5 Million Visitors to Indonesia for 2004 Seen as Virtually Certain.
The Central Statistic Bureau (BPS) is increasingly confident that the official target of 5 million tourist visitors to Indonesia for 2004 will be achieved.
According to Adi Lumaksono, chief of the sub-directorate for tourism statistics at BPS, partial nation-wide totals for tourism arrivals from 13 gateways compiled through the end of September stand at 3.41 million, up 28% from totals for the same period in 2003. According to Lumaksono, once the complete arrival statistics are compiled, that number will likely increase by another 20%
Thus, with approximately 4 million tourist arrivals already safely in hand through the end of the third quarter, BPS officials now feel almost certain that the official target of 5 million visitors will be reached, generating an estimated US$4.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
Sanur Treasure Back with A New Look
Former Raddin Sanur Re-opens as Mercure Resort Sanur.
Closed for ten-months while extensive renovation of the property's lobby, guest rooms, swimming pools, restaurants and meeting facilities were completed the former Raddin Sanur Bali re-opened on November 1, 2004, with a new look and new management from the fast-growing Accor Group.
Introducing the Mercure Resort Sanur
Featuring 186 guestrooms set within a 5-hectares of lush tropical gardens, the Mercure Resort Sanur has direct access to a white sand beach.
Despite a large number of upgrades in guest amenities the Mercure Resort Sanur has retained the charm and traditional bungalow style synonymous with the finest accommodation standards of the traditional Sanur community.
Special re-opening rates are available form balidiscovery.com.
Rural Australian Folks Join Forces to Improve the Lot of Bali's Street Dogs.
The kind folks who live in the rural New South Wales (Australia) town of Golburn are teaming up to raise funds in support of the Bali Street Dog Project.
Pam and Neville Burrows are rallying their fellow-townsfolk in Golburn to raise funds for the Bali-based Bali Street Dog Foundation, which provides mass sterilization and medical treatment to Bali's ubiquitous street dogs. The foundation, started by two Sydney women - Paula Hodgson and Natasha Burton - in 1999, has made a significant improvement in the condition of the local semi-stray dog population and served as a rallying point for many local veterinarians and veterinarian students who donate their time to treat skin ailments, broken bones, de-worm, vaccinate and sterilize local dogs – all without charge.
If you're within driving distance of Golburn, N.S.W., or are looking for an excuse to visit a beautiful rural town roughly half way between Canberra and Sydney, make a point of joining the Bali Dog Fund Raising Auction scheduled for the Goldburn Soldier's Club on Friday, November 26 at 7:45 p.m.. Admission is $A25 for an evening of light refreshments and an auction of attractive items donated for sale to help alleviate the suffering of Bali's dogs.
For more information call Pam or Neville Burrow at ++61-(0)407 779 640.
Minister Jero Wacik's Plans for First 100 Days Taking Shape.
All the Ministerial appointments to the United Indonesia cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have been tasked to prepare a action plan covering their first 100 days in office.
Similarly, Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik has gradually begun revealing details of his plans for Indonesia's tourism sector and the major steps we can expect during his first 100 days:
• Following his visit to Bali on October 29, 2004, the Minister returned to Jakarta and held meetings with immigration authorities, the Department of Justice and Human Rights, and the Ministry for State Owned Enterprises requesting that the number of countries eligible to obtain Visas-on-Arrival be expanded and that services to travelers be improved at Visa Sections of Indonesian embassies and at gateway airports.
• The Minister has also formally asked that some of the more than US$29 million collected from Visa-on-Arrival fees be shared among various departments, including a share of these funds for tourism promotion.
• Minister Wacik has reaffirmed that he is confident total foreign tourism arrivals for Indonesia will reach 5 million for 2004, increasing to 5.5 million in 2005, and he has projected foreign visitors to surpass 8 million by 2009.
• He has also volunteered his asistance to the tourism sector in lending the influence of his office to help eliminate bureaucratic and regulatory impediments seen as holding back tourism development.
Bali - No Love Loss for VOA
Recent Visit by Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik Rekindles Deep Divisions over Visa on Arrival Policy.
The first visit to Bali by Jero Wacik in his capacity as Minister of Culture and Tourism on Friday, October 29, 2004, served to underline the deep difference of opinion that still exists in Bali over the controversial visa on arrival (VOA) policy.
In a dialogue between Minister Wacik, Minister of Justice and Human Rights Hamid Awaluddin, Bali's Governor Dewa Beratha and leading representatives from Bali's tourism industry - local tourism players remained adamant that Presidential Decision Number 103 of 2003, which introduced the visa on arrival fee, be urgently re-evaluated.
In response, Minister Hamid and the Director General of Immigration, Imam Santoso, who also joined the Bali discussions, were firm in the view that while a review of the current policy is possible, it is unreasonable to expect that the VOA would be abolished. According to the officials, changes under consideration in the current policy include extending the maximum visa period from 30 to 60 days and enlarging the list of countries eligible to enjoy the visa facility.
A Share of the Pie?
Local tourism representatives repeated their demand that Bali obtain a share of the estimated US$29.16 million collected since February 1, 2004, under the new visa-for-fee policy.
Playing the Security Card
Arguments presented by Justice Minister Hamid defending the controversial visa plan on security grounds received a less than cordial reception from by Bali's tourism leaders. As reported in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Chairman of Parasparos - a community based tourism and cultural group and also a leading local hotelier - Made Suryawan, suggested that a degree of ill-rationality colors the Government's security defense of the current visa policy. Suryawan questions the juxtapositioning of security considerations with issues of reciprocity in international immigration handling. Suryawan challenged the Ministers, asking why countries like Holland do not enjoy the VOA facility when the Dutch represent no security threat to Indonesia and, in fact, represent a major source market for tourism.
Better Service at Airports
Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik told his Bali audience that he would open discussion with the Minister for State Owned Enterprises (BUMN) on changing the design of VOA facilities at the Nation's airports and improving services to the traveling public.
Editorial: The Case for Cruise Shipping
Do Curent Changes in Shipping Regulations Overlook the Strong Potential of the Cruise Shipping? The Need for a Cruise Shipping Ombudsman.
A long-awaited and much-overdue shake up of Indonesia's shipping sector is expected to commence when the current draft of a Presidential Instruction of on Shipping is finalized and signed. Those instructions – the result of input by no less than 13 ministers and governors – are expected to help revitalize the morbid national shipping sector.
Among the measures reportedly included in the new Instructions are Indonesia's ratification of a number of international maritime treaties, revisions in mortgage and ship arrest rules in order to make international financing more accessible to Indonesian shipping operators, and strict enforcement of cabotage rules to encourage the development of the country's merchant maritime fleet.
While we join the rest of the Nation in a collective sigh of relief that attention is finally being paid in a country comprised of more than 17,000 islands to the need to encourage inter-island shipping, we have concerns that important opportunities for developing cruise passenger shipping are being missed under the new rules.
Have We Forgotten Something?
While tighter regulatory control of the inter-island carriage of freight to encourage national shipping operators is needed for e development of a national merchant fleet, we wonder what thought, if any, has been given to fostering passenger cruise tourism in Indonesia?
Indonesia should be one of the world's premier cruise destinations. Its islands, rich in culture and natural attractions, are stretched along the equator enjoying good weather year round. Yet, with the exception of a small fleet of traditional phinisi sailing boats fitted out to carry paying passengers, Indonesia has no International cruise shipping presence. Meanwhile, immediately to the north, Singapore is home to Star Cruise - one of the leading cruise shipping companies and to the south, Australian cruising appears to be booming.
Indonesia has all the natural attractions to draw cruise ships – outstanding island destinations, rich cultures, by and large friendly welcoming local communities, and good weather. Yet, despite these natural advantages, and with the exception of the occasional crusie ship which drops anchor jusst off our shores, Indonesia is largely absent from the itineraries of international cruise ships.
The reasons why an Indonesian cruise industry has failed to take root are both many and complex and certainly worthy of a more detailed discussion than this forum permits. Our concern is that current changes in the rules for national shipping will have little or no effect on the long-dormant national cruise shipping sector.
Issues Worth Considering
From our perspective, here are a few of the issues holding back Indonesian cruising:
• The Immense Size of the Nation. Indonesia's territory is equal in breadth to the space occupied by the entire continental United States. Because of its vast size, this is a nation where many of the major areas of interest to cruise ships are located several days sailing from national borders, automatically necessitating cruise itineraries of many days' duration. We wonder if stricter application of cabotage rules under the new Presidential Instructions will only serve to further limit the ability of foreign cruise ships to embark and disembark passengers within Indonesian territory, becoming yet another obstacle to national cruise shipping?
• Large Investments Needed for Cruise Ships - Modern cruise ships represent huge investments of many millions of dollars. Will new rules mandating Indonesian flagging and, by extension, 100% Indonesian crews make it problematic, if not impossible, for local investors to acquire the modern tonnage and highly-skilled technical personnel needed to commence building a modern cruise shipping fleet? Perhaps an interim accommodation in the regulations, facilitating the chartering/leasing of foreign flagged cruise ships by national operators might serve to accelerate the development of this neglected sector of the economy.
• The Need for a Cruise Shipping Ombudsman. While the Government has long proclaimed its desire to encourage cruise shipping based on the many economic benefits that follow therefrom, the simple truth it that the problems preventing cruise shipping in Indonesia are often regulatory-based and cross-sectoral in nature. Taking the Government at its word and assuming an Indonesian cruise industry is a valid long-term goal for the Nation, we believe that the President should immediately appoint a senior Cruise Shipping Ombudsman with direct access to the Presidential Palace and the members of the Cabinet. Only in this way can obstacles to cruise shipping be quickly eliminated and specific steps taken to encourage the establishment of a national cruise fleet.
The Argument for Cruise Shipping
Indonesia can be justifiably proud of the many thousands of young Indonesians who are serving with distinction on cruise ships around the world, sending home much needed foreign exchange. Companies such as Holland America consistently win "best cruise service afloat awards" utilizing service crews dominated by Indonesian floating-hotel staffs. The training and recruitment of cruise staff for foreign going vessel has become something of a major industry in Bali.
Thus, we find it both ironic and sad that despite the many obvious attractions of the destination, little or no employment opportunities exist for employment for Indonesian crews closer to home.
Beyond the obvious benefits to the national economy of the many high-paying and highly-skilled jobs that a national cruise industry promises, let's not forget the money cruise passengers would bring to remote island destinations visited by a domestic cruise fleet. We have witnessed first-hand the powerful multiplier effect of such spending and how it can bring the benefit of economic development to areas that might otherwise have to wait decades before enjoying the fruits of national development.
We believe the cruise shipping segment of national economy offers great potential and warrants treatment as a special case in development planning. Given the very substantial potential benefits of the cruise shipping sector we urge consideration of specific set of Presidential Instructions aimed solely at fostering growth in this area of the economy.
Smooth sailing to a propserous future tourism economy demands it!
Bali and Portugal Seek Closer Cooperation
Lisbon's Ambassador Pays Call on Bali's Governor and Proposes Portuguese Consulate for the Island.
Portugal's Ambassador to Indonesia, Jose M. Santos Braga paid a call on Bali on November 11, 2004, visiting local tourism players and paying a call on Bali's Governor, Dewa Beratha.
Bali is eager to learn from Portugal's example in tourism, understanding how a nation with a population of only 10 million manages to secure 21 million visitors every year. Ambassador Santos Braga said his Government was eager to share its experience in tourism promotion with Indonesia.
The Ambassador also put forth the idea of establishing a Portuguese Consulate in Bali to increase cooperation between his Nation and Bali in matters of trade and tourism development. Bali's Governor welcomed the idea of the proposed consulate.
Better Security at Besakih Temple
Steps Taken to Remedy Extortion of Visitors at Bali Most Sacred Shrine.
Karangasem Regency tourism officials have issued special identity badges to "official guides" on duty at Bali Pura Besakih in order to reduce complaints of extortion from tourist visitors to Bali's Mother Temple.
A total 322 guide badges have been issued by tourism officials and shirts made of traditional endik cloth has been given to the 146 fully licensed to work at the temple. The fully licensed guides have completed a formal training program.
Visitors to Pura Besakih have been asked by local officials to use only the services of guides fully licensed to work at the location, identifiable by displaying both identity badges and the wearing of an official uniform made of endik.
Visitors to Pura Besakih frequently complain to tourism officials about aggressive behavior from "local guides" demanding money from visitors to the location.
Star Air to Manado
Daily Service Now Connects Two of Indonesia's Best Tourist Destinations.
Effective November 5, 2004, Star Air will operate a daily service connecting Bali with the North Sulawesi destination of Manado,
Star Air now operates three services to Manado, flying from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali.
The new Bali-Manado service is being operated with MD82/83 aircraft with a total passenger capacity of 162 passengers.
Quoted in the Indonesian language Bali Post, the airline's President Director, Ale Sugiarto, said he was optimistic that load levels of 85 percent would be achieved on the new service opening the way for increasing the once daily service to twice a day.
The new Star Air service from Bali to Manado departs each day at 2:40 p.m. (5H723), connecting with a flight from Surabaya to Manado (5H642) that leaves at 5:50 p.m. arriving in Manado at 9:20 p.m..
The flight from Manado to Bali (5H643) departs North Sulawesi at 7:00 a.m. to connect with a Surabaya flight to Bali (5H722) departing at 9:15 a.m. and landing in Bali at 11:00 a.m..
The View from the Top
Tanri Abeng and the Executive Center for Global Leadership (ECGL) Uses a Bali Mountain Top to Encourage Leaders be Forward Looking.
The brainchild of successful Indonesian business leader and former Cabinet Member, Tanri Abeng, the Bali's Executive Center for Global Leadership (ECGL) seeks to bring together leading international academics and top decision makers from the public and private sectors to discuss issues of the day and how excellence in management techniques can be applied to such matters for the overall betterment of society.
To pursue such inspired goals the ECGL has also selected a inspired location: a volcanic mountainside high in Bali's mountain-lake district of Bedugul. Located at the Bali Handara Mountain Resort, home to a Peter Thompson designed golf course, the ECGL Campus is 66 kilometers north of Denpasar's Airport and the beaches of Nusa Dua, Kuta and Sanur. The Campus is located amid the lush highlands at an altitude of 1,142 meters and is nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano that enjoys year round average daily temperatures of between 16-20 degrees Celsius.
This is the dramatic and refreshing setting for seminars led by world leaders in management practice dealing with topics tied to corporate governance, management practice, managing and leading change, professional development, and privatization issues. A multi-day seminar at ECGL can cost between US$1,800 - $3,000 – exposing small groups of select participants to lectures by top government and business leaders from around the world.
Founded by Tanri Abeng and a number of other visionary Indonesian businessman, including among others Minister Aburizal Bakrie, Vice-President Jusuf Kala, and former Minister for Economic Affairs Professor Dr. Dorojatun Kuntjoro-Jakti - ECGL has a proven track record of attracting top players from the region's businesses to learn directly from the leading-edge shapers of management theory and practice such as Henri Claude de Bettingnes of INSEAD, Roger Gill of the Leadership Trust, James O'Toole of USC and Roberto F. Decampo of the Asian Institute of Management - to name but a few.
The Founder of ECGL is one of Indonesia's most respected business and civic leaders. Born in humble circumstances on Selayar Island in South Sulawesi, he worked his way through Hasanuddin University in Makssar before receiving a scholarship to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree from the State University of New York. After graduation he was accepted as a management trainee with Union Carbide in the U.S.A. where he quickly rose in the ranks to become, at the tender age of only 29, a finance director and corporate secretary for the multinational. Eventually assigned to their Singapore office, he was given responsibility for Union Carbides European, Asian and African marketing.
In 1979 he was finally lured back home to Indonesia to assume the post of Chief Executive Officer for Indonesia's leading brewery - P T Multi Bintang. In 1991 he moved on to a new challenge – the restructuring and rationalization of the Bakrie Group, a company he eventually led to a successful public offering. In 1999 Tanri Abeng was called to serve as a State Minister in charge of restructuring State Owned Enterprises (BUMN).
Bali Again Selected to Host Showcase of Region's Performing Arts.
Indonesian Performing Art Mart 2005 (IPAM) will return to Bali in 2005 to be held at Nusa Dua and the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument June 6-10.
The Mart – an international showcase of performance and cultural groups from Asia and around the world – is targeted to attract 65 presenters and 30 cultural groups performing at various venues around the island during the five-day event.
Organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, IPAM 2005 will serve as a gathering place for artists to exchange ideas at forums and organized discussions as well as conclude contracts with visiting impresarios.
During IPAM 2004 held in Bali a number of agreements were concluded for tours abroad by Indonesian traditional arts groups to Europe. The organizers hope that performance contracts concluded at IPAM 2005 will double, totaling EURO 4 million.
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