BALI UPDATE #373 - 03
Gap in Arrivals Widens in September
Bali by the Numbers:
Tourism Recovery Evasive as Shown in September
direct foreign arrivals via Bali's Ngurah Rai
Airport in September 2003 show recovery for the
island's tourism industry remains elusive with
the gap in total arrivals, when compared with
past year's performances, deepening.
September 2003 arrivals were down 44,014, representing
a gap of 29.20% when compared to the same month
one year earlier.
Situation Not Improving
Moreover, the latest figures suggest that the
arrival gap is deepening rather than improving.
The September '03 to September '02 gap of 29.20%
is worse than the August '03 to August '02 gap
of only 26.69%.
Quality of Arrivals Also Suffering
As shown in balidiscovery.com's
Figures Show Impact of Travel Advisories
a major shortfall in passenger numbers to Bali
has occured in the Australian, European and U.S.
markets which have had a disproportionate impact
on the total room nights and revenues being generated
by the tourism industry. Bali's downturn in visitor
numbers has most substantially affected these
markets which generally produce higher average
length of stays and per diem
Confusion Still Reigns
Over Visa Policy
from Jakarta Regarding Potential Changes to the
Reports from the State news Agency Antara,
indicate that a visa-on-arrival policy will be
introduced sometime in December.
According to the report, the new visa policy,
once introduced, will see the nationals of 20
countries and one region receive a 30 day extendable
visa after paying a yet-to-be-specified fee to
immigration officials upon arrival at the port
of entry. The 20 countries and one region to be
allowed to purchase their visas are Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand,
Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland,
Taiwan, the United States and United Arab Emirates.
Under the new policy, free visas on arrival will
continue to be granted to the citizens of nine
ASEAN countries and two regions namely, Brunei
Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Singapore,
Thailand and the Philippines, as well as the special
administration regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
It is assumed that the citizens of other nations
not included on the visa on arrival list or visa
free list will need to apply for a visa in their
country of residency before departure.
The actual commencement date of the new policy
remains uncertain. The final policy must go before
a cabinet meeting and receive approval before
its formal introduction.
At Variance With Minister Ardika's Statement
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, I
Gede Ardika, when addressing the Pacific
Asia Travel Association in Bali as recently
as October 25, suggested the new visa policy as
still very much under active discussion and that
any change, if introduced at all, would have a
period of socialization as long as six months
between a final formal decision and the actual
The Minister also indicated that while the final
amount of the visa fee had yet to be finally determined,
the amount would be US$ 25 or less, a figure substantially
below the US$ 50 initially suggested by Indonesia's
Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza
The change in the current visa policy has been
widely criticized by Indonesia's tourism industry
who generally view any change in the current policy
as a major step backward in efforts to revitalize
the business sector.
Accessing New Opportunities
December 4-6, 2003 at Grand Hyatt Bali.
An important conference for both domestic and
international investors in Indonesia will take
place December 4-6, 2003, at the Grand
Hyatt, Bali in Nusa Dua. Organized by
Euromoney Conferences the event
bills itself as an "in-country road show" providing
unique one-on-one access to Indonesia's key economic
ministers, regulators and CEO's from leading corporations.
Accessing New Opportunities
Among the topics slated to be discussed at the
Post IMF Economic programs
The restructuring and recapitalization of the
banking and finance sector
Privatization of state-owned enterprises and
Government's response to terrorism and security
Democratic and legal reform
Energy and Power opportunities
Impressive List of Speakers Scheduled
Speakers confirmed for the two-day event include:
Megawati Soekarnoputri, President of the Republic
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Coordinating Minister
of Political and Security Affairs
Prof. Dr. Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, Coordinating
Minister for the Economy
Dr. Ir. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Minister of Energy
and Mineral Resource
Ir. Laksamana Sukardi, State Minister for State-Owned
Dr. Boediono, Minister of Finance
Herwidayatmo, Chairman of the Indonesian Capital
Market Supervisor Agency (Bapepam)
Bahanuddin Abdullah, Governor of Bank Indonesia
Erry Firmansyah, President Director of the Jakarta
Syafruddin Temenggung, Chairman of the Indonesian
Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA)
Michael Spencer, Head of Global Market Research,
E.C.W. Neloe, President and CEO of Bank Mandiri
Rudjito, President Director of Bank Rakyat Indonesia
For more information or to apply for an invitation
to this prestigious investment conference, follow
the link provided below.
Bringing Order to
Parking and Licensing
Under Review in Seminyak's Most Active After Dark
An upsurge in the opening of new bars and restaurants
along Seminyak's Jalan Abimanyu following last
October's terrorist attack has prompted Bali officials
to have a closer look at measures to enhance public
order and safety in the popular after dark venues
visited by thousands of tourists each day.
New Parking Regulations
Operating on order issued by Bali's Chief of Police
Inspector General Made Mangku Pastika, the head
of the Kuta Police precinct has formally declared
most of Jalan Abimanyu as off limits to on street
parking from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m.. The area affected
is on the eastern end of the road, home to numerous
restaurants and night spots.
The new parking rules became effective October
12, 2003, and were reportedly made to reduce traffic
jams and increase public safety.
A New Road?
An official of the local Roads and Communications
department quoted in the Bali press suggested
that efforts are underway to create a through
road reconnecting Jalan Abimanyu to Jalan Drupadi.
This would then make it possible to make Jalan
Abimanyu open only to one-way traffic by providing
an outlet back to main thoroughfares.
According to the official, local landholder have
already signaled their readiness to surrender
the land necessary for the right of way needed
to construct the road.
Cracking Down on Unlicensed Businesses
Meanwhile, local tourism officials have begun
a crackdown on unlicensed bars and restaurants
operating along Jalan Abimanyu. A recent survey
by officials found at least five bars and restaurants
operating illegally without the required permits
Officials have vowed to "get tough" on the illegal
operators, claiming that traffic and noise levels
produced by an over-abundance of night spots in
the area are disturbing the local population.
Five Million Tourist Projected for 2004
Indonesia to Rely on 'Working Groups' to Achieve Ambitious Tourism Target.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Gede Ardika, says Indonesia is targeting a total of 5 million tourism visitors to Indonesia in 2004, spending an estimate US$ 5 billion in foreign exchange during their stays.
These figures, revealed by the Minister during remarks made at the formal inauguration of the campus for the Higher School of Tourism (STP), Saturday, November 1, 2003, represent an increase from the revised targets for the current year of 4.5 million visitors spending US$ 4.5 billion.
Reliance on Working Groups
In order to achieve these targets, according to the Minister, the Government will rely heavily on the newly established "working groups" comprised of public and private sector tourism leaders who are responsible for devising and recommending tactics and strategies on a market-by-market basis.
In announcing the targets, Minister Ardika did acknowledge the special challenges presented by the current composition of visitors to Indonesia, which has recently shifted away from longer-staying and higher spending European and American visitors in favor of regional tourists. To meet this challenge, plans are underway to increase the number of visitors and the amount of money spent while in Indonesia.
Elections are Not an Issue
The minister discounted any negative impact from the holding of national elections in 2004, seeing the elections as a normal part of any democratic country's life and assuring that plans were in place to educate the world marketplace to the Indonesian electoral process, which he felt would be largely peaceful.
Four Balinese Cited for Cultural Contributions
Government Presents Satya Lencana Kebudayaan Awards to Four for Work in Advancing Balinese Culture.
On Friday, October 31, 2003, the Government recognized four Balinese for their outstanding contributions to the preservation and advancement of Balinese culture.
The award, Satya Lencana Kebudayaan, is the most prestigious presidential award that can be presented in the field of culture. The Awards were presented on behalf of the Government by Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, I Gede Ardika, at a ceremony held at the office of Bali's Governor.
Recognized for their cultural achievements were:
Prof. Dr. I Gusti Ngurah Bagus (deceased). A retired professor from Bali's Udayana University, widely known as the "Father of Balinese Studies" for his tireless work in establishing a Master and Ph.D. program in that field. Prof. Dr. Bagus died in October at the age of 70 years.
I Gede Manik (deceased). A famous percussionist, dancer and choreographer of Balinese dance from Buleleng in North Bali.
Drs. Nyoman Gunarsa. A well known Indonesian painter and curator of a private museum in Gianyar.
Dr. Anak Agung Made Djelantik. The author of an autobiographical account of growing up as a Prince of a Royal Balinese household.
Be Sure to Wear a Funny Hat
Bali Celebrates the Melbourne Cup Horse Race.
The annual running of the Melbourne Cup in Australia is, for all intents and purposes, a national holiday. The entire Country comes to a standstill during the mid-afternoon running of the fabled horse race and then spends the rest of the day and evening recovering from the celebrations that accompany the event.
Thanks to live satellite television connections, horse racing enthusiasts in Bali will be allowed to follow this year's running ofthe race on Tuesday, November 4, 2003, with two local establishments joining in the spirit and sponsoring Melbourne Cup celebrations. Horse racing aficionados will be able to follow the epic race from either the Kuta or Sanur sides of the island with race parties running simultaneously at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel and the Bali Dynasty Resort. Depending on which location you choose, festivities will include race day buffets, live broadcasts of the race from Melbourne, games, and prizes galore.
Doors open at both locales at 11:00 a.m. with the actual race scheduled for 12:10 p.m. local time.
Those attending either event are encouraged to honor the time-honored Melbourne Cup tradition by arriving in an outrageous hat.
For more information contact the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel at telephone ++62-(0)361-281781 or the Bali Dynasty Resort at telephone ++62-(0)361-752403.
Cooking Up an Exciting Future for Bali
Balinese Culture and Cooking Unfolds New Layers of Delight for Australian Visitors.
An Australian woman who has invested her life in advancing international understanding of the culture of Bali says visitors are beginning to appreciate that the island offers far more than good value holidays and great beaches.
Janet De Neefe is the principal of the Casa Luna Cooking School
and Boutique Honeymoon Guesthouse
at the craft and cultural centre of Ubud. She says that visitors are beginning to look beneath Bali's obvious attractions to find a vibrant artistic community whose roots are steeped in more than 1000 years of evolution as an advanced society.
Janet is one of the many expats living and working in Bali who have total faith in the resilience of the Balinese people to rebuild and expand the attractions of their "Island of the Gods," holiday home to millions of visitors over decades.Bullish on Bali's Future
"Possibly the events of the last 12 months have provided an opportunity for Bali to re-examine the way in which it presents itself to the world - to enable it to re-shape its image in Australia and elsewhere by showing the full depth and breadth of the peaceful people of this wonderful place," said Janet, who has taught top Aussie chefs and celebrities at her acclaimed cooking school.
Janet says that she and her husband are very positive about the future of Bali. They hope to expand the cooking school soon to include a holistic wellbeing centre, where guests can learn traditional Balinese methods of relaxation and health maintenance, and use the natural healing energy which exists in Bali.
"Bali will always have the beach and wonderful shopping experience," says Janet, "but there is much beyond that - places like Casa Luna - where visitors are able to see and learn more of the Balinese culture than ever before."Life in the Slow Lane
"At Casa Luna we have taught the Balinese way to nourish the body since 1992. Now I want to give guests a way to nourish the spirit."
"Western society moves so fast - too fast sometimes. The East can now give this wisdom back to the more developed countries. We can show how to slow down, to take stock and enjoy your time. Family, health, and friends - these are life's important things. Nobody gets to the end of their life and wishes they had spent more time in the office!""Fragrant Rice"The Casa Luna Cooking School
offers a range of courses, lasting as long as you choose. First up is a trip to the local markets, where the freshest spices and produce are purchased. Following this Janet takes guests through the steps of a number of traditional Balinese dishes, which she herself learned at her sister-in-law Kasi's table.
Janet first visited Bali with her family in 1974, and returned many times until her marriage to Ketut in 1989. Together they have raised their four children Arjuna, Laksmi, Dewi and Krishna in the Honeymoon Guesthouse, built by Ketut following their marriage.
During her early visits to Bali, Janet attended what she refers to as a 'culinary/cultural college' with Ketut's extended family. She has, this year, fulfilled her early dreams by writing the book she has researched for the past 20 years.
Chronicling her exploration of the Balinese way of life, "Fragrant Rice"
is much more than a cookbook. The recipes are scattered among reminisces which give a remarkable insight into Balinese culture, as well as Janet's, often comical, attempts to understand it.
"I was spellbound by Bali from my first visit," says Janet, "like so many Australian's before me. It is not surprising really - Australians and Balinese have so much in common."
"Despite the obvious differences between East and West, Balinese and Australians have a similar temperament and humor. We both have a 'fair go for all' attitude and a tendency to gentle teasing. It was Ketut's sharp wit which struck me the first time we met."
Although her family travels regularly between Australia and their Island home, there were no plans to abandon Bali following the October 12 blasts. "We feel completely safe here," says Janet. "We are part of a strong community including Balinese and expats who all look out for one another, and for ways to help the Island recover."
"Bali is safer now than ever before. To complement the official security measures implemented last year, the village communities have instituted their own checks. Anybody coming to Bali has to have a legitimate reason for doing so, which will be verified by the village heads. Since all of Bali is made up of villages, this 'neighborhood watch' system is pretty effective."
"The Balinese-Hindu culture dictates that they are responsible for all guests on their Island, explains Janet. The Balinese are determined to regain their national dignity and identity, by ensuring that all who visit the Island are safe and happy. The whole community is resolved to restore the Island paradise, to recover the peace and innocence that was so cruelly taken away last year.
"Australians know that the Balinese had nothing to do with the October 12 bombing. People came from outside to do this - the Balinese were as much victims as anybody else," says Janet.
"The bombing was a symptom of a global problem which everybody has to share in. Bali has given itself to the world, for all to share in its beauty and serenity. The world has to remember that now, and come back to us."
Janet's book "Fragrant Rice"
is published by Harper Collins and available in all good bookstores.
Alila Ubud Presents Extrovert Art by an Introverted Man. The World of Walter Van Oel 27 December 2003 24 January 2004.
61-year old Dutch born painter Walter Van Oel rejoices in color. In fact, his canvasses celebrate color and if, from time to time, his personality and body resemble a rainbow spectrum of color, that's fine by Walter, too.
In a solo exhibition at the Alila Ubud Gallery entitled "Spiritual Jewels," Walter Oel will present 60 works of art that, according to the artist, have been inspired by the harmony and peace in all things Balinese, a subject most close to his heart.
Dividing his time between his native Holland and a Bali studio, he experiments by creating layers of color on his canvasses through alternate applications of layers of color introduced by brushing, pouring and dripping paint. In a process he describes as "reconciling dreams and reality," his latest exhibition represents the abandonment of his "spiritual clothes," baring his soul through the bold use of color.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Mr. Van Oel's work has been the subject of several books and international exhibitions.
"Spiritual Jewels," an exhibition by Walter Van Oel, will be held at the Alila Ubud Gallery in Payangan from 28 December 2003 until 24 January 2004.
Caring for the Survivors
Bali's Hotel Association Provides Training to the Local Widows and Daughters of the Bali Bombing Tragedy.
Casa Grande - the association of Bali's star-rated hotels have contributed Rp. 35 million (approximately US$ 4,100) from its "Spirit of Hope" fund to the Sri Khandi Foundation's educational program. The Foundation supports and empowers Balinese women through various educational programs.
Funds donated by the hotels will be used by the Foundation to train and seek employment for the widows and daughters of the Bali Bombing, training them to work as beauty-therapist trainers so that, in time, they can share their skills with other deserving women.
The Bali Spirit of Hope Fund was launched by Casa Grande in the aftermath of the October 12, 2002, bombing tragedy to assist Indonesian victims and upgrade hospital facilities in Denpasar and Kuta.
Seen in the picture is the first group of women scheduled to commence training with the Sri Kandhi Foundation this December.
Exhibition of Sculptures by Carola Vooges at the Ganesha Gallery.
An artist in the truest sense, Carola Vooge's creative journey has included painting, film, television, fashion design, theatre and dance. Since 1998, her efforts have focused on working with stone and wood, creating sculptures that have quickly won international admirers and been featured in numerous publications, including Architectural Digest.
Vooge's work re-examines form and texture, challenging long held assumptions along the way. She describes her work as belonging to a tradition that includes the philosopher stones of China as well as Constantin Brancusi and Isamu Nogushi.
A solo-exhibition of stunning sculptures in stone and wood by Carola Vooges - Timeless Tides will be held at the Ganesha Gallery at The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay November 4 December 5, 2003.
The Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m..
For more information telephone the Gallery at ++62-(0)361-701010.
Bali Battles HIV/AIDS
Reduced Cost Anti-Retroviral Therapy Now Available Through Kerta Praja Foundation.
The struggle for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS in Bali has been recently advanced through the local availability of reduced-cost anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy. The treatment, proven to be effective in prolonging life and sometimes indefinitely delaying the onset of the deadly full-blown stage of the disease, is available to sufferers in Bali at a fraction of the cost similar treatment costs in the West.
HIV/AIDS in Bali
There are an estimated 3,000 people infected with HIV in Bali, primarily among drug users, sex workers and gay men. Recent surveys indicate that the disease has begun to spread beyond these groups, affecting the clients of sex workers and housewives.
Testing and counseling is available through a voluntary, confidential testing (VCT) program and a follow-up outreach programs extended to those engaged in high-risk behavior. To date, some 500 people have utilized the VCT facility, with more than 100 (20%) testing positive for HIV. Counselors provide guidance and support to those afflicted, encouraging behavior change and providing medical, psychological and social support.
ARV treatment can cost upwards of US$ 10,000 per year in the West. Recently, government-to-government programs are making this same treatment available to citizens of developing countries for a fraction of that cost. In Bali, ARV treatment is available for under Rp. 750,000 (approximately US$ 88) per month. These treatments, administered in the early stages of the disease, are allowing HIV sufferers to survive for many years and live productive lives. Without ARV management of the disease, most HIV sufferers succumb quickly to the disease.
The Kerti Praja Foundation
A local charitable foundation, Yayasan Kerti Praja, set up in the early 1990's to reduce the transmission of sexually-transmitted disease has set up a special fund to provide ARV treatment to HIV/AIDS victims. Because of limited resources, of the approximately 100 people requiring ARV treatment only 10 have been funded for a full year's treatment providing medication that must be continued for the rest of their lives.
All donations made to the ARV Fund are transparently handled, with no part of any contribution being used to pay for overheads or administrative costs. 100% of any funds donated for Bali's ARV Fund saves lives and goes to providing medication for HIV sufferers.
Access to treatment is provided without reference to a candidate's religion, profession, education, residence, age, gender or sexual orientation.
Interested to Help?
For more information contact the Yayasan Kerti Praja, Jalan Raya Sesatan 270, Denpasar, Bali or Dr. Wirawan at mobile telephone ++62-(0)811 394306. Or, send an e-mail via the link provided below.