Bali Discovery Tours
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BALI UPDATE #103 - 16 DECEMBER 1998
IN THIS UPDATE
- BALI UPDATES highlighted by Travel Asia Magazine
- Unrest in North Bali
- Crystal Sound Therapy
BALI UPDATES HIGHLIGHTED
BY TRAVEL ASIA MAGAZINE
Leading travel journalist, Ian Jarrett, published
an article entitled "Technology to the Rescue" in the latest issue of
TRAVEL ASIA. We are quoting this article in its entirety in this edition
as it highlights what PATA BALI has managed to achieve with this newsletter
in the 103 editions of this newsletter that have "gone to net" since March
of this year and the marketing possibilities available in this modern
age of electronic communication.
"Technology to The Rescue" Travel Asia
When the going gets tough, the tough gets into technology.
Ian Jarrett presents this case study of how Bali garnered technology to
pull itself out of crisis.
In the weeks following the June 1989 Tiananmen Square
uprising, tourism authorities in Hong Kong embarked on a damage-control
exercise to counter fears that the problems in China would spill over.
The Hong Kong Tourist Association's approach was to communicate quickly
with the rest of the world to appraise potential visitors of the security
situation in Hong Kong. The strategy involved faxed press releases to
media and trade, backed up by speeches given by leading HKTA officials
at trade conferences.
The HKTA did a good job restoring confidence. It used
all technology available at the time – phones and faxes backed up by word
of mouth – yet it took many weeks to get its message across.
The recent tourism crisis in Bali following the street
riots in Jakarta last May also presented an opportunity for the island's
tourism leaders to use technology to deliver instantly their ‘Bali Better
Than Ever' message to a worldwide audience.
The difference this time was that technology had
taken a massive leap forward since Tiananmen Square – and Bali had the
people who knew how to use it effectively.
The immediate effect of the troubles in Jakarta and
Elsewhere was devastating for Bali. Hotel occupancies dropped and, with
the value of the rupiah plunging as the cost of essential commodities
rose, it appeared that all those involved in tourism – from cleaners to
managers to hotel owners – would suffer.
Six months later, tourism to Bali – if not the rest
of the country – has bounced back strongly – and much of the resurgence
can be attributed to the use of the Internet by people who knew how to
make the most of it.
The BALI UPDATE electronic newsletter, for example,
ensures new information reaches recipients within minutes of it going
to press. "With our latest software we can handle 8,000 e-mails an hour,"
says Melina Caruso, director of marketing and owner of the Bali Paradise
Online website, which distributes the Bali Update newsletter to 1,000
"No matter if Jack Daniels, the editor of Bali Update
is in New York on business, and I'm interstate or overseas, we can still
get the newsletter out as if we were both still in Bali," says Caruso.
Between them, Bali Paradise Online (BPO) and BALI UPDATE are producing the most informative and up-to-date information
on Bali. The speed and scope of the information provided on aspects of
safety and security, special deals and new attractions has encouraged
the market to reaffirm its faith in Bali.
"People go on-line seeking information, and no matter
what you're selling, information is all you can offer. Therefore, the
quality of information you provide will determine whether or not you're
successful in cyberspace," says Caruso. "We evaluate everything we do
for information content. Good information is good business."
Consumer Jochen Kaufmann, of New York City, discovered
the value of an information-rich website. He e-mailed this message to
BPO. "Thank you giving me all that updated information on the situation
in Bali during the Democratic Party Congress. Believe only half of what
you hear and a third of what you see because when I left Bali on October
2, I heard Bali might be burned down. I saw red flags and people gathering
in Megawati shirts. I didn't know what to think of all that, so thanks
for keeping me informed."
The dollar value to Bali's tourism resulting from
the on-line services is hard to quantify, although operators are in no
doubt the Internet has boosted business during a difficult period.
Hugh Collett from Alam Sari hotel was forced to leave
Jakarta during the May troubles. His family went to Australia and Collett
to their Bali hotel property. He accessed the web home pages of the foreign
embassies to get an up-to-the-minute assessment of the security situation
in the capital before leaving. "All through the traumatic events of that
time, our enquiries and reservations continued coming in by e-mail and
we were able to assure potential guests to Alam Sari that the situation
was calm and stable in Bali," said Collett.
Troy Lowrie of ProDive Bali was also grateful for
the availability of a strong website: "We experienced almost no loss in
business from the Internet during the difficult times due to the fact
that we were able to communicate to potential clients the fact that there
was no risk in coming to Bali. This would have been reassuring to them
considering all of the other incorrect hype they were being exposed to."
Says Asri of the Ibah Hotel in Ubud: "Having e-mail
and a website was vital this year as we were able to keep potential clients
up to date on the situation in Bali and reassure them that it was fine
to come. We got the ‘better than ever' message out quickly and cheaply."
Robin Faulks-Widjayatno of ER Tours also praised
the speed of the net in spreading information. "As most of our Australian
customers are linked to us via e-mail, we have been able to keep in touch
and give them a daily report on the local situation. This really helped
when we had the supposed ‘smoke' problem. Also, since the launch of the
Bali Update newsletter, we have been able to forward more local information
than we would have had time to compose personally."
Katrina Simorangkir of Bali Weddings International
has also benefited from advertising on the Internet. "I cannot imagine
we could have grown at the pace we have but for the net," she says. "The
business comes in quickly, is responded to quickly and materialises quickly."
David Passman, general manager of Casa Padma Hotel
at Legian, says Internet or e-mail bookings on average account for 25
per cent of the hotel's total bookings. He cites the ability of potential
guests to take a ‘virtual' tour of the hotel, and the site's link to the
world, and especially to travellers, as reasons for satisfaction with
his presence on-line.
Bali Inter-Continental has also used the Internet
successfully to generate bookings. "We have developed an extensive website,
and are currently receiving more than 20,000 hits per month. It contains
over 700 pages of text and 300 pictorial images," says director of marketing,
This year for the first time, Bali was presented
on the worldwide web at a consumer travel show. Several leading products
were presented as the Best of Bali – Look or Book Bali by WWW. Exhibiting
at the NATAS travel fair was Bali Paradise Online in conjunction with
Bali Adventure Tours. Also exhibiting was Hard Rock Beach Hotel, another
Bali Paradise Online client. "We presented the consumer with the opportunity
to see the Best of Bali on the Internet, then take that information and
either book with an agent, or book direct online," says BPO's Caruso.
"Promoting the destination - Bali – was our first
priority and secondly, our product and services."
BPO represented 15 hotels at NATAS that may not otherwise
have had a chance to be showcased at such an event due to the cost of
Editor's (Ian Jarrett's) note: TravelAsia compiled
this story using the services of Bali Update and Bali Paradise Online,
both of which requested information be sent to Ian Jarrett. "In the old
days, I would have had to make international telephone calls, or send
faxes, to get the information. Thanks to technology, I was able to send
two emails to Bali Update and BPO, whose clients emailed back their opinions,"
said Jarrett, who would like to thank all those who took the time to respond.
Electronic communications does shrink the world.
For example, I received this article on the internet while on holiday
and am sending this edition of the BALI UPDATE on board the MV Oceanic
Odyssey which is anchored off a village on the Trobriand Islands in far
eastern New Guinea. Think Globally. Act locally.
UNREST IN NORTH BALI
Last Friday (11 December), violent clashes were reported
between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDI) and the Functional
Party (GOLKAR) in northern Bali in the villages of Banjar, Cempaga and
Sidatapa, all near Buleleng. As the result of these outbreaks of politcal
violence, 4 people died and 17 were injured.
These areas have largely returned to normal with police,
working in close cooperation with local political leaders from both of
the political parties involved, now seeking to identify and arrest the
perpetrators of what all side describe as "criminal" acts. To ensure the
situation remains calm, some 800 military personnel are on temporary duty
in the area.
Bali has to date been largely blessed by the absence
of incidents such as these which have disturbed the peace on other islands
of the Republic. Local officials appear to be genuinely shocked by this
tragic and unnecessary loss of life and are now even firmer in their resolve
to avoid similar outbreaks on Bali in the future.
It is essential to note, however, that this outbreak
was limited to a small and relatively remote part of the island and at
no time were there indications that the upheaval would become more widespread.
Moreover, the dispute was between adherents of local political parties
and was never focussed at outside parties or towards any visitors to the
While it saddens us to have to report this incident
to our readership, it is essential that we provide you complete information
on the current situation and assure you that tourist visitors to Bali
remain unaffected and can continue to expect a peaceful visit to the island.
CRYSTAL SOUND THERAPY
Two mini-seminars on Sound Therapy and Crystaline
Transmission lead by Awahoshi Kavan are scheduled for December 21 and
December 29 at the Bali Sani Suites' Terati Room on each date from 1030
until 1430 hours.
Based on the perceived value of listening to the
sound of crystals, the vibration of crystals activate emotional release
and foster spontaneous healing.
For more details or to book space contact MARINTURS
at telephone 62-(0)361- 757 552/58 , facsimile at 62-(0)361- 757 562 or
email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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