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Bali News by Bali Update
BALI UPDATE #947 - 27 October 2014

IN THIS UPDATE


Protecting Baliís Consumers
Bali Consumer Protect Bureau Calls for Additional Offices in all Bali Regencies

Bisnis Bali reports that complaints regarding the telecommunication sector were those most often registered by Bali consumers in 2012 via the local branch of the Consumer Protection Bureau (YLKP).

Many of these complaints dealt with fraud cases using SMS seeking prepaid pulses were among those reported to YLPK-Bali.

The Director of the YLPK-Bali, I Putu Armaya, told the press that in 2012 said his office handled a total of 273 formal complaints.

Telecommunication cases constituted 61 (22.35%) of all complaints. Public complaints were also received regarding poor service provided by PT Telkom, PDAM (The Water Board) and PLN (The Electrical Power Board) totaling 57 cases (20.88%); on-line shopping 35 cases (12.82%); insurance services 27 cases (9.89%); credit cards 22 cases (8.05%); services provided by the police for licensing and vehicle registration 20 cases (7.32%); educational services 18 cases (6.59%); transportation services 15 cases (5.49%); banking services 10 cases (3.66%) and 8 cases (2.93%) regarding hospital services.

Armaya said many of the consumer complaints were successfully resolved without litigation, through mediation provided by YLPK between the consumer and service provider. He said the best approach is for companies to cover and replace any losses suffered by the consumer.

Armaya said he regretted the lack on Consumer Protection Courts in Bali, with only one court established in Denpasar, but with more needed in each regency of the province. In terms of priority, a consumer court is most urgently needed in Badung regency where most of Bali’s tourism businesses are located.



Storm Clouds Ahead for Baliís Economy
Noted Bali Economist Gusti Viraguna Bagoes Oka Urges Caution in 2013

Bisnis Bali reports that despite a general air of optimism in 2013 regarding Bali’s economy, some genuine areas of genuine concern persist.

I Gusti Viraguna Bagoes Oka, a local economic observer, said on Sunday, December 30, 2012, that political tensions, increases in the cost of electricity, the cost of fuel and the uncertain global economy were all vulnerabilities to Bali’s economy that need to be considered.

Viraguna said the national political stage of 2014 and the election of Bali’s governor in 2013 will put demands on the attention of the nation, causing larger economic issues to be sidelined. Adding to the mixture, rising electrical and fuel costs and their possible impact on the growth rate of Bali’s economy cannot be ignored when assesing Bali's future prospects.

He said that Indonesia’s economy is in a state of fundamental change. The Republic is not longer an oil exporter but a net importer of the fossil fuels needed to meet rising consumer demand.

Looking further afield, Viraguna said the economic crisis in Europe is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, resulting in stunted economic growth rates for China and India. A similar, negative lead-on effect reducing economic growth will also be felt in Indonesia as a whole and Bali in particular.

“Basically, Bali’s economy will be uncertain next year (2013),” warned Viraguna. He also urged careful monitoring of tourist arrivals. At the same time, he lamented that Bali is becoming a location for transnational crime such as narcotics and terrorism.

Bank Indonesia is predicting that the island’s economy will grow 6.6-7.1% in 2013.


2012: A Bad Years for Baliís Environment
Bali Academics and Environmentalists Question Baliís Provincial Governments Commitment to the Environment

According to a report in the Bali Post, Bali’s beaches, forests and mountains are suffering grave environmental damage. According to that report, beachfront has been sub-divided among outside investors; rubbish negatively impacts on both tourism and agriculture; and the foothills of Bali most sacred mountain are being excavated and hauled away. In Bali, sadly, money takes priority over all-else; the results are devastating on the environment.

The Bali Post also cites the case of the Tahura Mangrove Forest in South Bali – an area covering 102.22 hectares – now leased for 55 years to a private interest. The newspaper claims Bali is at its very lowest point in the struggle to save the island’s environment. For these reasons, a number of environmentalist and academics view 2012 was a year of unprecedented environmental degradation.

The chairman of post-graduate program in environmental studies at Bali’s Udayana University, Professor Made Sudiana Mahendra Ph.D., is warning that provincial slogans for a “clean and green” Bali are far from a reality. Plastic wastes remain out of control. “We are waiting for a concrete action plan for 2013,” said Mahendra.

He alleges that environmental programs that are now underway in Bali are being done with less than full commitment, resulting predictably in inadequate results and an inability to overcome many obstacles due to issues of training, manpower, limited budgets, poor supervision and a lack of proper law enforcement against violators of environmental regulations

Other areas of concern, Mahendra said, are the rapid increase in Bali’s population and the boom in tourism accommodation and residential complexes now underway with little or no reference to the island’s carrying capacity.

According to a study undertaken by Udayana University, the carrying capacity of Bali’s environment is being overwhelmed in all regions of the island with the exception of Karangasem, Klungkung and Bangli.

Bali also faces a water crisis. Bali is experiencing a severe water deficit in the regions of Badung, Gianyar, Buleleng and Denpasar with water now being siphoned off from four inland lakes to compensat for an adequate water supply for the island. These lakes, however, are being impacted by sedimentation, limiting their ability to serve as fresh water reservoirs, according to Professor I Wayan Arthana, the chairman of the Environmental Research Center (PPLH) at Udayana University.

He went on to explain how run off of water from fertilized agricultural lands is increasing the nutrient level of Bali’s lakes, further adding to the growing pollution of Bali’s lake system. “If the four lakes of Bali become shallower that is the same with losing half of Bali’s fresh water reservoirs; if these lakes eventually dry up, Bali will find itself in an acute water crisis,” warned Arthana.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Bali’s Friends of the Earth (WALHI), Wayan “Gendo” Suardana endorses the view that 2012 was a terrible year for Bali’s environment, a situation he blames on the government's lack of commitment to green issues. He views the government as being overly-supportive of investors, too ready to approve new projects and permits in the rush to expand the tax base.

Of particular concern to Gendo is the Governor’s decision to lease the Tahura Mangrove Forest area to a private company, a move he sees as threatening a key environmental buffer zone esential for tidal shifts and stving off the threat of tsunamis. “The policy giving the permit for Tahura is completely in opposition to the moratorium on the building of new tourist accommodation issued by the Governor of Bali,” said Gendo.

An environmentalist and academic from the National Education University (Undiskas) in Bali, Agung Wardana, views the paradigm of environmental protection in operation from Bali’s provincial government as a simple case of economic interests being placed before ecological considerations. In other words, according to Wardana, the government will only move to protect the environment when there is a direct economic reward in doing so. He cites as an example the case of the Tahura Mangrove Forest where the government is seeking to profit from environmental preservation.

He cynically describes the provincial governments current “Clean and Green” and “Bali Free of Plastic” campaigns as political ploys, seeking only to publicly position Bali’s leaders as environmentally conscious.

Wardana linked the failure of "Bali’s Clean and Green" program to the lack of a supporting infrastructure for the disposal of trash and the provision of a public transportation system that is safe, secure, fast and inexpensive.


In the Footsteps of Denpasar's Rich Past
Take Historical Walking Tours of Denpasar as Baliís Capital Celebrates its 225th Anniversary on February 27, 2013

A “Discover the Heritage and History of Denpasar” was launched on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at the Agung Pemecutan Palace (Puri Agung Pemecutan) attended by hundreds of primary and secondary school students. In the days following the launch, students have descended on Puri Pemecutan to discover Bali’s capital via an historical walking tour passing along Jalan Thamrin, Jalan Gajah Mada, Jalan Veteran and ending at the Agung Satria Palace (Puri Agung Satria).

As reported by Bali Post, the Mayor of Denpasar, I.N. Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra told the press that the shape of Denpasar today can't be separated by the city’s past. “In the beginning, Denpasar was the seat of a kingdom. The people need to understand the Capital’s history in order to develop a love of the City. This is even more the case now that the founding of Denpasar has been fixed via research and academic investigation as having occurred in 1788. From that date we trace a long evolution from a kingdom’s seat, to a modern and finally to a post-modern city. On February 27, 2013, Denpasar will be 225 years old. For these reasons, the public must know the history of Denpasar,” explained Rai Mantra.

During the current Denpasar Festival the opportunity is being taken to introduce Denpasar’s rich history via the walking tours of discovery.

The “Z-shaped” route of the walking tour passes Jalan Gajah Mada, the commercial center heart of Denpasar until WW II. This area is also home to the Badung Market (Pasar Badung) with is still Denpasar’s largest market. Denpasar’s downtown is home to a pockets of communities of people of Arab descent (Jalan Sulawesi), Chinese lineage (Jalan Gajah Mada and Jalan Kartini), and a Javanese village in the area of Desa Dauh Puri Kaja.


Room at the Inn
Head of Denpasar Hotel and Restaurant Association Reports Lower Occupancies over Year End Holidays 2012

The head of the Denpasar chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), I.B. Gede Sidharta Putra, told Radar Bali that there has been a “retreat” in hotel occupancy levels over the just concluded Christmas and New Years Holiday period.

“The occupancy rates for the year end holidays of 2012 were not a high as expected. On the average (occupancies) were at 80%. When compared to the previous year when almost all hotels in Bali were full of fully booked,” explained Sudharta on January 1, 2013.

He claims the drop in occupancy levels at Bali hotels is due to a drop in Australian arrivals of 20-25%. “Australian tourists are now visiting more distant destinations. They are traveling to Thailand and the U.S.A.. This is because of the improvement in the value of the Australian dollar,” said Sidharta.

He also blamed the drop ion occupancy on the number of new hotels built in Bali that is outpacing growth in demand. Sidharta is concerned that the severe oversupply in rooms will eventually result in the drop in hotel occupancy, the loss of “Balinese character” and a price war.

Continuing, he said, “The development of new hotel should be based on the carrying capacity of the surrounding region. The government should tighten licensing requirements. Don't let (what’s happening) become a boomerang for Bali tourism in the future.”

Sidharta also claims that the ongoing economic crisis in Europe has reduced Greek, Italian and Spanish arrivals by 25% and length of stays have become shorter from three weeks in the past and now are only one week in duration. He also said crime, security transportation and supporting infrastructure were having an impact on arrivals.

Sidharta’s depiction of 25% drop in arrivals from Australia and selected European countries is not reflected in offical arrival numbers issued by Bali authorities.


 


Improving the Arrival Experience at Baliís Airport
Call to Clean Up Toilets and Illegal Taxis at Baliís Airport

Nyoman Kandia, a member of the Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI) and a senior Tour Guide in Bali, told Bisnis Bali on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, that issues of transportation and cleanliness must urgently be addressed at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

Kandia, who is from Ubud in Bali, complained about the presence of gypsy (unlicensed) taxis at Bali’s airport using privately-owned vehicles. According to the BPPI member, the illegal taxis are defeating efforts to bring order to tourism transportation at Bali’s air gateway. He is concerned that the resulting service provided to tourists is provides a poor initial impression of Bali.

He called on the airport authority to supervise taxi service at the airport and prevent to the use of illegal taxis.

Still on the subject of Bali’s airport, Kandia decried the condition of public restrooms at the airport. He complained that public bathrooms have dirty and wet floor surfaces and emit unpleasant odors. He called for urgent action to clean up the bathrooms.

He also called on the airport to prepare special areas for smokers as required under law.


Swamp People
Seeking to Terminate Lease on South Bali Mangrove Preserve, Environmentalist Charge Governor Before Administrative Courts

The Bali Friends of the Earth (WALHI) have formally charged Bali’s Governor Made Magnus Pastika before the State Administrative Court (PTUN) in connection with the 55-year lease given to a private company to manage the Tahura Mangrove Forest Area (Tahura) in South Bali.

As reported by the National News Agency Antara, the chairman of WALHI, Wayan “Gendo” Suardana and team of lawyers led by Putu Artawan have formally registered the legal case with the PTUN-Denpasar.

“Gendo” told the press: “We see that the governor lacks the good faith to revoke his decision, nor has he responded to written cease and desist letters (somasi) sent to him. We have appointed 10 lawyers in our complaint against governor for issuing a lease to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari for the management of the Tahura Ngurah Rai Nature Preserve.”

In a controversial decision, Governor Pastika issued a principal approval for the private management of a 102.22 hectare nature preserve to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari for a period of 55 years. WAHLI has made written representations to Pastika and staged protest demonstrations in front of the Governor’s office demanding that the lease be revoked.

The suit with PTUN alleges the governor has violated environmental laws and failed to follow principles of good governance.

“Gendo” continued: “The governor has violated is own policy establishing a moratorium on tourism accommodation. He has failed to comprehend that the mangrove forests are more than merely Tahura, but serve as a protection zone against tsunamis, prevent beach erosion, fight climate change and help deter salt water instrusion into the water table.”

WAHLI is seeking to have the PTUN rule the lease issued by the Governor to PT Tirta Rahmat Bahari is invalid.


The Right to Choose
Bali Police Preparing to Safeguard May 2013 Governor Race

The Bali police are preparing specific operations to safeguard the election of Bali’s next governor to take place in May 2013.

Quoted by the National News Agency Antara, Bali Chief of Police General Arif Wachyunadi said: “The operational plan is ready. The deployment of personnel, the vote counting procedures, the list of qualified voters and polling places – all form part of our plans.”

Wachyunadi did not reveal the actual number of officers to be deployed to safeguard the election process, saying the number would be determined at a later date and adjusted to conform to the final and complete list of polling places.

With refusing to specify which areas are considered to be at added risk during the coming election, he admitted there are areas considered more at risk for unrest that will receive added attention from the police.


Drowning Suspected in Australian's Death in Bali
Australian Man Dies While Swimming in Bali Hotel Swimming Pool on New Yearís Eve

A 51-year-old Australian tourist, Daniel Dalot Walen, died in Bali on Monday, December 31, 2012.

A preliminary inspection of the man's remains showed some small abrasions on his legs, shoulder and stomach area.

As reported by Radar Bali, police were unable identify an exact cause of death pending a formal autopsy, but have confirmed that indications are that the may have drowned in a swimming pool at a hotel in Kuta.
 


Deadly Duel in Canggu
Robbers Stab Australian Man in North Bali Villa

The Jakarta Globe and The West Australian reports that a 40-year-old Australian man suffered serious injuries requiring surgery and hospitalization after he was attacked by two men caught in the act of robbing his rented villa in Canggu.

Paul Gill, who works as a luxury boat ship’s Captain, suffered wounds to his neck, shoulder and face when he surprised and fought with two thieves in his rented Canggu villa in the early hours of Friday, January 4, 2013.

Gill, his wife Jacqui, the Gill’s two young daughters, and another Perth family of four at the time of the attack occupied the four-bedroom villa.

Gill is reported to be a fit surfer and martial arts enthusiast. In the ensuing altercation, Gill reportedly threw one of the robbers through a window before being attacked by the second man who savaged him with a knife.

Following surgery for multiple knife wounds at the BIMC Hospital in Bali, Gill is reported to be in stable condition.

The two assailants reportedly made good their escape form the villa.
Police continue to investigate the case and interview a number of witnesses.


A Violent End to 2012 in Bali
One Man Dead and Two Injured After New Yearís Eve Brawl in Denpasar, Bali

One man died and two others were injured in brawl that occurred on New Year’s Eve in a residential area of Denpasar, Bali.

The Jakarta Globe said Bali police have identified the dead man as Nyoman Adi Saputra (24) who died from knife wounds to his stomach and abdomen. Meanwhile, two men from Peguyangan, Denpasar - Wayan Suardana (42) and Ketut Ardana, (32), suffered minor injuries requiring medical treatment.

Police say Ardana was the man who attacked Saputra and is expected to be taken into custody by police once he is released from hospital where his injuries are being treated.

While details remain sketchy, Saputra was believed to have been intoxicated when he crashed his motorcycle into a community gateway. Saputra exchanged word with local residents, returning some time later in a pick-up truck with a group of 4-5 friends ostensibly to do battle with members of the local neighborhood. The ensuing battle ended with the death of Saputra and injuries for the two other men.

In order to prevent the incident escalating to a war between competing villages in Denpasar, police have mediated an agreement between leaders from both communities to consider the matter as a private altercation and allow the law to take its course in determining if Ardana is guilty of manslaughter or acted in self-defense.

 


Battening Down the Hatches in Bali
Baliís Disaster Mitigation Agency Put on Alert for Seasonal Weather Havoc

Bali current season of heavy rains has prompted authorities to place the Bali Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) on a state of "high alert" in anticipation of flooding, landslides and damage caused by high winds.

The Jakarta Post quotes the head of the BPBD Bali, Dewa Made Indra, who says he has put the Emergency Response System (ERS) in Bali on a higher stance of readiness to respond effectively to any natural or man-made disaster. Said Indra: 
“During this season of heavy rains, various natural disasters will likely occur everywhere, especially in vulnerable locations.”

Heavy rains in North Bali on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 caused flooding. The following day BPBD responded with aid for the flood victims in Sawan village, Buleleng. Food and kitchen equipment was provided by BPBD. 

Indra warned that some areas of Bali were prone to landslides, floods and strong winds – citing the regencies of Buleleng, Bangli, Tabanan and Karangasem as among the areas most at risk. Flooding is a concern in parts of Bali’s capital of Denpasar due to poor drainage.

In 2010 an integrated crisis center was established to mitigate the effects of disaster on the public. Staffed by 45 people, the Crisis Center operates 24-hours each day coordinating responses to developing situations with the Police; Army; the Indonesian Red Cross; hospitals; the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency; and members of the general public.

Financed by the French government, the Crisis Center was built in an earthquake-proof building and is equipped with the latest in monitoring and communication technology.

The provincial government of Bali has allocated US$2.1 million in 2013 for disaster mitigation plus another Rp. 10 billion (US$1.02 million) to fund the operation of the Crisis Center and to pay for a public awareness campaign.
aimed at disaster-prone regions.
 


Yang Mulia
Mulia Bali Resort Questioned Over Breakwater Construction

Beritabali.com reports that the Bali Friends of the Earth (WAHLI) is urging the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) to investigate violations that may have been committed by the newly opened Mulia Bali Resort with the construction of a breakwater.

WALHI contends that the breakwater represents a threat to the Pura Geger Hindu temple located adjacent to the hotel.

“We are asking the DPRD-Bali to be serious in handling and investigating environmental infractions committed by the Hotel Mulia,” said the Deputy Director of WALHI-Bali, Suriadi Darmoko, in a meeting with the press on Friday, January 4, 2013.

The alleged violation by the Hotel Mulia was uncovered during a visit by Commission III of the DPRD-Bali to the property located in Sawangan, Nusa Dua on Thursday, January 3, 2012. The breakwater constructed by the hotel has reportedly created new wave and tidal patterns that threaten to undermine the Hindu temple.

The chairman of WALHI in Bali, Wayan “Gendo” Suardana added that his organization’s suspicion of violations committed during the construction of the Hotel Mulia extend far beyond the breakwater threatening the foundations of a nearby temple. Said Gendo: “Since the middle of 2011, the Hotel Mulia has been committing violations by cutting shore banks, increasing the density of the shoreline with limestone, infringement on the minimum setback distances from shorelines, and construction of structures within a forbidden sacred radius surrounding a sacred temple (bhisama) – all in violation of Provincial law No. 16 on Bali zoning.”

WALHI also contends that these violations have had a direct impact on the local community by eliminating the incomes earned by seaweed farmers who once worked the shoreline and reduced the area available to the public for social and religious activities on Geger beach.


Ducking a Threat
New Genetic Variety of Bird Flu Virus Surfaces in Duck Populations of 3 Regencies of Bali.

Based on observations by the Livestock and Animal Health Department for the Province of Bali, bird flu has been detected in ducks in 3 separate regencies of Bali. Ducks infected with a variant gene 2.3.2 of the H5N! virus have been confirmed in the regencies of Buleleng, Klungkung and Tabanan.

The head of the Livestock and Animal Health Department for Bali, Putu Sumantra, said on Saturday, January 5, 2013, said that in anticipation of a wider contagion of bird flu, his department in cooperation with the regencies and municipalities in Bali have undertaken limited extermination of domesticated fowls and sprayed disinfectant.

Authorities are blaming the most recent outbreak of bird flu on live poultry smuggled onto the island.

Sumantara has called on regencies and municipalities to tighten supervision of the movement of poultry between regencies in order to avoid a wider area of contagion. Sumantara estimates the number of ducks that have died from the variant of bird flu (2.3.2) in Bali are 2,000 in Buleleng, 100 in Klungkung and 1 in Tabanan.

The avian flu (bird flu) sub-type of 2.3.2 is a recently discovered variant of the H5N1 strain.

There are still no confirmed instances in which the 2.3.2 variant found in poultry has infected human beings.

 


En Garde!
Governor Pastika: Bali Villas Must Hire Security Guards

The State News Agency Antara and Bisnis.com report that Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika will require villa operators to recruit security guards (Satpam) in order to avoid a repeat of the violent attack that occurred on an Australian man at the Villa Chloe in Canggu on Friday, January 4, 2013 [See: Deadly Duel in Canggu]

The governor warned during a town-hall meeting at Taman Ayun, Mengwi on Saturday, January 5, 2013, “If there is no Satpam, that means you are inviting someone to commit a crime.”

In that attack, an Australian, Paul Gill, suffered numerous knife wounds after he did battle with intruders at the villa he shared with his family and friends.

Continuing, the Governor, referring to Canggu where the attack took place, said, “I will also speak with the Chief of Police in order that patrols and security can be increased there.”

“These villas must also be registered and the list given to the police so they can regularly patrol. In this way, we will hopefully deter the criminal,” said Pastika, who once served as Bali’s Chief of Police.

The governor explained that any list of villas must also include a complete address and floor plan that can be kept on file by police.

The governor called on the police to quickly arrest the men responsible for the Canggu attack.
 


Baliís War on Rabies Continues
US$920,000 Allocated in 2013 for Fighting Rabies in Bali

The provincial government of Bali has allocated Rp. 9 billion (US$920,000) for the control of rabies on the island in 2013. These funds originate from the provincial budget of Bali and the National Budget. This amount is less than the Rp. 13 billion allocated to fight rabies in 2012.

Beritabali.com quotes the head of the Livestock and Animal Health Department as saying the funds will be prioritized to undertake the fourth phase of the continuing mass vaccination program. This is needed to increase the resistance to the disease among Bali’s canine population, still comprised of many free-roaming, unvaccinated dogs.

Officials say many people still abandon dogs on the roadsides and in the local forest, adding to the problem of trying to locate and vaccinate free-roaming dogs.

Bali is not yet free of rabies. In December 2012 five new cases of rabies were reported in the regency of Bangli and one case in the regency of Jembrana.

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[Rabies Vaccine Aplenty]


Keeping it Close to Home
Minister Pangestu: Indonesia Tourism to Focus on Asian and Regional Markets in 2013

Indonesia remains committed to achieving 10% growth in tourism arrivals in 2013.

To achieve this goal, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, says the focus in 2013 must be on Asian and regional markets. Speaking while attending the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California (USA) on New Year’s Day, Pangestu said: “We will rely on visitors from around the Asian region. In a crisis situation, people travel to closer destinations.”

Indonesia’s Tourism Minister hopes that tourists from Asia will compensate for any shortfall in visitors from Europe, and the U.S.A., which are still experiencing troubled economies. For this reason, she remains optimistic that total number of tourism visitors to Indonesia will continue to grow in 2013.

Pangestu cites the Indonesian experience in 2012, when it managed to achieve growth in tourism numbers of around 5%, despite lingering economic woes in the U.S.A. and Europe. “This is still above the 3-4% average international growth in tourism numbers,” boasted Pangestu.

No Protection

The Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy
warned that the government would not takes steps to protect Indonesian jobs in the tourism sector in the period leading up to the establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Zone .

“Protection is no longer acceptable. We will concentrate on enhancing Indonesia’s competitiveness, “ warned I Gde Pitana, the head of the Ministry’s Department for the Development on Human Resources.

He said that the ASEAN Economic Community to take come into force in 2015 would provide for the free movement of merchandise, services and workers within the entire ASEAN region.

Pitana said that measures to increase Indonesia’s competitiveness are coming from Indonesia’s tourism sector where training, certification and skill enhancement are being undertaken.

Pitana also said that the quality of Indonesia’s tourism workers is proven by the number of Indonesian nationals holding top management positions at spas and hotels internationally.
 


Swiss Bel Makes it Six in Bali
Swiss-Belinn Seminyak, Bali to Open on Kutaís Sunset Boulevard in March 2013

The Swiss-Belinn Seminyak - a 196-room property located on Bali’s Sunset Boulevard is scheduled to open its doors in March 2013.

erty’s 196 guestrooms will be comprised of 122 Deluxe, 43 Superior Deluxe, 26 Grand Deluxe with balcony, and 5 Suites. Each of the hotel's guestrooms will be equipped with 32” LCD TV, IDD telephone, individually controlled air-conditioning, mini-bar in suites, personal safety deposit box, Wi-Fi Internet access, and coffee and tea making facilities.

A wide range of international standard services and facilities will be available within the hotel, including an all-day dining coffee shop, lobby lounge and bar, meeting rooms, fitness centre, spa and swimming pool, and convenience store. CCTV cameras and 24-hour security will add to guests' comfort and safety.

The opening of Swiss-Belinn Seminyak marks the sixth property managed and operated by Swiss-Belhotel International in Bali.


A Tragic Kodak Moment
Two Javanese High School Students Drown at Bedugul, Bali When Pier Collapses

Two high schools students from East Java drowned in Bedugul, North Bali, on Saturday, January 5, 2013, when a bamboo pier collapse plummeting them and the other members of their group into the lake.

Dead are Sri Utami (17) and Slamat (17), two students for the Negeri I Plumpang High School in East Java, were visiting the lake on an organized study tour to Bali. Posing for a picture on the dock with other members of their group, the pier collapse sending the everyone into the water.

While the other members of the group managed to swim safely to shore, the two victims disappeared into the water with their bodies only recovered the after midnight by police. 

The students were participants on a study tour traveling on several busses that stopped at Bedugul late on the afternoon of Saturday, January 5, 2013.
The pier, constructed of bamboo, collapsed sending the group in 22 meters of water.
 


Tickets While They Last
Tickets Selling Fast for 2nd Bali Wine Auction and Wine Tasting at the St. Regis Resort Bali on Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tickets are selling fast for the limited places available for the 2nd Bali Wine Auction to be held at the St. Regis Bali Resort on Sunday, January 20, 2013.

The gala event commences at 3:00 pm with a one-hour blind “brown-bag” wine tasting of 6 remarkable wines with imported tapas specialties served in the elegant foyer setting of the Astor Ballroom of the St. Regis Resort Bali.

At 4:00 pm the tasting ends as guests adjourn to the auction room in the lavish Astor Ballroom. Following a “reveal” of the wines blind-tasted over the past hour, a fast-paced auction of 25 lots of outstanding wines and wine products follows.

Sponsored by Lotus Food Distribution and generously supported by the St. Regis Resort Bali, IndoWines and Bali Discovery Events – all proceeds from the event go to a wine education fund for Bali hospitality workers administered by the Bali Hotels Association.

The number of tickets is strictly limited and sales are brisk.

Price per ticket is Rp. 300,000 (US$30) and covers the wine tasting and tapas selection, auction catalogue, wine auction and a door prize.

Early bookings are a must and can be ordered on a first-come-first-served basis by [Emailing

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[Libiamo, Libiamo Ne'lieti Calici] 


Celebrating Art in Bali
Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran Unveils Unlock Art Partnership with Kendra Gallery Ė Contemporary Art Gallery

nting its commitment to creating artistic understanding as an essential part of their guest’s stay, Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran has just unveiled its UNLOCK ART™ partnership - an innovative program that provides unique access to local contemporary cultural icons for the resort’s guests. To this end, Kendra Gallery – a leading contemporary art gallery in Bali has been invited to establish a rotating collection of outstanding art in their new Jimbaram property for the enjoyment of the Resort’s in-house guests and visitors.

"We are very excited to begin this creative partnership with Kendra Gallery through the UNLOCK ART™ initiative. As Kendra Gallery is selected as our partner by Le Méridien’s Global Curator, Jérôme Sans, by means that the gallery is believed to perfectly suit the spirit of the brand – appreciating local contemporary arts,” said Simon Dornan, General Manager of Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran. Every guest will receive a room key that opens more than just a room – it unlocks access to a local contemporary cultural experience and is a work of art itself. It encourages guests to explore the modern culture of the destination within and outside of the hotel and resort.

UNLOCK ART™ is Le Méridien’s worldwide program that collaborate the brand with local cultural institutions near each hotel and resort as well as its artists. Upon arrival, guests are presented with an artist-designed key card that offers access to not only their room at Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran, but also grants preferred access to one of the finest contemporary art galleries in Bali – the Kendra Gallery.

Mathilde Sicsic, Business Development Manager of Kendra Gallery, said, “We are looking forward to presenting and showcasing our passion in contemporary arts to the resort’s guests. UNLOCK ART™ is definitely a ground-breaking program initiated by Le Méridien, which has successfully becoming a game changer in five-star hospitality on how to choreograph engaging experiences by awakening the guests’ creative curiosity.”

Shown on Balidisocvery.com are pictures taken during the recent grand opening of the Kendra Gallery UNLOCK ART™ Discovery Experience at Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran.

For more information about Kendra Gallery, please visit [kendragallery.com]

For more information and reservation to Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran, you may visit [lemeridien.com/balijimbaran]


 
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