BALI UPDATE #372 - 27
Political Violence in Bali's North
Two Killed in During
Pre-Election Political Campaign Activities on
Island's North Coast.
Mob violence between supporters of the Indonesian
Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and the
Golkar Party resulted in two deaths and
numerous injuries in incidents on Sunday in Singaraja,
the capital of North Bali.
The incident, which occurred in the early afternoon
of Sunday, October 26, 2003, involved an attack
by groups of youths supporting the PDIP
on a Golkar office. The attack, allegedly
a response to an earlier stone-throwing against
a passing convoy of PDIP members. Hundreds
of police officers were immediately dispatched
to the area to quell disturbances that eventually
spread to three locations, caused the two deaths,
and resulted in substantial property damage to
buildings and vehicles.
Those killed in the violence were two brothers,
known to be supporters of the Golkar party from
the village of Petandakan, near Buleleng.
Chief Pastika Embarrassed by Incident
Bali's Chief of Police, Inspector General Made
Mangku Pastika, has immediately taken control
of the investigation and police efforts to prevent
further outbreaks of violence. Calling the perpetrators
of the violence "domestic terrorists,"
he has vowed to handle the investigation and prosecution
of those responsible in accordance with the law,
without reference to party politics.
Clearly upset and unhappy with Sunday's attacks,
Chief Pastika told local press in referring to
the attacks, "I once felt very proud to be Balinese,
but now am ashamed." In order to safeguard the
island's reputation as an island of peace, the
Chief has established a "special team" to handle
Situation Has Returned to Normal
Reports from the area indicate that the situation
had normalized by Monday morning, with extra police
on duty in the area to prevent any reoccurrence
of violence. Local press also report that the
police are questioning a number of youths believed
to have first-hand information in the incident
Arrival Figures Show
Impact of Travel Advisories
Bali By The Numbers:
Major Source Markets for Bali Tourism Proving
Slow to Recover.
Detailed breakdowns of direct arrival figures
by country of residency for January August for
2001 through 2003 demonstrate the deep and lingering
impact of negative travel advisories in the wake
of the SARS panic and Iraqi conflict.
August 2003 arrival figures lagged 27.8% when
compared to the same month's arrivals in 2002.
Aggregate arrival figures for the first 8 months
of 2003 are down 36.42% from the same period in
the previous year. In practical terms, this represents
a shortfall of over 348,000 tourists for the year.
If arrival figures do not appreciate remarkably
over the last 4 months of the year, annual totals
for 2003 will come in at levels equivalent to
those achieved in 1996 and 1997, a retreat backwards
of 7 years.
European visitors, largely composed of long-staying
and high per diem spending tourist visitors, are
down 44.82% for the first 8 months of 2003. Worst
affected markets are Italy (- 66.17%); United
Kingdom (-52.90%); Germany (-39.17%); and Dutch
The Americas, comprised of all the countries found
in both North and South America, are down 39.07%
for the first 8 months of the year. The U.S.A.
market, laboring under negative travel advisories
for Indonesia, is down 40.51%.
The Asia-Pacific region lags 36.82% behind 2002
for the first 8 months of the year. Japanese arrivals
are down by 53.79%, representing a 115,000 shortfall
from just a year ago. Meanwhile Australia total
are down 42% for the same period, totaling 79,479
for January August 2003 as compared to 166,052
for the same period just a year before. Drops
in Taiwanese travelers were less severe, however,
down only 14.05%, allowing that market to supplant
both Japan's and Australia's supremacy in producing
visitors to Bali.
ASEAN Arrivals A Bright Note
ASEAN was the only market segment showing improvement,
up 25.62% for the first 8 months of the year.
Malaysia and Singapore were the star performers,
showing a 51.16% and 52.16% improvements, respectively.
Writes President Bush
Industry Delivers a Letter to U.S. President During
Open Letter to President of the United
States of America
Masyarakat Pariwisata Indonesia (MPI)
- the Indonesia Tourism Council took the
opportunity of President Bush's brief stopover
in Bali on October 22, 2003, to deliver America's
Chief Executive a message.
In an advertisement placed in the Country's largest
English language newspaper - The Jakarta
Post, Mr. Ponco Sutowo, the Chairman
of the MPI and writing on behalf
of the Indonesian tourism industry, signed an
open letter to President Bush calling on him to
urgently review the current system of international
travel advisories that "cause untold misery for
the victims of terror, long after any actual terrorist
balidiscovery.com has reprinted
the entire text of Mr. Sutowo's letter below:
Mr. George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
Dear President Bush:
Indonesia's tourism community bids you "Selamat
Datang" to Indonesia. May your brief visit to
Bali be productive and the experience entices
you to visit again, to see more of the 17,000
beautiful islands comprising our nation.
In our prayers for peace and better understanding
among all nations, we join both you and President
Megawati in your calls for cooperation in the
war on terror, and in efforts to end the pointless
loss of life and destruction of property that
result from terrorists' acts.
On behalf of Indonesia's tourism community, we
ask that you exercise the tremendous power and
responsibility of your office to review current
travel advisories urging your fellow American's
to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia.
In this urgent request we ask you to consider:
The war on terror is an international
conflict. After September 11, 2001, the
world did not declare New York and the United
States as unsafe to visit. This would have punished
the victims and played into the hands of terrorists'
aims. As terrorist targets, the people of New
York, Washington, Nairobi, Jakarta, Bali, and
others - have all been equally victimized.
The battle against terrorism is a shared
responsibility. When every nation is
a potential target of terror, it is wrong to single
out individual nations, like Indonesia, and issue
such warnings. These negative travel advisories
are equivalent to a tourism trade embargo by your
country against Indonesia.
Indonesia is an ally in the war on terror.
Your administration has praised Indonesia's police
and judicial response to the October 12, 2002,
Bali bombings, citing it as an excellent example
of international war on terror. President Megawati
and her government are committed to eradicate
We now call on you, asking to be treated as a
true ally in this important struggle. The current
travel advisories - which are highly prejudicial
to our tourism industry, a fundamentally important
source of badly needed foreign exchange for Indonesia's
economy should be reconsidered.
Mr. President, courage is the first weapon in
the war against those who resort to terror in
an attempt to disrupt the very fabric of our lives.
The millions of Indonesians who derive their incomes
from tourism ask you to courageously take the
lead in revising the current travel advisory system
that continues to cause untold misery for the
victims of terror, long after any actual terrorist
In its stead, together we must create objective
international criteria for public safety and security
against which all travel destinations can equally
As allies in this struggle we ask that you remove
the current travel advisories prejudicial to both
our travel industries in order that the long tradition
of friendship through tourism between the U.S.A.
and Indonesia may be preserved.
MPI (Masyarakat Pariwisata Indonesia-Indonesia
Supported by the tourism industry in Indonesia.
Bali Hilton Re-Opens the 'Ayodya Palace'
Luxury Wing with Special Services Sets New Standards at Nusa Dua.
On Friday, October 17, 2003, the Bali Hilton International
officially marked the re-opening of The Ayodya Palace
, (formerly The Ayoyda Club), following a US$ 3 million refurbishment program.
The 75-room private hotel within a hotel
hosted its first post-refurbishment guests with the recent stays of Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and Myanmar's Prime Minister General Khin Nyu during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit
held at the Resort October 4-7, 2003.
The luxury refurbishment program, which commenced in May 2003, is the first major renovation for the hotel since its opening in 1990.
"What we have set out to achieve with The Ayodya Palace is a dreamy destination in a quiet corner of the Bali Hilton property that is unique in its facilities, amenities and contemporary in design and ambience. The Ayodya Palace is ideal for anyone wanting a new level of exclusive guest experience," said Mr. Ian E. McKie, Director of Hotel Operations.
The transformation has affected every corner of the Palace wing, home to six room categories and four private open areas.In the photo the Hotel's Director of Operations, Ian E. McKie (left), and Hilton International's Chief Operations Officer, Patrick Sibourg (right), are joined by Miss Bali, A.A. Sagung Dian Indaswari (center), in cutting the ribbon marking the official re-opening of the Ayodya Palace.
Lack of Competition on Makassar-Bali Air Corridor
South Sulawesi's ASITA Chairman Calls for more Air Connections with Indonesia's Tourism Gateway.
Mr. Nico B. Pasaka, Chairman of the South Sulawesi Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA), has called on the Ministry of Transportation and local air carriers to increase the number of flights connecting Makassar and Denpasar (Bali). Citing the need for more flights as necessary to the long-term recovering of South Sulawesi's tourism economy, Pasaka also called for more involvement from the Government in pro-active steps to revitalize the badly damaged tourism sector.
A Lack of Competition
Currently, only two airlines offer direct air connections between Makassar and Denpasar: Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Nusantara.
Garuda flies daily using B737-400 aircraft with Merpati operating three weekly flights with B737-300 equipment.
Non-direct services are available with an intermediate stop in Surabaya on Pelita Air and Mandala.
A Need for Competitive Air Fares
The lack of seats between the two cities, according to Pasaka, has also resulted in an artificially elevated pricing structure. The one-hour flight from Denpasar to Makassar costs Rp. 605,000 (approximately US$ 71), while a two-hour flight from Makassar to Jakarta costs Rp. 540,000 (approximately US$ 63.50).
Asia Escape's Directors Meet in Bali
Australian Wholesaler Holds Board Meeting in Bali.
The entire Board of Directors of Australian travel wholesaler specializing in Bali and Thailand, Asia Escape Holidays
, traveled to Bali to hold a board meeting and celebrate their anniversary with local friends and supporters.
Aggressive packaging and intense promotion of Bali has enabled Asia Escape Holidays
to double the number of passengers carried to Bali despite a 42% drop in Australia direct arrivals during the first 8 months of 2003.Asia Escape's
Managing Director, Mason Adams is a regular visitor to Bali, maintaining contact with local hotels and service providers. According to Mason, he decided to bring the Company's directors to Bali to celebrate the 6th
anniversary of Asia Escape's
founding and demonstrate the Company's unwavering commitment to their Balinese travel partners.
In the photograph the directors of Asia
Escape are seen during a business session
at The Oberoi Bali Resort. Left
to right are Robert Fitzgerald, Matthew Schneider,
Richard Martin, and Mason Adams
Harvey World Helps Bali Sight Seeing
Australian Wholesaler Pledges Funds for Bali's John Fawcett Foundation.
Australian travel wholesaler Harvey World Travel have declared their intention of provide AU$ 120,000 to support the John Fawcett Foundation in Bali.
The funds will be provided to the Bali-based foundation that has provided critical eye care to over 16,000 Balinese during its 10 year existence. The John Fawcett Foundation is the largest and longest-established non-government organisation working in health among the poor of Bali. Incorporated in Western Australia, the Foundation works closely with the Bali Health authorities.
The decision to support the Bali charity was made by Harvey World in recognition of the contribution that the island of Bali has made to the travel group's business over the past 20 years.
Australian Market Turn Around
According to officials of Harvey World, reports show that visitor numbers to Bali from Australia fell by 57 per cent this year but the latest figures reveal a turnaround in the market, with an estimated 118,000 people intending to travel to the island over the current three-month period. Another survey states that seven per cent of Australians planning holidays overseas in the next 12 months would opt for Bali.
Bali: Seeing is Believing
6-Night Packages from Sydney to Bali for Just AU$ 649.
Garuda Indonesia is offering six-night holiday packages from Sydney including accommodation at a range of hotels in Bali starting from AU$ 649 per person. The same package is available from Melbourne and Adelaide for an additional AU$ 50.
According to Garuda these prices "have to be seen to be believed" and include return economy flights, daily breakfasts, a dinner cruise, a 30-minute massage, and complimentary coffee and dessert at a local café. At some of the hotels included in the offer, the price also includes a free tour and discounts at certain restaurants and adventure activities.
The "Bali: Seeing is Believing" specials are valid for departures from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide through November 24, 2003.
Upgrade options are available to Executive class for the payment of a modest supplement.
"Holidaying in Bali has never been better value," said Kerry Timms, NSW Sales Manager for Garuda Indonesia. "The Balinese are keen to make tourists feel welcome, and you'll find Bali more relaxing than ever. The Aussie dollar is extremely strong in Bali and there are shopping bargains aplenty."
Bali Facing a Water Shortage
Development Threatens Water Shortage in Coming Years.
Although Bali has managed to escape the severe water shortages being experienced in many other parts of Indonesia, experts predict that a shortage of water, especially in the southern regions of the island, await Bali within the next 10-20 years.
Speaking at a recent seminar on the role of local culture in local water management, Mr. Gde Rai Mandia, of the Badung Water Authority, has called for local and national regulations on water usage, setting priorities among agricultural, domestic and industrial consumers.
According to Mr. Mandia, south Bali's heavy dependence on the tourism industry and relatively higher standard of living enjoyed by the local population have both resulted in high standards of water consumption. Growing population numbers and an expanding business base are placing an added burden on water supplies.
The Badung Regency, home to the majority of the major hotel developments in Bali, has no endemic water supply, relying on water piped overland from other parts of the island.
PATA Bali Recognizes Local Excellence
Awards Presented to Community Leaders in Various Fields.
During the Annual General Meeting of the Bali and Nusa Tenggara Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) held on Saturday, October 25, 2003, a series of "Awards of Excellence" were presented by the Board, continuing an annual tradition of the Chapter.
This years award recipients were:
PATA Personality of the Year Award. Awarded to dynamic Balinese businessman, I Made 'Kadek' Wiranatha, the founder of Air Paradise International (API) airline Bali's first "home-grown" air carrier. Undeterred by the tragic bombing of a Bali nightspot, 'Kadek's API now operates international flights to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Seoul and Taipei from its base in Bali.
Marketing Excellence Award. Given to Air Paradise International (API), acknowledging the increasing number of badly needed passengers carried to Bali on the new local airline venture.
Art and Culture Award. Internationally known as an artist, dancer, media personality, musician and jewelry designer, Ms. Suarti was given the award based on her tireless promotion of Balinese culture to the world. The Suarti Designer Collection line of designer jewelry is marketed internationally at leading retail outlets and televised shopping channels.
Environment Award. The Bhakti Whana Bali Foundation received the award for its role in organizing a series of community clean-up campaigns mobilizing upwards of 1,000 participants. Campaigns conducted by the Foundation have targeted, among others, the Bali Barat National Park and the beach along Sanur Beach.
Community Service Award. Presented to the General Hospital of Sanglah for its compassionate care of the victims of last year's bombing attack. The Hospital offers 750 beds in providing medical care to the Balinese community.
Innovative New Product. This award was given to the Kalaspa located near Bedugul in Bali's mountain-lake district. The Spa complex offers a full range of spa and wellness programs, trekking, cultural explorations and gourmet dining.
ASEAN as a Single Destination
Elly Hutabarat Outlines ASEANTA'S Goals for Regional Travel Promotion.
Ms. Elly Hutabarat, Vice-President of the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) and the Chair of the Inter-ASEAN Travel Committee, used the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of the Bali and Nusa Tenggara Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) to outline efforts now underway to promote travel to ASEAN and between ASEAN member countries.
In mid-2003, as a response to the the SARS panic and the conflict in Iraq, ASEANTA launched special ASEAN Hip-Hop Fares permitting travelers prepared to visit 3 separate destinations within the 10 country ASEAN region a very low fare of US$ 99 per air sector. Simultaneously, a program of special hotel rates, ASEAN Hotel Pass, was launched offering reduced rates of between US$ 35-70 a night for hotels within the ASEAN region for travelers using the ASEAN Hip-Hop Air fares.
These special travel incentives within the ASEAN region end in October 2003. According to Ms. Hutabarat, a new, yet-to-be-named program, will be introduced in April of 2004 that will again offer special air and hotel rates to people making multiple stops within the ASEAN region. The new program will include 2nd tier airlines and a proven international distribution system in order to create increased sale levels.
Less Barriers to Travel Within the Region
ASEANTA is dedicated to promoting ASEAN as a single tourism destination. Within this context, the group is lobbying intensively for a single-visa policy for all 10 members of the ASEAN association, similar to the visa policies now in place in the European Union. The Group is also seeking to reduce or eliminate travel taxes currently imposed on travelers within the region.
More information: ASEANTA Website
Minister Ardika on Marketing in Difficult Times
Culture and Tourism Minister Shares His Views with Bali Tourism Professionals.
Indonesian Minister for Culture and Tourism, I Gde Ardika, visited Bali on Saturday, October 25, 2003 to address the Annual General Meeting of the Bali and Nusa Tenggara Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) speaking on the topic of marketing challenges facing the tourism sector. Among the topics touched upon by the Minister, included:
According to the Minister, tourism has entered into a "new paradigm" in which the private sector is in "the driver's seat" guiding tourism development. The Minister emphasized that tourism's traditional management "top down" hierarchy has now been traded for a "bottom up" approach, controlled by those working in tourism.
Following the back-to-back hardships of the past several years, Indonesia's marketing focus has moved away from long-haul passengers in Europe and America in favor of short and medium-haul passengers from the Asia-Pacific.
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is taking a stronger role in the promotion of inbound tourism. Meanwhile, ASEAN is expanding its cooperation in promoting tourism beyond the 10 member nations of the Association, including China, Japan, and South Korea.
The Minister said that the economic success of the Indian economy and the substantial size of its upper middle class market suggested a huge untapped potential market for Indonesian tourism.
Close cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has resulted in basic tourism training for many diplomats posted abroad, fostering greater support for Indonesian travel from the Nation's Diplomatic Corps.
In order to give the tourism industry a greater voice, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has established separate working groups for each market segment. These working groups include leaders from tourism's private sector who advise the Government in formulating marketing strategies.
The Minister encouraged Bali to safeguard the quality of its tourism products, striving to achieve "zero defects" in terms of security, service, and cleanliness.
The Minister concluded his remarks by reminding
all of the basic personality traits that must
be possessed by those working in the tourism trade,
namely integrity and friendliness.