CEO of the National Airline, said Garuda Indonesia’s losses were further augmented by the slow rate of infrastructure development in the national aviation sector with resulting inefficiencies for flight operations. Also contributing to the losses suffered by Garuda, he said. is the increasingly competitive marketplace with the expansion of low-cost airlines and middle-eastern airlines flying to Indonesia.

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The Rupiah Rules
Airline Tickets Agents, Hotels and Restaurants in Indonesia Required to Transact Their Business in Indonesian Rupiahs

Bisnis.com reports that Bank Indonesia, the Association of Airline Ticket Agents (ASTINDO) and the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) have signed a cooperative agreement committing to use the Indonesian Rupiah as the currency of exchange in every transaction carried out on Indonesia territory.

The official website of Bank Indonesia states that the agreement between ASTINDO and PHRI was signed on Friday, November 14, 2014 in Jakarta.

The signatories to the agreement were the head of the money management division of Bank Indonesia Lambok A. Siahaan, the chairman of ASTINDO Nurlaila Hutabarat and the chairman of PHRI Wiryanti Sukamdani.

The tri-partie agreement encompasses three elements. First, ASTINDO and PHRI have committed to persuade their respective memberships to fulfill their obligation under Indonesian law to price goods and services in Indonesian Rupiahs and use the Rupiah as the currency of exchange in every transaction for the sale of airline tickets, hotel rooms and restaurants in Indonesia.

Second, ASTINDO and PHRI also agree to provide relevant data to Bank Indonesia pursuant to their obligation to use the Indonesian Rupiah.

Third, within the framework of enhancing the quality of human resources, ASTINDO and PHRI have agreed to conduct training and education pursuant to the obligation of their members to use the Indonesian Rupiah for transactions carried our in Indonesia.

Fourth, ASTINDO and PHRI agreed to socialize the obligation to use the Indonesian Rupiah for transactions on Indonesian territory to their members and other parties.

The agreement between Bank Indonesia, ASTINDO and PHRI forms a part of the implementation of Law No. 7 of 2011 on Currency.

Many tour and hotel operators in Indonesia  price their products in U.S. dollars on their websites and contracts with final payment transacted within Indonesia done in Indonesian Rupiah at the prevailing rate of exchange.

Payment portals used by Indonesian hotel and travel operators may perform the final sales transaction in Indonesian Rupiahs or a foreign currency, depending on the actual locale where the transaction is executed.


Philippine Taxi Drivers in Bali?
Governor Pastika Concerned that Workers in Bali May be Unable to Compete Under Free Movement of Workers Between ASEAN Countries Starting in 2015

As reported by Beritabali.com, Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has told an audience in Bali that he fears members of the Balinese workforce might be unable to compete with the increased competition with foreign workers provided for under the terms of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) that allows the free flow of workers between ASEAN nations beginning in 2015.

Speaking in an address given at a coordinating meeting on Training and Productivity held in Denpasar on Wednesday, November 13, 2014, Pastika stated that other countries in ASEAN have better prepared to face the challenges and opportunities resulting from AFTA. Referring to Philippine workers who will soon be able to works freely in Indonesia, Pastika said, “They are light skinned, clean and champions in the use of English.”

The Governor predicts that workers from the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar will offer stiff competition for jobs in Indonesia once AFTA comes fully to effect. Citing the economic sector of transportation, Pastika fears Balinese taxi drivers could even lose their jobs under AFTA rules.

“I am worried if we (in Bali) do not strengthen our skills and expertise, we will be left behind. Tax drivers and nurses can be displaced in their employments by Philippine workers. These people are clean and speak English well,” explained the Governor.

Possibly reflecting on his recent hospitalization in Singapore, Pastika said that nearly 70% of the nurses at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore come from the Philippines. Adding: “Not one of them (the nurses) are from Indonesia. This is proof that we are losing in terms of global competition.  If we do not get things in order quickly, there could be more unemployment in Bali because of the free movement of workers in ASEAN under AFTA.”

The Governor explained that Bali’s unemployment rate has increased from 1.3% to 1.9% at the end of 2014.

“Bali is a place to look for a job. People for East Nusa Tenggara, East Java, Central Java and Sumatra (come here looking for work). We offer extraordinary job opportunities to all of Indonesia. But I am worried that we will lose out to competition for jobs beginning in 2015. Bali’s problem is the large number of workers and the migration of workers from neighboring regions,” concluded Governor Pastika.


President Widodo Pauses in Paradise
Indonesian President Joko Widodo Makes a ‘Transit Stop’ in Bali on his way to the G-20 Summit in Brisbane

Indonesian President Joko Widodo became a transit visitor to his home nation of Indonesia during a whirlwind tour of official visits to China, Myanmar and Australia.

In a prolonged period of official travel and his first overseas junket President Widodo’s visited Beijing, China to participate at the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) Summit November  10-11. 2014; followed by his attendance as the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar November 12-13, 2014; and then headed for Brisbane, Australia to attend the G-20 Summit November 15-16, 2014.

Making the transition from Myanmar to Brisbane caused the Presidential aircraft to overfly Indonesian territory where Widodo and his official entourage paused in Bali for a technical stop. Landing in Bali at 5:30 a.m on Friday, November 14, 2014, the President and Madam Widodo were welcomed by Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika before becoming airborne again at 7:00 am.

President Widodo arrived in Brisbane at 2:50 pm local time where he was greeted by the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Ripphat Kesoema and the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gregory Moriarty.


Bali Safari Marine Park Celebrates 7th Anniversary
The Bali Safari and Marine Park celebrates 7th anniversary on Thursday, November 13, 2014.

Proclaiming itself as Bali’s top destination for both domestic and international travelers, the Bali Safari and Marine Park (BSMP) has won numerous awards and recognitions for its sustained commitment to education, environmental conservation and high standards of service,

For the third time, BSMP has been named “Indonesia’s Leading Theme Park” with the Mara River Lodge located within the Park has won a “Certificate of Excellence” and a Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor.

To celebrate its 7th Anniversary BSMP have embraced the themes of “shining like a diamond” and “Carnival” that will be marked with a range of events throughout the month of November 2104. On November 9, 2014, seven orphanages in Bali were transported to BSMP to spend a day at the park meeting its exotic collection of animals and view the Park's award-winning stage show spectacular in the Bali Agung Theater.

Also during November, BSMP, in cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross, has conducted blood drives involving its division heads and employees.

On November 14, 2104 the 720 employees of BSMP gathered at the Bali Theatre together with selected guests for a gala evening of dance, music and theatre.

Related Links

Visit the Bali Safari and Marine Park
 
Stay at the Mara River Lodge


And the Verdict is . . .
Two Men Charged with February Murder of American Paul Latourell Facing Potential prison Sentences of 15 and 3 Years

The trial of two men charged in the death of American expatriate Paul Latourell, killed in his Denpasar, Bali home on February 15, 2014, is now in its final phase at the Capital City's District Court.

Prosecutors have demanded 15 years imprisonment for Auliawi (20) -  the man accused of stabbing the 52-year old American in his bedroom.

Meanwhile. Prosecutors have charged Marsianus Simarto (30), the man who delivered Auliawi to Latourell’s house, only with fencing stolen goods and demanded a lesser sentence of 3 years.

Final sentencing of the two will take place at the end of November 2014.

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How You Going to Keep Them Down on the Farm
Large Downturn in Balinese Working in Agricultural Sector.

Farmers are becoming a diminishing species on the Island of Bali.

The Bali Central Statistic Bureau (BPS) records the number of people employed in the agricultural sector in August 2014 at 528,506, a significant downturn from just six months earlier in February when Bali’s farmers totaled 61,663.

This decline of 10.45% in the number of Bali agriculturist over a period of only six months is linked by the chief of BPS to the increasing unemployment rates in Bali.

As reported by Bali Post, BPS chief Panusunan Siregar said the decline in the number of farmers in Bali is connected, to some extent, with the change of seasons in Bali and the continuing dry season that is reducing demand for people needed to work the land.

The BPS records trade, restaurant and accommodation providers as the biggest employers in Bali, absorbing 658,312 workers or 28.97% of the Island’s total work force.

Those working in the service sector in Bali total 393,056 with 316,598 employed in the industrial sector.

The division of between those working in Bali’s formal and informal employment is 1,083,622 (47.69%) formally employed and 1,189,010 (52.32%) working in informal positions.


The Very Bare Necessities
Minimum Wage Levels for Bali Announced for 2015

The minimum wage set by the government for Bali’s capital of Denpasar for 2015 has increased 8.6% to Rp. 1.8 million per month (US$150). The minimum monthly wage prior to the increase was Rp.1.67 million.

The rate set for minimum employment compensation for Denpasar is higher than the minimum provincial wage level for 2015 of Rp. 1.62 million.

A government committee examines the cost of living and sets the level of minimum wage. The final amount was socialized and discussed with both employers and workers in Denpasar, before arriving at the final figure.

The Minimum wage set for Denpasar is second only to the regency of Badung that stands at Rp. 1,905,000.

The monthly minimum wage levels for all regencies and the city of Denpasar for 2015:

  • Bali   Rp. 1,621,172
  • Denpasar Rp. 1,800,000
  • Badung  Rp. 1,905,000
  • Denpasar  Rp. 1,800,000
  • Gianyar  Rp. 1,707,750
  • Tabanan    Rp. 1,707,700
  • Jembrana  Rp. 1,662,500
  • Buleleng  Rp. 1,650,000
  • Klungkung   Rp. 1,650,000
  • Bangli    To be confirmed
All companies operating in these areas are required to pay the minimum wage levels listed above unless excepted in writing by the Department of Manpower and the Governor.


You’re One in Three or Four Million
Bali by the Numbers: Bali Now Almost Certain to End 2014 with 3.75 million Foreign Visitors

Bali foreign tourist arrivals for September 2014 totaled 354,762 – a 14.73% improvement over total arrivals for the same month in 2013.
date at the end of Q3 2014, foreign tourist arrivals to Bali stand at 2,780,741 with total visitors improving 15.24% year-on-year with 2013.

With only a single quarter remaining to be counted, it is increasingly certain that Bali will end the year with 3.75 million foreign visitors.

Arrivals from Key Markets

Australia – Visitors totals remain very strong, 20.02% ahead of last year through the end of September 2014. Look for Australia to end 2014 with something near 1 million visitors to Bali with added capacity from a new low-coast carrier AirAsia X that will start flying Bali to Melbourne in December. Australia remains Bali’s top source of foreign visitors

China – The Chinese economic miracle has launched PRC into second place among key source markets for Bali visitors. At the end of September, Bali counted 455,719 visitors from the PRC, a 50.74% increase from the total achieved in the first nine months of 2013. Extra air capacity is coming on line between Bali and China and the Indonesian government will waive visa-on-arrival fees for Mainland Chinese tourists commencing January 1, 2015.

Malaysia – Now  the 3rd most important source of tourists to Bali, Malaysia has displaced Japan from 3rd place, Malaysian arrivals are up 14.35% January-September 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013.

Japan – Once the biggest source of foreign visitors to Bali, Japan now ranks #4. Japanese arrivals have decreased 7.03% through Q3 2014. With Japan now officially in recession, expect number to stay lackluster for the forseeable future. The value of the Japanese Yen against the U.S. Dollar is also taking a beating.

Singapore – Like Malaysia, Singapore has chosen Bali as its preferred destination for a short holiday. Singapore arrivals are up a remarkable 42.31% at the end of Q3 2104, when compared to the first three quarters of 2013.

South Korea – South Korean is now the 6th largest market to Bali, yielding 106,774 visitors during the first nine months of 2014. South Korean arrivals to Bali are up 7.46%

France – The French are the largest European contingent of visitors coming to Bali and have improved 3.55% in 2014 counted through the end of Q3 2014.

United Kingdom –The U.K. is now the 8th largest source of Bali visitors and the second largest European source of tourists after France. U.K visitors are up 7.6% through the end of September.
 
Taiwan – Taiwan visitors continue to falter, down 6.75% at the end of Q3 2014.

U.S.A. – The U.S.A. market to Bali has increased 7.61% to 81.725 visitors January-September 2014.

Germany – German visitors remain strong to Bali, up 6.24% through the end of January.

India –Indian visitors are up 33.09% at the end of Q3 2014 totaling 63,775.

The Netherlands – The Dutch remain an important source of visitors to Bali, improving 12.93% in 2014 through the end of September.

Russia – Russian outbound tourism is on the retreat globally. Russian arrivals to Bali through the end of September are down more than 10% as the value of the Ruble continues to decline, losing some 14% of its value against the U.S. Dollar since January.


The Yak Awards 2014
‘A Decade of Decadence’ Party at Mozaic Beach Club Marks the 10th Annual Yak Awards

The 10th Annual Yak Awards celebrating "A Decade of Decadence; DISCO INFERNO,” was held Friday, November 14, 2014,  at the Mozaic Beach Club on Batubelig Beach, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.

An annual industry event, this year's Award prgram was enlivened by Bali’s top chefs contributing  canapé creations and more. Among the leading culinary venues participating in this year’s Yak awards were: Anantara Seminyak, Anantara Uluwatu, Barbacoa, Be Chocolat, Gelato Secrets, Jenja, Ku De Ta, La Finca, Merah Putih, The Oberoi, Sardine, Teatro Bali, Mozaic Ubud and venue host Mozaic Beach Club.

Drinks flowed freely throughout the evening provided by Plaga Wines, Indowines, Kim Crawford Wines, Belvedere Vodka, Moet & Chandon, Beluga Noble Russian Vodka, Patron Silver and Patron Coffee.

Over 600 industry and society guests, nominees, advertisers and sponsors, attended the party at Batubelig Beach that was conducted as an Oscar-esque red carpet event as arriving nominees were interviewed by Bali This Week.

Guests were attired in the dress code themed ‘Disco Inferno’ – harkening back to the hedonistic late 70’s and early 80’s.

Edwina Blush, talented Aussie-born vocalist performed together with the Erik Sondhy Band recreating 80s disco 80’s hits supplemented by the musical offerings of DJ Mattie Wainwright.
light of the evening was the awarding of 19 Yak “Shoe” statuettes designed by Philip Lakeman of Pesamuan Ceramics resembling a colorful ceramic disco shoe given to those recognized by The Yak Magazine for outstanding achievements in their respective industry category or field of endeavor on behalf of the Bali Community.

In selecting the winner, over 6,000 Yak fans voted worldwide via The Yak Magazine Website.

The Yak Awards Winners 2014:
  • Yak Man of the Year - Mark Baker and Mike Pohorly (Tie)
  • Yak Woman of the Year -  Sukma Suki, Green Vision 
  • Outstanding Achievement - Isabel & Melati Wijsen, Bye Bye Plastic Bags 
  • Best Community Service - Bali DIVA Lunches, Christina Iskandar
  • Best Newcomer - Jenja
  • Best Wine List - METIS 
  • Best Event - White Party at KUDETA
  • Best Restaurant - Barbacoa
  • Best Chef - Keiran Morland, Merah Putih
  • Best Sunset Venue - Mozaic Beach Club
  • Best Spa - Karma Spa
  • Best Bar - Townhouse
  • Best Retail Space - SKULL
  • Best Ad Campaign - BIASA\Best Fashion Label - Adine and Franklin (Tie)
  • Best Jewelry Design - Chloe Rappy, JFF
  • Best Resort - Waka Gangga, Tabanan
  • Best Villa - Villa Vedas 
  • Best DJ - Damien Saint, W Retreat & Spa


 
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Bali Update #623
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Bali Update #621
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Bali Update #620
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Bali Update #619
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Bali Update #616
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Bali Update #613
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Bali Update #612
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Bali Update #610
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Bali Update #609
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Bali Update #608
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Bali Update #607
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Bali Update #606
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Bali Update #605
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Bali Update #604
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Bali Update #603
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Bali Update #600
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Bali Update #597
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Bali Update #596
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Bali Update #595
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Bali Update #594
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Bali Update #593
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Bali Update #591
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Bali Update #590
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Bali Update #589
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Bali Update #588
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Bali Update #587
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Bali Update #586
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Bali Update #585
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Bali Update #584
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Bali Update #580
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Bali Update #571
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Bali Update #569
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Bali Update #568
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Bali Update #567
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Bali Update #566
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Bali Update #565
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Bali Update #564
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Bali Update #563
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Bali Update #562
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Bali Update #561
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Bali Update #560
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Bali Update #559
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Bali Update #558
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Bali Update #557
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Bali Update #556
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Bali Update #555
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Bali Update #554
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Bali Update #553
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Bali Update #552
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Bali Update #551
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Bali Update #550
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Bali Update #549
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Bali Update #548
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Bali Update #547
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Bali Update #546
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Bali Update #545
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Bali Update #544
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Bali Update #543
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Bali Update #542
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Bali Update #541
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Bali Update #540
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Bali Update #539
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Bali Update #538
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Bali Update #537
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Bali Update #536
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Bali Update #535
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Bali Update #534
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Bali Update #533
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Bali Update #532
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Bali Update #531
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Bali Update #530
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Bali Update #529
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Bali Update #528
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Bali Update #527
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Bali Update #526
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Bali Update #525
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Bali Update #524
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Bali Update #523
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Bali Update #522
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Bali Update #521
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Bali Update #520
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Bali Update #519
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Bali Update #518
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Bali Update #517
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Bali Update #516
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Bali Update #515
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Bali Update #514
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Bali Update #513
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Bali Update #512
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Bali Update #511
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Bali Update #510
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Bali Update #509
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Bali Update #508
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Bali Update #507
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Bali Update #506
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Bali Update #505
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