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Bali by the Numbers: February 2009 Arrivals Down 10.23% Month-on-Month, While Cumulative Arrivals January-February up 3.01%
The National News Agency Antara reports that total foreign tourists arrivals to Bali in February totaled 139,282. While these are preliminary figures awaiting a final and detailed summary of arrivals for February from the Bali Immigration authorities, these numbers, if correct, indicate: • Over time, foreign tourist arrivals may be softening somewhat. • February 2009 arrivals at 139,282 are -10.23% behind arrivals for the same month in 2008 (155,153). • Building on January 2009's record performance (164,643), the cumulative arrivals for January-February 2009 (303,925) are still the strongest start to any year in the history of Bali tourism and a 3.01% improvement over the same two-month period one year before. January-February in 2008 totaled 295,025 arrivals. Most observers expect foreign tourist arrivals to continue on a downward trend as the current year progresses with many hotels reporting relatively quiet business trends during the month of March.
Ayana Resort and Spa Now Open
So Long Ritz-Carlton! Welcome Ayana Resort & Spa!
On April 1, 2009, Ayana Resort and Spa welcomed its first guest under its new brand and revamped management team as it bid farewell to Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa. Deriving its new name from a Sanskrit word for "place of refuge", Ayana Resorts new logo is now in evidence on menus, stationery, uniforms and every other aspect of the 5-star resort's operation located on the Ungasan peninsula of South Bali. Assuming control at the Ayana Resort & Spa is its new General manager, Charles de Foucault, who has replaced the popular David Wilson, who headed the Bali Ritz-Carlton team for a number of years. Ayana Resort & Spa is operating under a management agreements with West Paces Hotels - a company formed by former Ritz-Carlton executive Horst Schulze. Charles de Foucault - General Manager Charles de Foucault brings 30 years of hotel experience to his new Bali assignment, including 17 years with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group. Past assignments have included stints in Bahrain, New Delhi and Bangalore. "I've been in the hotel business for over 30 years, and you don't get opportunities like this very often, to work in a destination as beautiful and rewarding as Bali, managing a property as amazing as Ayana," said de Foucault, a French national who is also fluent in his native tongue, English and German. "I am thrilled to be working with Ayana's owners, who have developed this incredible property over almost 13 years. This resort is a one-of-a-kind, offering guests complete immersion in an authentic, intimate Balinese experience soaking up the culture, hospitality, tranquility and stunning location, and that remains truer today than ever before." To celebrate its grand opening, Ayana hosted a reception for 650 guests, media and travel partners in its new avant-garde Champa Garden, a multi-faceted 20,000 square meter outdoor venue. Under a canopy of 2,000 frangipani trees surrounded by tiered water fountains, guests received a hint of the refined elegance and Balinese warmth of promised under the Ayana brand. A dramatic tek tekan performance involving 100 Balinese men playing traditional bamboo instruments and 21 Garuda Wisnu Kencana dancers complemented the occasion, together with a live performance from Indonesia's famous "touch tapping" guitarist Wayan Balawan and his band Batuan Ethnic Fusion. Ayana's new logo draws on Balinese concept of Tri Hita Kirana which demands perfect balance between God, man and nature. The logo depicts a tree of life with intertwining plants, flowers and wildlife – all in an azure blue, reflecting how the waters of the majestic Indian Ocean merge with azure sky at the resort. The logo was created by renowned Japanese graphics artist Hiromura Masaaki, who has created logos for some of the world's most recognized brands including the Nissan Motor Design Center in Japan.
Bali's Tourism Future Under a Single Management
New Bali-Wide Zoning Rules Seek to Control Tourism Development and Centralize Development Control with Island's Governor.
Kompas quotes the Chief of the Bali Provincial Cultural Office, Ida Bagus Sedhawa, as announcing that the provincial government of Bali has updated and revised the island's zoning and development guidelines - the (RTRW) - rules to be used for the coming 20 years. The new blueprint for island planning is targeted for ratification by the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD) in 2009 with its drafters hope that the new zoning laws will bring development under control via a clear and enforced set of rules. Chief among the changes in the RTRW is the re-introduction of a "one door" approach to Bali's development, eliminating the current fragmentation in rules and enforcement between the governor's office and the island's various regents and mayors. Sedhawa is optimistic that Bali's culture can be redeemed and saved over the coming two decades via the introduction of the RTRW: "We are in the midst of trying hard to restore cultural tourism based on agriculture and the people's tourism. At the very least, we are trying to regain the confidence of the people in the need for spiritual norms operating on an agricultural base." The Chairman of Planning and Development for Bali, Nengah Suarca, said that the RTRW, now in the process of completion, will not only overcome the disorder brought on by tourism-driven development, but will also provide a 20-year zoning plan designating specifc areas for investment activities. In the 1970s, tourism development was only allowed in specific low-laying areas, such as Nusa Dua and Sanur. Development activity was not permitted in highland area, such as Mt. Agung, regarded by the Balinese as sacred. Over time, however, development crept into all regions of the island with little regard for tradition or consideration for areas deemed sacred by the Balinese. The Chief Editor of Sarad, a Balinese cultural magazine, told Kompas,: "Tourism should not be made the 'black sheep' for the problems suffered by cultural tradition in Bali. Especially in Bali, tourism keeps local traditions alive, such as the barong, kecak, tek-tekan and gamelan. Tradition must also be able to follow the demands of development. Tradition with an agricultural face must be managed to become a tradition based on service, in accordance with the requirements of tourism." In accordance with this road map, tourism objects, such as safari parks, golf or race courses, he suggests, are not in accordance with cultural tourism. The General Manager of the Hotel Inna Bali, Maryanto, admits his personal uneasiness with the presence of so many starred hotels in Bali, seemingly growing in an uncontrolled manner. He calls on the development of starred hotels to be halted. The Secretary General of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Perry Markus, feels that a thorough study must be undertaken before it is concluded that Bali's tourism is over-grown. Compromise Ahead? In a separate report, Bali Post reports that many are concerned that the new RTRW may only add to the current confusion and uncertainty in the application of zoning rule. Those expressing concern point to plans to give a three year tolerance period to buildings found to be in violations of the rules without specifying what steps and sanctions will be applied after the expiration of the three-year grace period. The Executive Director of the Bali environmental group, Wahli, Agung Wardana, bemoans the lack of clear sanctions and the readiness to compromise via consensus in settling violations and disputes under the law. He said that the readiness to compromise will make it difficult to bring developers and government officials involved in the building of a villa complex in Uluwatu to court. Wardana points to recommendations of consultants suggesting that set-back rules from shorelines should be differentiated between violations due to "natural factors" and "human factors." Wardana remarked incredulously, "in fact, any building that is too close to the shore line that is due to the interference of man." Other social activists quoted by Bali Post claim the revised RTRW is too imbued with business considerations, putting the interest of investors before all else. Investments are approved for the sake of creating employment, with little regard for preserving local religious and economic interests. Activists are also calling on the government to protect forested areas and preserve water quality on beaches, rivers and lakes. Governor Remains Optimistic The governor told Kompas that he remains optimistic the RTRW will run smoothly and bring Bali back to a one island management system. Pastika said: "This is important to organize Bali's development in the future and, most importantly, to restore spiritual values in accordance with 'Tri Hita Kirana' (harmony between God, man and nature). We want to emphasize this plan is a much awaited step forward for future development in regencies and cities. Everyone is welcome to give their input during the socialization process.” That debate will no doubt focus on sacred areas surrounding Bali's religious temples, considered by many as off-limit to commercial development.
Lombok Airport to Open in October 2009
VP Kalla Wants New Lombok Airport Operational by Early 2010.
The development of the Lombok International Airport, in the village of Tana Awu in Central Lombok, will be completed in October 2009. The confirmation of the planned completion date for the modern airport was announced in a meeting between Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, Transportation Minister Jusman Syafeii Djamal and Minister for State-Owned Enterprises Sofyan Djalil in the capital of Lombok, Mataram, on Sunday, March 29, 2009. As reported by Kompas, that meeting was used by Vice-President Kalla to emphasize that the Lombok International Airport and all supporting facilities must be finished in accordance the development plans agreed with Dubai's Emaar Properties LLC for Central Lombok. The Emaar Group is reportedly reconsidering its US$600 million tourism development for Lombok. The Minister for State-Owned Enterprises and the Minister of Transportation led an official group that surveyed the Lombok airport project declaring that the runway was 69.91% and the apron and taxiway 97.59% completed. The Ministerial group also estimated that the terminal and parking area were 35.21% built. The Lombok airport, when completed, will cover an area of 551 hectares, an area twice that of Bali's international airport. The main runway in Lombok is 2,750 meters long and 45 meters wide with facilities sufficient to handle 1 million passengers each year and aircraft as large as a Boeing 747. The cost of constructing the Lombok Airport is put at Rp. 802 billion (US$71.6 million) and is slated for completion in October 2009 and operations in early 2010. Related Articles [Lombok Emaar Project Not Dead?] [Emaar Withdraws From US$600 Million Lombok Project] [BTDC Investing in Lombok] [Bali to Face Tough Competition from Lombok]
BIWA Tennis Tournament April 24-30, 2009
Tournament Proceeds Fund Education, Poverty Alleviation and Women's Projects.
Bali International Women's Association (BIWA) is organizing its annual fund raising tennis tournament. Run in cooperation with the Bali Tennis Academy (BTA) proceeds will fund scholarships for underprivileged children, as well as women and children's health & education project in Bali. Last year’s tournament attracted 150 participants from across Bali and abroad with 200 players expected to participate this year. The 2009 BIWA Charity Tennis Tournament will be held from Friday, April 24th to Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at the Bali Tennis Academy - Nikko Bali Resort & Spa with 3 indoor courts. To mark the opening of the tournament, a cocktail party will be held on Friday, April 24, 2009 at 5 p.m. at the Bali Tennis Academy at the Nikko Bali Resort & Spa. Closing the event there will be an Award Ceremony Dinner held at the hotel on Thursday, April 30, 2009 starting at 7.30 p.m.. Prizes and trophies will be presented to winners and runners up. Exciting door prizes will also be on offer. Divisions of Play Play will be conducted during the tournament in the following categories: • Open: Men/Ladies -Singles/Doubles/Mixed • Super Amateur Men’s Singles • Amateur • Senior: Men/Ladies, Singles/Doubles/Mixed/ 50 years + • Junior:: Boys/Girls, Singles/Doubles below 14 years The deadline for entries is April 20,, 2009, and the draw will be held on April 22nd. Registration forms are available at BIWA, Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No. 46, Sanur – Bali, or Bali Tennis Academy at Nikko Bali Resort & Spa. Online registration is also available. “This tournament is one of BIWA’s Annual Charity to continue supporting the needy people in Bali”, said Joyce Nelwan, BIWA’s Past President 2007 – 2008 in her capacity as the Tournament Coordinator. “It is a great sport where people can enjoy, compete and help the unfortunate women and children in Bali at the same time. It is going to be an exciting tournament for everyone”, she added. Bali International Woman’s Association (BIWA) is a local non-profit organization with more than 300 members from 27 countries. The objectives of our organization are to foster international friendship and understanding and to carry out welfare programs for the local community. For more information contact: Joyce Nelwan – Tournament Coordinator BIWA Center, Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai No 44, Sanur – Bali – Indonesia, Telephone +62-(0)361-288686 or +62-(0)361-7469607. Facsimile +62-(0)361-287678 Related Websites [Bali Tennis Academy Website]
UNWTO Predicts Indonesian Tourism will be Stabile
UN Official Says Indonesian Tourism Will Buck Worldwide Downward Trend.
As reported by BeritaBali.com, the United Nation's World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is predicting world travel to decrease between 0 and 2% as the result of the current global financial crisis. Total tourism visits world-wide in 2008 were estimated at 920 million. Speaking at an UNWTO conference in Nusa Dua on Wednesday, April 1, 2009, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, said that generally all world tourism destinations will experience downturns in arrival numbers during the current crisis. However, Taleb Rifai said he felt Indonesia will experience some growth in its tourism industry, despite the financial crisis. Taleb Rifai said: "Indonesia will go through this better. I can confirm this is realistic. While the entire world will see a fall in its tourism visitors, but not so with Indonesia." Unemployment Based on data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), some 14 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the economic crisis in late 2008. The ILO estimates that 38 million workers will lose their jobs before the end of the financial crisis estimated to occur in 2010.
Peace, Love and Understanding
Paintings by I Made Arya Dwita Dedok at the Four Season's Ganesha Gallery April 16 – May 11, 2009.
The Balinese artist I Made Arya Dwita Dedok began his lessons regarding the universal power of art at the age of 12, in 1983, when he won a children's painting exhibition at the Bali Hyatt Hotel in Sanur. Fifteen years later he graduated from Indonesia's top art academy (ISI) as a promising young printmaker and artist.
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Multi-talented Dedok worked simultaneously in several fields including photography, graphic design, printmaking, painting and cartoons winning several prizes in each category. The connection between these various disciplines and his whimsical but edgy prints are easy to see. Much inspired by graffiti, he combines the spontaneity of street art with the technical discipline of a fine artist. His themes, as indicated by the name of his current exhibition, are ecumenical and all-inclusive. Art him has taught him to appreciate life for its gifts and, although his images include social commentary, he is not a cynic but rather a humorous satirist able to laugh at himself as well as others. His art is also at once thought provoking vignettes.
Dedok's talents have earned him praise beyond Bali and Indonesia. In 2008 he won the Freeman Foundation Art Fellowship at the prestigious Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, U.S.A..
Peace, Love and Understanding An Exhibition of Paintings by I Made Arya Dwita Dedok Ganesha Gallery at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay Open Daily 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. - April 16 - May 11, 2009
20% Unemployment Ahead for Indonesia's Tourism Sector
Despite Minister Wacik's Assurances that All is Well, Culture & Tourism Official Predicts 20% Unemployment in Indonesia's Tourism Industry.
BeritaBali.com reports that 20% of Indonesia's tourism sector workers may face unemployment in the course of the current economic crisis. Based on data from the Department of Culture and Tourism there are around 4.14 million Indonesians employed in tourism-related jobs. The dire projections of wide-scale lay-offs was delivered by the Director of Data and Networking at the Department of Culture and Tourism, Harry Waluyo, after opening the 5th Conference of the United Nation's World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Nusa Dua, Bali on April 30, 2009. Waluyo said that tourism workers employed in hotels, restaurants and travel agencies were most at threat of losing their jobs in the current downturn in world travel. Waluyo said: "The connection is that visitors my decline if the American economy does not recover and long-haul tourists will decrease their amount of travel and pick tourism destination that are closer." Waluyo's predictions are at odds with statement by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, who has said he is optimistic that there will be no jobs lost in Indonesia's tourism sector over the coming year. According to Wacik, any downturn in foreign tourist will be covered by increases in domestic tourists.
A Guided Tour of the World's Great Wines
A Three-Day Exploratory Journey of Fine Wine Led by Sommelier Harald Wiesmann April 16-18, 2009.
Harald Wiesmann, the personable Restaurant Manager and Sommelier of the Kayuputi at The St. Regis Bali Resort is preparing to lead a small group of fortunate wine aficionados on an exciting tour of the world of wine. Wiesmann will contact a three-day introductory course on wine April 16-18, 2009 at The St. Regis Bali Resort. Prior to his most recent appointment at St. Regis Wiesmann's 30-year career in hospitality stretches back to the early 1970s where he began working as an apprentice in Germany before becoming a Demi Chef de Rang at the Hotel Ritz in Paris in 1980. From there he moved to the Hotel Du Lac in Switzerland where he worked as the Maitre D'Hotel. Other positions brought him to distinguished hotels and restaurants in Bali, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg.
Indonesian Aviation Ban Likely to Stay Until at Least June
Extension of Aviation Blacklisting Will Lengthen Ban to Two Year Mark.
Bisnis Indonesia says its highly likely that the European Union (EU) will extend its current blacklisting of Indonesian aviation for an additional three months. The Director General of Civil Aviation, Herry Bakti S. Gumay told the press that the prolongation of the ban on the operation of Indonesian registered aircraft into European air space has been signaled by the Indonesian representative who will be observing meetings of the EU discussing aviation safety. According to Bakti, the EU is also refusing requests for a fast-tracking of safety authorization put forth by four Indonesian air carriers - Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, Airfast and Premiair. Bakti remains hopeful that the EU will favorably consider the many advances made in Indonesian aviation and consider lifting the blacklisting in June 2009. Bakti, speaking at a press conference regarding the arrival of Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 777-200 intended to serve new routes to Amsterdam, praised the many advances made by the national air carrier. Bakti said: "Garuda has every thing they can. A new armada of aircraft is arriving and they also have a strong financial performance despite a difficult economic condition at the moment. All this is extraordinary." Related Article [Clearing the Air]
Nurjaya Replaced as Head of Bali Tourism
Subhiksu Named to Be Island's Top Tourism Job.
The Chief of Bali Tourist Authority (BTA), I Gede Nurjaya, has been replaced by Bali's governor within the framework of a "routine" replacement of the heads of provincial government department heads that, in its latest round, saw 6 officials replaced. Nurjaya, now retiring from the provincial civil service, worked as the Chief of protocol for Bali's governor prior to his appointment as the island's top tourism post. Replacing Nurjaya is Drs. Ida Bagus Kade Subhiksu who comes to his new posting after serving at the cultural heritage section of the cultural affairs division of the provincial Bali government. Quoted in the Jakarta Post, governor Pastika said. "the new officials are appointed to create a new atmosphere and policies." Adding, "the Chief of the Bali Tourism Agency must be able to perform a role as a good facilitator for all stakeholders in Bali's tourism industry."
Government to Build Narcotics Prison in Bangli
Construction is set to Start in 2010 on Prison Intended to Relieve Overcrowding at Kerobokan Prison
The overcrowding at Bali's main prison at Kerobokan may eventually be relieved following the purchase by the government of 5 hectares of land in the Bangli regency of Bali to build a special penitentiary for narcotics offenders. The land acquisition was announced by the Chief of the Bali Justice and Civil Rights Office, Arman Nazar, and reported in DenPost. Now that the land has been purchased, the government hopes to commence building a new prison in 2010. Nazar, who has only been in charge of Bali's prison systems for one month, also told the press of his plans to segregate prisoners at the current Kerobokan prison from those being held in detention awaiting trial from convicted criminals serving their sentence at the facility.
Government to Closely Scrutinize Foreign Workers
Government Worried that Economic Crisis will Bring Flood of Foreigners Looking for Work.
The Department of Manpower and Transmigration (Depnakertrans) will tighten permission for foreign workers in anticipation of a coming wave of foreigners traveling to Indonesia, seeking work during the current economic crisis. The Minister of Manpower and Transmigration, Erman Suparno, told Bisnis Indonesia that closer scrutiny of foreign workers is a necessity to preserve local job opportunities, particularly in management positions. Erman told the press that Indonesia has always kept a watchful eye over foreign workers via coordination between the Department of Trade, the Investment Coordinating Board and the Department of Industry. He also reminded that all foreign workers in Indonesia must obtain a working permit from his department before commencing any employment. The Minister said that foreigner can only hold "non-strategic" positions while they train Indonesians to eventually assume those posts. Meanwhile, strategic positions must always be held by Indonesians. Data from the Department of Manpower through the end of 2008 show 85,453 registered foreign workers in Indonesia, an increase of 11.4% over the totals recorded in 2007.
GRAIN Opens Office at Nusa Dua
Effort to Secure Leads for Conference and Convention Business Via World-Wide Network of Offices.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in Bali on Friday, April 3, 2009, between the Bali International Convention Centre (BICC) and the Global Research and Intelligence Network (GRAIN) in an effort to enhance Indonesia's bidding efforts to secure a larger share of conference and convention business. GRAIN is launching four International Centers for Industry Development (ICID) offices in Bali, Malaysia, the Middle East and the U.S.A.. According to the Executive Director of GRAIN, Scott Campbell: "ICID revolutionizes the way destinations go to bid, as ICID can under right (sic) the conference and act as a local host, reducing headaches for Bureaus and Convention Centers in gaining local host support, and allowing the academics and associations to focus on the technical and educational programs, without having to worry about the financial risks." "A lack of local host support can be fatal when bidding, and, so with the local association running in the partnership with ICID (and) the Convention Centre and Bureau, they can access the financial backing of corporate sponsors and gain support for their bid from across the world. International associations have responded positively, with a recent sales mission into Australia seeing ICID now working with international associations to launch new branches, increase membership, and obtain financial sponsorship for their industry development objectives," Campbell explained. Initial funding for ICID is provided by companies in Australia, Indonesia and the United Kingdom operating in tourism, mining, medical research, biotechnology and aeronautics. All reportedly see conference as a way of growing their industries and business. The Bali ICID office will be a lead generator for conferences and conventions in Bali via their 14 country network. ICID operates with fund provided by corporate sponsors and on a pay-for-lead basis.
Protestors Shut Down GWK Access for One Day
Villagers Claim Promises of Roads and Jobs Have Remained Unfulfilled for 14 Years.
After waiting for 14 years for promised made by project developers to materialize, citizens from the Banjar Dharma Ungasan area near the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Complex (GWK) on the Ungasan peninsula protested last week by blocking access roads leading to the cultural park. According to Radar Bali, the protests was undertaken by villagers whose traditional lands were acquired for the GWK Complex and, as a result of the park's operation, must now carry funereal towers (bade) for 4 km over hard-to-navigate pathways climbing up hillsides at a 45 degree incline. Prior to the development of the GWK, villagers were persuaded to surrender a village thoroughfare with the promise of an improved replacement road for access to the village's cemetery. According to Radar Bali, villagers were also promised employment and compensation funds which have reportedly also yet to materialize. A total of 90 local residents blocked the entrance to the park for the entire day on Tuesday, March 30, 2009, demanding the park management honor its promises. Meanwhile, GWK management have pleaded with demonstrators for more time to await the return of the park's senior manager who is abroad for one week, before renewing their protests.
Chilean Wines Featured at Wine Evening at The Laguna in Bali
Chilean Wines Take Center Stage at Heritage Wine Evening at The Laguna on Saturday, April 11, 2009.
The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali will present a Chilean heritage wine dinner on Saturday, April 11, 2009. The culinary journey begins at the Resort's Cascade Bar, located in the lobby level, with cocktails, a Chilean sparkling wine Undurraga Brut Royal and canapés. Guests will then proceed to the Mayang Sari Restaurant to be seated to enjoy a selection of fine Chilean wines and a five-course fine-dining menu for only Rp. 999,000 (US$89) per person, including tax and service. Course after course of outstanding food paired with fine Chilean wines - selected in collaboration with wine enthusiast Juan Jose Diaz, as the Resort's Chef de Cuisine, Bastian Mantey, will presents his a 5-course signature gourmet menu.
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